Top Hops Beer Shop

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class

29 Reviews
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
95
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
105
Avg:
4.38
pDev:
3.65%
 
 
Taps:
18
Bottles/Cans:
166
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
Top Hops Beer ShopTop Hops Beer Shop
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Store

94 Orchard St
New York, New York, 10002-3173
United States

(212) 254-4677 | map
tophops.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by DoubleSimcoe on 02-05-2012

View: Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 105
Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.75/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I used to drop in here regularly to shop but I eventually realized it gets picked over quickly by the truck chasers so you're not going to find much of note if you're on the hunt. They do have a great selection of classic beers and so-called shelf turds, so give a glance if you're here.

The tap selection generally underwhelms me as it's either heavy on year-round beers one could find anywhere or far to heavy on AB InBev options.

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Photo of cptbenjamin
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

What a great bar/bottle shop with an awesome selection of brews! The bartenders were busy but saw that we were thirsty! The vibes in this place were great.

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Photo of NizzleEGizzle
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A nice industrial aesthetic, although it leaves the atmosphere feeling a little frigid. And it usually is cold and drafty in there. The staff is a little attitudinal, but knowledgeable as well. Great brews on tap, and an extensive bottle selection in the back. Stop by if you're in the hood.

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Photo of d3davies
5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is a gem!! Having gone out t attend a wedding in Fishkill, my wife and I decided to hang out in Manhattan for a few days before heading Upstate on Saturday. Thursday we went to Stout to meet up with her friend, and were surprised by the information given to us by our server. Now being from the west coast, I was looking for founders, bells, evil twin, mikkeller, 3 floyds, etc. I had already researched Torst, over in Brooklyn. Still on my 'To Do' list, just not fulfilled on this trip. We had our server recommend a few other brew pubs that were closer, it was raining the whole time, the UN General Assembly had the city all kinds of tied up with detours, closures, and just chaos. So the ones that were recommended were Rattle 'N' Hum, Proletariat, The Gingerman, 1 Mile House, and TopsHops. Boy, after reading and reading reviews on Yelp, I made my mind up. TopsHops it was. The main reason we decided to go here is that it sells bottles. You can open em there and share with newly made acquaintances, save em to take back on the plane, or to just drink while you are there in a hotel room. We chose to entertain the ability of all 3! Brilliant. It was also a fortunate decision because Goose Island just had a tap take over the night before. Bourbon County here I come! 2013 BBA, 2014 BBA 2014 Barleywine, and it went on and on. The younger guy that worked there was super knowledgeable and so was the owner. Met a couple of great people that I would love to drink with again. If you are in NYC head directly to the East Village and make this a MUST STOP!!!! You will not be disappointed!!!! We ended up purchasing 10 bottles, and taking 5 of them back to Los Angeles.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I've been to Top Hops twice now, both times I was extremely impressed with their selection. A bar/bottle shop that has a very solid tap rotation, and you can drink any bottle from the fridges for a $2 on premise "corking" fee. The place also has a good vibe and crowd. Despite the staff being very friendly and helpful, the only flaw is that both times I visited, only two guys were working the bar/mini kitchen in which they serve small plates. It took a really long time to get my order in, and I was sitting at the bar. If they hired another guy to bar-tend during peak hours, it would help a lot. Aside from that, I love this place and will continue to go as often as I can.

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Photo of Kappakoosh
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Huge selection and great staff. I would suggest going, not only to grab a beer...but you can walk out with a bag of beer like BCBS, Speedway Stout and others.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

I love this place! It is quite possibly my favorite beer place in NYC and one of the places that really opened up my eyes to the quality that is craft beer. Their selections on tap are varied and outstanding. They are generous in the amount of tastes they give you. The barman and the owner, when he is around, are friendly and extremely knowledgable. They are great at describing the beer they are serving and know exactly what type of glass to serve it in. There is an option to get a four flight sampler. Another added bonus is that this place in addition to being a bar, also acts as a distributor in which you can purchase bottled beers from a wide selection of domestic and imported beers. You can take your bottles to go or enjoy them at the bar for a surcharge. The only thing that caused me to rate it below a 5 is that the service from the bartender is at times too inattentive in that you sometimes have to chase him down to take your order.

