1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Top Hops Beer Shop

Not Rated.
Top Hops Beer ShopTop Hops Beer Shop
BA SCORE
97
world-class

83 Ratings
Ratings: 83
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: n/a
Taps: 18
Bottles: 166
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Store ]

94 Orchard St
New York, New York, 10002-3173
United States
phone: (212) 254-4677

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: DoubleSimcoe on 02-05-2012

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of amano_h
4.72/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of Roze
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of VaTechPhilly
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of rollom
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev -15%

Photo of Ant4711
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of dtomes
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of cck5
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of macesq
3.75/5  rDev -15%

Photo of The_Craft_Deviant_Rob
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of markgugs
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of banger7
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of timotao
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Bwagner1122
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Dave2234
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of baakabak
4/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of earljones199
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of jdelbalzo99
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of GRFounder
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of scoot64
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of LPSteve
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Top Hops Beer Shop in New York, NY
97 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.