Hop Devil Grill
Ratings: 91 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
2.95/5 rDev -27.7%
I like beer bars. I really do. Especially when they have a decent selection at decent prices. And it's really cool when there's a Belgian beer bar in a separate room as well. And even BETTER when there's decent, not too over-priced food to go with said beers.
I really, really do NOT like it when every time I go to said place, they never have the beer I want. And it takes forever to let me know this. And happens multiple times in a row. It's just extremely annoying. It would be forgivable if the bartender would, instead of saying "I'm sorry we seem to be out of that," say, "You should try this, it's similar," or "Gee that's the second beer you asked for that we didn't have, let me get one for you on me, you'll probably like this one." But no, the bartender is nice but has little idea of what she's doing, and is simply not helpful, and I'm down two beers.
I will say that the bartenders at the Belgian bar here seem to be more on top of things, and overall it's not a bad experience- but I know I could get better beer, for similar prices, in better places, where they actually have the beer they claim to have. I'll stop by again for some grub and a beer, but if they don't have it again... that's it, I'm done.
08-23-2005 05:07:43 | More by scooter231
4.4/5 rDev +7.8%
Thus far, there seems to be a little bit of a running gag between myself and this place. It seems to take me or a friend three of four tries in order to get a beer that is selected from a menu. This past Saturday night, a friend I was with chose one beer to try. Something along the lines of "coming right up" was the response to the order. A few minutes pass and "we're checking on the tap line to see what's going on" was reported by the bartender. Another couple minutes passed with a similar response. After maybe ten minutes the bartender said "we seem to be out of this. would you like something else?"
Another few minutes passed and this time it took only one pass to hear "sorry, we ran out.."
Twelve minutes after showing up to an empty bar (we were the only ones there at the time) and my friend had a beer in hand.
This was early on a Saturday night before the expected rush of customers and the main bar (their Belgian room is pretty cool) is only batting one out of three. This may be fine for baseball but doesn't strike me as too cool for a beer bar. If anything, the staff should have been more on top of their knowledge of what is or is not in stock. Something along the lines of "well, this beer is similar to the one you just ordered" would have been nice... a large, free sample would also have been nice.
Their theoretical selection is good, the prices are reasonable for NYC, their diner style food is solid, the atmosphere is good in a great neighborhood... the beer that was served is as it should have been.
The intention of the place is good but the execution is more than slightly flawed.
If these very fixable bugs in their system are addressed this would be a great place to go for great beer.
For now, there are better choices in this big ol' city.
Update March 30, 2007
The Hop Devil is now 2 years old and the kinks seem to have been worked out. The beer menus are up to date and the staff is on top of their game and on top of the beer. The 5 eight ounce sampler deal for $16 is a great way to navigate through the great variety of tasty brews and the bartenders are happy to have you sample something you might be wary of ordering. The Belgain Room is the best place this side of the Atlantic to drink Belgian beer. My Tripel Karmeliat was delicious.
08-22-2005 08:50:21 | More by ommegangpbr
4.13/5 rDev +1.2%
I remember Hop Devil under construction, as we did some early gatherings here for another project, before the taps, before the tables, before the bar was a bar. Seems like a lifetime ago, especially when you see what this space has become. Good location, further east than I normally play, but still easily workable...
The main room holds an "L" shaped bar seating 10 off to the left, a center bar counter, and about 8 booths and tables. To the rear, a few steps take you up to an elevated area holding a half dozen tables. Blackboards angled overhead above the bar and adjacent seating listing the bottle selection and food specials. The bar back is a unit with bottles and glassware, and other pieces. 2 dozen taps on a diamond back plating, and a hand pump, not yet in use.
Beer signs and placards throughout, spot lighting overhead, and the front of the room done in polished steel with a hundred thousand "dings" in it (I saw Billy up there on the ladder beating the hell out of it with a hammer).
2 dozen taps. 6 are imports, including Erdinger Hefe, De Ranke XX Bitter, Kulmbacher Pils and the other 3/4 of them are American micros. Good representation of local (Brooklyn Porter, Blue Point, Southampton Secret Ale, Cricket Hill), regional (DogFishHead Indian Brown, Geary's, Victory Hop Devil, Magic Hat, Sam Adams Summer), and stuff from afar (a pair of Avery's, Bear Republiuc, 3 Mendicino's, Rogue Charlie 1981, Flying Dog, Anderson Valley IPA, and a cider). 5 dozen + bottles listed, also a nice mix.