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Photo of BetterBaconBureau
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Been here a few times......friendly bartenders with great knowledge of inventory, taste and style. We sat here for a few hours enjoying a few large bottles from the Bruery and all the Crooked Staves they had in their stock. Great tap system, especially for the city.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Cool little shop. Prices on beer seem resonable. Great tap list and knowledgable/passionate bar tender. Too bad he was also the casher and cook. He was so busy there was no time to chat about the beers. At least the cool people at the bar chatted about local and intersting beer.

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Photo of amano_h
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

So I would like to review Top Hops by sharing a recent experience I had there.

On Friday I celebrated the World Cup by drinking Stone's latest iteration of their Enjoy By IPA. The beer prides itself and is celebrated for its ridiculous hops bill (I believe this iteration had 12+ hops) and of course, for a hophead like myself, is very much heaven in a bottle.

I was naturally very excited when I walked into Top Hops on Saturday afternoon, after lunch and before the afternoon matches were scheduled to start, when I saw Enjoy By on the wall as one of the draft offerings. Despite just having had it out of the bottle the night before, I decided I'd get it on draft anyway since it's a solid brew I wouldn't mind having at any time of the day. To my disappointment, when the beer manager poured me my snifter full of what is supposed to be a hop canonball infusion directly into my mouth, the aroma that had intoxicated me the day before was lacking for the brew, and the malt had completely taken over the hop bill.

At first I decided to give the store the benefit of the doubt and gave the drink another sip, but it seemed like I was teetering with Einstein's definition of madness, as what was supposed to be juicy and bitter just tasted... sweet. I immediately started questioning everything about myself -- maybe my taste buds were finally shot from eating all the spicy food and drinking nothing but IPAs over the summer months, until I realized I'd had nothing spicy or sweet or bitter for lunch, or even dinner the day before.

For about three long minutes I found myself drowning in an awkward mix of despair and confusion, at which point I decided to voice it in hopes that someone might commiserate or maybe even share in my delusion. I then asked the server to pour himself a small glass and tell me if he thought the beer was off as well -- to which he told me that it tasted just like how he thought previous iterations did and seeing as how the keg lines were cleaned just two days ago, he had no reason to doubt that something was wrong with the beer.

This threw me into a maelstrom of confusion, at which point I decided to momentarily give up and order myself a glass of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum (another hop bomb) just to make sure my taste buds weren't shot. When the server poured me my glass, to my delight I could immediately smell the hops leaving the glass and the bitterness this time coated my tongue the way a proper whole-cone IPA is supposed to. That's when I decided that there could be only one way to settle this debate, and that was to do a side by side comparison for Enjoy By between the bottle (which they were carrying that day) and draft -- the one thing the server and I did agree on is that whereas there is discrepancies between serving from the bottle and draft/cask, it shouldn't be as dramatic as the difference I was perceiving.

So I talked the server/beer manager into letting me do a blind test between the bottle serving and the draft serving which he didn't seem to mind doing at all and even told me that if the difference between the bottle serving and the draft serving were really as magnanimous as I thought (for which I would first have to correctly identify which one came from the bottle and which from tap) my drinks would be on the house.

It turned out their Enjoy By tap was nearing its end and we were getting the dregs of the brew, hence the absence of the hoppy aroma and flavor -- in the end the beer manager kept his word and I got my Enjoy Bys on the house.

The point of this story being: the servers/beer managers that work here are certified cicerones. They take beer very seriously and love talking and even educating others about beer. Their frequently rotating tap selection always has at least one very hard to find beer available and their bottle selections are among the best I've seen in the city.

If you actually enjoy beer and think of it as more than a social drink, Top Hops is right up your alley. If you prefer the usual Bud/Miller/Coors and beer that tastes like anything other than water intimidates you, then I guess there's just more for me to enjoy.

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Photo of Dave2234
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Went to Top Hops our first day on an NYC vacation, and ended up going there total of three time (Including one 2.5 hour session doing crossword puzzles while my wife went to the nearby Tenement Museum). I really, really liked this place.

They have around 16 beers on tap at any given time, and they rotate frequently. Almost all good stuff, including imperial IPAs and imperial porters/stouts; and anything can be put on a flight without an upcharge. I don't know the NYC craft scene well, but i saw many beers at Top Hops that I didn't see anywhere else.

I had different staff each time, and all were congenial and knowledgeable. I was particularly impressed at how they interacted with walk-in traffic that might not be craft-drinkers, and working to figure out what they might want to try, often based on vague clues in response to the what-do-you-like question. Two examples I heard were "Um, wheat I guess" or "I don't know, but I don't like stouts or IPAs". They were able to talk through the beers and put together a flight that might appeal to the individual; and were never the slightest bit condescending regardless of the customer's level of knowledge. It's good to have craft ambassadors like that.

Background music was interesting but not loud or intrusive. Think I recall some Led Zeppelin, and some Beatles. The overall selection and volume made a nice background without being distracting.

Seating is limited, about 16 total seats. The time I was there on a Friday it was basically full by 4:30 or so. But afternoons on weekdays there was anywhere from 0 to 4-5 other folks there, mostly other non-regulars (Including one very nice English couple).

Food is quite limited, so I gave it a "none". They do have free pretzels; and cheese, meats, and olives for sale. Olives were the best bargain at $5, and went surprisingly well with the beer. Cheese plate starts at $15 for three cheeses (and baguette slices).

Didn't have a fridge at the hotel, so I didn't buy any bottles, but I did look them over and salivate. There was an extensive selection of local, US craft, and foreign.

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Photo of baakabak
4/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Great little place. Small simple bar to seat 10 or so with a few tables and chairs set up among their excellent bottle selection.

Staff is knowledgable,friendly and quick with samples and suggestions. Clientele is a mix of people young an old of varying classes and creeds. Nice.

The draft list changes often as does their take out/bottle selection and the prices of which are on par with other beer bars in the city.

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Photo of millerbuffoon
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

I stopped here on a Saturday in March right when they opened at noon. Grabbed a flight, which subsequently led to a pint afterwards.
Kevin, the bartender was awesome, personable, very knowledgeable about beer, other cool beer bars in the city, history, and vocabulary (he used the word avuncular, I just looked it up!).
My trip coincided with the end of NY Beer Week, so I had some leftover drafts, Hopslam, 2 Kuhnhenn beers, locals from Barrier, Green Port, and Great South Bay, Founders Smoked Porter.
The place is decorated really cool, tall shelves with stuff for sale on the lower half, empty cool bottles on the higher shelves that were either shared at the bar, or donated by locals. A bar with 15 to 20 seats, 15-20 taps, then coolers line both walls towards the back of the store, with beer to go, or to crack on premises, for a small corking fee.
They have a TV, but it wasn't on. Cool sound system, Led Zeppelin was the listening choice for my visit.
No kitchen, but cheese plates and various snacks available, hot pretzels, olives.
Odd I mention the bathroom, but it was clean, and a lot of cool beer-related posters adorn the walls.
Overall, this place was great. We all dream about opening a beer bar someday, and this place is a good benchmark for what I'd want to do if I was ever able to. I'd make it a point to stop by if you are in the area.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Stopped in while on a mini beer tour of NYC while on town in business.

Really liked the fact that you could do flights of draft beer. Also had a great selection of bottles. Of all the beer places I visited, Top Hops had the best selection of NY-area craft beers. I found myself drinking west coast beers at most of the other places. First time in all of my craft beer travels I saw "tap line cleaned" as part of the draft board info.

The only downside is they had Bud (and I think Stella) on tap because the owner worked for that distributor. To me, Bud does not belong in a craft beer bar not because of the worthless nature of pre-prohibition industrial domestic lager, but because they suppress the true craft industry and confuse consumers with pseudo craft (think the shockingly bad shocktop line). Off soapbox.

Certainly a place I would recommend and return to even with the mentioned shortcoming.

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Photo of unclejazz
4.14/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3

Top Hops really gives new Beverage Distributors and Whole Foods Bowery a run for their money. They have a great year round selection and get limited releases on a regular basis. The Owner Ted is a great proponent of good beer and hosts fantastic bottle shares. The tap list is solid, but seems to have a slow turnover, so many beers stick around for a few weeks. They date when lines were last cleaned and when beer get tapped, which I feel is a great service. This place make no effort to hide its affinity for the beer geek. I really like this spot.