Either out the front door, past the curbside tables and back in the door next door, or up through the back way from the rear perch, you're poured into the next room, to the Belgian bar side.
A smaller "L" shaped bar seating about 8 is found here. 5 taps (Leffe, Delirium Tremons, Maredsous 10, Stella, Hoegaarden) and a boatload of Belgian bottles in the cooler behind the bar. It's a corner bar, with glass shelves holding booze on a mirrored back unit. Brown sponge painted walls, tile floors, red drop lighting, ceiling fans, and a half dozen booths and tables here and there. An elevated area to the rear holds another 5 tables and a video game (Big Buck Master).
Food is pub grub and more. I've done apps here a few times and I see they're now doing Pomme Frites with a choice of 12 sauces on the Belgian side. Service is good, no problems there. It's a good East Village destination. I'm just waiting for that hand pump to get a-goin'.
07-31-2005 22:17:10 | More by slander
3.84/5 rDev -5.9%
Went here the other night. Althought I didn't order any food, the menu had a nice selection of tasty sounding stuff.
The atmosphere is quite nice with fun little things on the walls and lots of places to sit. There is outdoor seating and the whole front of the place opens to the NYC street outside. It's anice place to take a group of people.
The waitresses were all clad in short skirts and were very friendly and quick to offer you another beer.
Selection is pretty good with a fairly large tap selection and a good bottle selection. I would like to see a few more things in the bottled area, but it's fine.
They do have quite the nice ammount of specials for pretty much every night of the week. The have a "Kill the Keg" on certain days where it's $3 pints. If you're lucky you can get something pretty special for a good deal. When Iw as there it was Sam Adams White Ale. Not the greatest thing but for $3 who's to complain.
Overall I enjoyed the atmosphere, the service was excellent, and I will be going back there for some dinner and brews in the near future.
07-11-2005 01:49:42 | More by Buildscharacter
3.34/5 rDev -18.1%
The Friday of my first visit to NYC in 2005 was spent having a walk over the awesome Brooklyn Bridge followed by a 16 Pizza lunch with the lovely RokotGirl at the infamous Grimaldis, and then a quick beer in this new addition before we headed to the Blind Tiger to meet the rest of the NYC BAs who had to work the afternoon.
Outside impressions are of a rather trendy spot, the British Post Office red painted exterior and gaudy paintwork fit in well with the surrounding sex shops, tattoo parlors and the Bohemian masses that throng the streets here. It seems that the front opens out but these doors were half ajar during my visit so we parted the steel laden doors to get in.
The wooden topped bar is to your left, curving at the front left to allow those sat at the end of the Bar a decent view of the counter workings and the hip young chicks passing by on the street outside. I counted over twenty taps set against the back wall before I was asked what I wanted, so I guess the quoted figure of 24 taps is probably right. A lone Beer Engine sat on the front bar counter and looked a little sad and unloved. Lots of funky memorabilia, brewery posters, beery adverts and even a broken model of a 747 Airliner behind the bar. The back of the room rises to a decked seating area with small fences between the wide wooden steps to stop the inebriated falling off the edge. To the right, booths cling to the wall and no doubt offer some respite to the thronging masses when this place gets full, which Im told it does. The middle had a small waist high partition and some more tables and chairs
The beer list is chalked above the bar, but be warned; it was not up to date on my visit. I ordered a Southampton Saison, only to be served a dark looking brew that most definitely was not the Saison. The woman behind the bar never even realized this until I questioned her, somewhat reluctantly, as she seemed engrossed in some other conversations with passing friends. During my visit, Sabrina and I were the only ones drinking it seemed. Once questioned though, she seemed unsure as to the true identity and said that it could be the Secret Ale because its on at the other place .maybe. Not a big problem, I didnt really mind, but not a good start or impression for my first visit here, and a clear indication that some of the staff are not that up on their beer which always stuns me when an establishment wants to promote a Beer Bar image. The service was reasonable, though the woman that served us seemed busy doing tasks associated with readying & cleaning the bar, stuff I would do *before* opening, but it was quiet I guess.
Prices are steep, at least I thought so, I ended paying $9 for a Southampton Saison-cum-Secret Ale and some kind of Soda drink for Sabrina, I checked, it was right. Maybe a return during Happy Hour is on the cards perhaps. The printed beer list that we were handed also reflects the high prices, especially for the Belgium offerings. A great bottled selection but it is pricey and would only be a once in a while tasting for me at the prices listed.
A fleeting visit of sorts, and granted I had limited first impressions, but they all count. Nice enough, but there is still a lot of work to be done here I feel. It does have potential to be a great addition to the ever burgeoning NYC Beer Bar scene, but at the moment it fails to live up to them it seems, that may be tad harsh but I say it as I see it. Being here gave me the same feeling I get when witnessing the commissioning of a new power station, it seems like it should work, all the ingredients are there, but it definitely needs to sort out a few opening glitches and train its staff a little more about the beer it sells first.
Worth popping in for sure, Ill certainly head back here in 5 months time during my November trip and see how it has progressed.
Last Visit: Friday 24th June
07-02-2005 22:14:17 | More by TheLongBeachBum
3.88/5 rDev -4.9%
I shouldn't start out by saying anything negative about this place, so I'll say that the waitress was so cute. I wanted to keep ordering beer and food from her.
The conditions for the visit to this establishment involve one of my very best friends leaving the city for good. I had printed out a beerfly list for her to take to her new area so she could find Hoegaarden. The bar itself is split into two bars. There is a dark bar which leads into a back room which leads back into a front room, which is much lighter and airier than the other. The plethora of taps line the back wall, and the beers are listed on the chalkboard. I liked sitting there, though the 'Legend of the Hop Devil had a few grammatical mistakes.'
Unfortunately, when we went (Tuesday night), the place seemed not to really have it together. The printed menu had a listing for "Bear XP" instead of "Bear Republic XP [Pale Ale]." I almost cringed when I asked about the "Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster's Reserve." No clue, so I had to ask. She said it was called "The Scorcher" and I stopped her at that. And what's a "Du Val Dieu"? At least I enjoyed the Southampton Saison in my 16oz. shaker pint, and my Rogue Brutal [sic] which was not bitter at all. No! Okay it was, but "Brutal Bitter sounds much better than "Brutal" which could really be nothing and anything. Aside from glaring errors on the beer menu regarding the names, service was okay, even though the woman didn't really know what beer was what.
I know I'm being overly critical of the names, but if you're going to serve good beer, you shouldn't cut corners on the beer names on the board nor on the printed menu. Someone is going to like one of the beers and end up asking for a Rogue Brutal somewhere else and getting Dead Guy Ale mixed with Maker's Mark.
The selection was excellent, though, once you figured out exactly what they had. Anderson Valley, SPH, DFH, Ommegang, Weyerbacher! Plus an extensive bottle menu that informs you that Affligem is now a trappist brewery. Look, they even have the Black Ghost. But it is not listed as coming from Fantome. Maybe it's the other Black Ghost.
Food was pretty good. I had the portobello sandwich, which was on par with most I've had, and fries were good. Nothing exceptional, but above general barf ood. I know I'm fixating on proper names, but don't get me started on glassware. Still, I am going to recommend this establishment, particularly to other BA's who know their stuff and are not afraid to ask for clarification on questions.
"Yes, but what type of Weihenstephaner is it?"
06-09-2005 23:53:33 | More by twilight
4/5 rDev -2%
I checked this place out during a recent Memorial Day weekend trip to NYC. I had passed Hop Devil last time I was here and knew that I would have to return for a beer.
The front of Hop Devil has open windows and some outdoor seating which is very nice on a sunny afternoon such as yesterday. Tables and booths cover the floor. I loved the beer signs and posters that decorate the walls. There is some great stuff all over place. Enough of brewery signs to easily divert your attention from a conversation.
They offer a beer list and all of their beers are clearly offered on a big chalkboard. Prices for food and beer are reasonable. Beers are served in tumbler pint glasses and will run you around $5 - $6. They offer the option to have 5 five oz samples for $16 if you want to sample some different beers. Solid bottle and draught selections here. Enough to satisfy you if you are looking for a staple craft beer or if you are feeling the urge to try something new. Some tap highlights included Brooklyn Brewmaster's Reserve, Brooklyn Sustainable Porter, Victory Prima Pilsner, Victory Hop Devil, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye and many others. Nice representation from all over the globe too.
This place was very cool and would probably rate much higher if it were located in any other city in the country. They are doing everything right here. From the clean and welcoming vibe to the awesome beer options. Any BA should be happy here. I will certainly come back to the Hop Devil.