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Photo of panchoreed
3.9/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Wonderful stop while out touring the neighborhood. Amazing selection of beers. Great atmosphere to sit and hang out, people watch, and get ready to go back out and hit the lower east side. I wanted to take a growler back to the hotel in Midtown but knew it wouldn't make it back full.

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Photo of drewone
3.99/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

One of my favorite bottle shops i visited. Cool overall vibe and atmosphere, all beers in refrigerated cases, long bar with quite a few beers for pints, growler fills or tasters (My biggest gripe was that you had to get 4, and there was only one beer I really wanted to try and I didn't want to drink a lot as I was flying out that day and still had to pack).

All around solid selection, most of the stores carried a very similar selection, but there was a couple things that i didn't see anywhere else.

Will make a point to visit earlier in the trip next time.

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Photo of claspada
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.75

Decent size spot for NYC with a 8-10 stool bar setup and wrap around coolers in the back.

For the area, they pretty much get everything available, limited releases, standard stuff, everything you could want, but you have to be quick, because this is Manhattan.

The guys/owner that work there are amazing, couldn't be more helpful and fun to hang out. I attended an organized bottle share there a year ago and it was one of the best "beer" events I have ever been to.

I ate a pretzel that was there that was sub-par for the price,but that's what I get for ordering a pretzel at a bar, so just eat before you go, or afterwards.

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Photo of Lare453
3.91/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.75

A really cool inside, reminds me of a modern bomb shelter

Q everything was fresh, nicely rotated.

S the bartender was awesome! The shelf stocker and the owner were a little rude...

S fair, kinda small... Nothing special

V a little pricey... But normal for the city

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Photo of ficklenicholas
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3

Visited this place today. Cool storefront and vibe. Very helpful and knowledgeable staff. Got a flight because they had some stuff I wanted to try. Nice selection of beers from all over the country and abroad. Highly recommend if visiting the city. I picked up a couple of bottles I cant get back in Los Angeles.

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Photo of BKBassist
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Overall, my favorite beer bar in NYC. I love how the feel is not so bar like that you feel odd coming in just to shop the bottles (weekends/evenings can be a bit crowded, but outside of special events it's still reasonable), but it's not so bottle shop like that you feel odd sitting at the bar and having a few pints.

Service has always been excellent. The owner Ted is a wealth of knowledge about the industry (he was a former AB employee for many years). I've had excellent experiences with all bartenders, but Eric and Scott stand out. Eric really helped me break into some styles I wasn't as familiar with, especially sours and the more obscure Belgian offerings. They do a good job handling the double duties of bartender/cashier for the bottle shop and always have a welcoming, fun attitude, without being snobbish when answering questions.

Food is not the main attraction here, but the free hard pretzels are great, and the small snacks have been good, if nothing remarkable.

Pricing is in line with NYC pricing for the most part. $6.50 a pour is very reasonable, they simply offer a smaller pour of the pricier beers. Bottle prices are some of the better ones for rare releases, and rarely get silly.

Bottle selection is always quite excellent. Tap selection is slightly less so, I keep an eye on their FB page for updates. Sometimes the tap list will be average. But overall that is a very slight issue in what overall is my favorite beer bar in NYC.

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Photo of cw577enfield
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Made my first visit in NYC last April (2013) with my wife. I was impressed with the interior design of that place and it gave that warm feeling for anyone who wants to shoot the breeze about craft beers. Nice tap listing but didn't see anything special. Solid beer selection in coolers and saw Alesmith Speedway Stout and Black OPS. However, they were $22 and above each. Bit too pricey but hey, it's New York City, right? Would definitely stop by this place again in the future.

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Photo of slander
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

To could grab a few shortys before dinner with Witz, et al. Lower East Side, I so never play down here, and as such, struggled ever so slightly with the parking and where to, finally finding muni meter feed in that lot where that pickle event ran that time and probably other times since. Walking now which way where. Oh, Orchard is that way; recoil & return...