05-29-2005 17:26:40 | More by Hibernator
4.65/5 rDev +14%
My third time here and the first time the "Belgian Room" was open. So, although their new tap system has yet to be installed, I think I can write a fair review. The Hop Devil Grill is a large bar/restaurant. Two very large rooms, each distinctly different from each other. The room closest to Avenue A has a large wood bar on the left as you enter, with a great deal of shelving behind it which contained glassware and interesting displays of European carvings and statues, in addition to other oddities. Underneath the shelving is 24 neatly lined taps bolted into shiny diamond plate steel, each one dispensing craft-brewed beers from various breweries such as Rogue, Lagunitas, Stone and Southampton. Belgium was also well reperesented with Gouden Carolus and Hoegaarden. There is an additional bar directly across the regular bar, but one designed to lean and drink on, on the other side of which are nicely designed wooden booths. On the walls are many different pieces of beer memorabilia, both new and old. As mentioned, the place is very big by NYC standards, and there is additional booths all around the walls opposite the main bar. In the back are some short steps which lead to additional dining area. As you make a left turn atop these stairs, a brief saunter arrives you at the "Hop Duvel" Belgian room. All dark wood and nothing fancy here. Quite Spartan actually, and I understand they are continuing to work on it. Another large room, however, and as you turn left through the inside entrance you come upon another very large bar with a big open display cooler behind it. Within are such goodies as several rare varieties of Cantillon, Westmalle, Rochefort, Orval and other interesting and rarely seen European beers of high quality. The bartenders were friendly and knowledgeable, and the owner shared a bottle of De Ranke Kriek with us. Special points for that kind of hospitality. Sandwiches were tasty. Draft beer was in exceptional condition, and I even had the opportunity to try a rare Rogue Pilsner, apparently a limited edition shipped only to Rogue's favorite bars. All in all, a great experience. I highly recommend Hop Devil Grill if you are visiting NYC, and if you live here as I do, make this your regular hangout.
05-22-2005 15:48:03 | More by ChowHound
4.28/5 rDev +4.9%
This east side spot is another fine addition to the NYC beer scene. Less then a block from Tompkins square park this place is sure to move mega gallons of suds to thirsty lower east siders all year round. 24 on tap, mostly domestic micros and a limited selection of so so imports drafts. (Stella, Bass, Ho) U.S. selections and bottles were strong, with several fine and intriguing choices. Draft- Victory old HO, Perkunos hammer, Bklyn Sustainable Porter etc. Nice Belgian bottled selections, with a few that strayed far afield. (Flemish Primitive, Cantillon, Abbey des Rocs and a host of Trappists) nice! Bottles of Stone's Verticle Epic ($12) are not something you see at many bars. Friendly owner and Bar staff. Nice comfortable front room, medium sized and comfortable bar, with a smaller elevated room with tables in the rear. They will be adding an adjoining Belgian room and opening a rear garden sometime hopefully soon. Well worth a visit and will only be getting better.
05-07-2005 12:58:41 | More by Billolick
4.3/5 rDev +5.4%
The Hop Devil Grill bright and light compared to all the old dark beer bars of the East Village with a storefront that opens to the sidewalk, light-colored wood interior, and about 20 taps mounted on shiny diamond-plate steel. Only open about a month, the impressive list of taps, along with dozens of bottles, are listed on a chalkboard overhead. It's kill-the-keg night where Ithaca Smoked Porter can be had for $3 a pint. I can't resist, and order one.
The friendly bartender offers a taste of any beer you're interested in trying... just a sip or two in a shotglass... a nice touch before taking a chance on a whole pint of something new. They have a couple of great barleywines, but after taking a taste, I realize that a high-alcohol beer (10% or more) isn't the best choice for the end of a pub-crawl. He continues to rave about Stone Arrogant Bastard, so I go ahead and order one, and am certainly not disappointed. When my pint is nearly empty, he takes the glass and refills it saying it's on the house. Can't complain about a free beer!
All in all, a great new beer destination in a neighborhood that already has a few to begin with. Where it lacks in history & dust, it more than makes up for with great selection & great service. I'll certainly be back, and maybe try the food next time.
05-04-2005 20:14:52 | More by apintofknowledge
Hop Devil Grill in New York, NY
91 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.