Storefront in a bit of a strip just south of Delancey. Glass front wall, concrete floors, & black slat ceilings with single filament bulbs alternating across. Logo piece walled on brick just inside the door, and wood post alt high shelving past there, running down to the end of the bar behind me on walls of pale blue, and adjacent to the bar up front. Bottles & books for the buy and display; yeah, Black Butte, no (sad face), Hill Farmstead, Westy 12, a Tired Hands growler (if only they knew), Pliny, New Glarus, Lawsons, Heady Topper; I suspect some of the display play stuff is from the bottle share events. And shirts, gift boxes, beer making kits, magnums, & all sorts of all sorts of glassware.

Off to the left, a double crescent shaped swirly brushed stainless steel panel topped bar with a wood trim & slat vertical base; seating for 15 on stools of the similar but not quite so. The barback holds a set of horizontal black boards spruce lined, one over the other, listing beer, brewery, origin, style, tapped date (like!), ABV, IBU, 32 & 64 oz growler pricing, and ‘draft line cleaned date’ (very much so like!) Eats listed on the end (cheese plate, evil olive bowls, mixed cheese & meat, soft pretzel, a bit of chocolate, and my old friend, jerky). Flight pricing (4 for $8.75) listed below the foodings.

Down past the bar, a small secret kitchen space behind beaded curtainness, and then a futuristic curved tunnel ceiling with cooler play to both sides; their sills lined above with house growlers. The cooler wares are sorted by country (It is a beer store first & foremost, after all). 3 high roundtop tables in the center of the room, and more display play on the wall to the rear.

4 towers of 5 along the bar, 17 beers currently up. Roughly 2/3 of it is American craft; the local (Rockaway Pale Ale, Blue Point Mother Pumpkin, Greenport Harbor Anti-Freeze), the regional (Stillwater Folklore, Victory Yakima Glory), the from beyond (Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale, Founders Breakfast Stout, Goose Island Matilda & Christmas Ale, Lagunitas Sucks Brown Sugar Substitute Ale, Rogue Double Dead Guy Ale, Bruery Mischief). The remainder a mix of imports (Het Anker Dentergems Wit, Kulmbacher Eisbock, Stella), the macro (Budweiser), and the mead (Rogue Farms 19 Original Colonies Mead). I drank Lagunitas Sucks Brown Sugar Substitute Ale, Goose Island Matilda, & Founders Breakfast Stout.

We may have returned for another or two post dinner. ‘We’, being me, and a different cast of characters as Ben bagged, but Denis & Moono were up for mischief. Beer was served in cool Goose Island glassware we wanted to guilt steal but didn’t. The guy, we will call him ‘Ted’, seemed to know the coming & going of his Goose Island Cherry Rye & Cantillonables. Moono commented that he would have liked the Cascade Blueberry, so I asked on his behalf. Only one to be had; sadly, for he and not me. Solid store and the bar more. And they serve you hard pretzels of the awesome.

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Photo of 2dogbrew
4.16/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

In NYC for business, figured I would explore the beer scene. I went to Top Hops on a Tuesday evening. Really impressed by this place - more than a dozen quality draft beers and a huge selection of bottles you can drink on premise. Service was ok, prices for drafts are reasonable, some of the bottles were over priced.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.86/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Top Hops- yet another bottle shop-growler station-bar-food joint in NYC. No better or worse than any other bottle shop-growler station-bar-food joint in NYC...

Clean and spacious, with a bar and some tables upfront and coolers on the back with all the bottles to take home. The coolers are all dark to prevent damage, believe it or not. This has got to be the ultimate in beer nerdism. Selection is quite right, with some rarities including Rogue Voodoo, Kill Devil, Dark Horse (new in NY), Bourbon County ($6.99 per bottle), Estrella Galicia (fuck yeah), craft Italians and a ton of Belgians.

A good amount of taps at the cool, chill bar: Stone Ruination and IRS, Victory Feistbier, Goose Matilda, Midnight Sun Panty Peeler. Pricy growlers! ($28 for Stone RIS).

Service alright, good ambience... but whatever. I've seen this before. I like Good Beer better.

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Top Hops Beer Shop in New York, NY
95 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.