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Top Hops Beer Shop

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

77 Ratings
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 4.39
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 @ontaptoday

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: DoubleSimcoe on 02-05-2012)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SourAddict
5/5  rDev +13.9%

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5/5  rDev +13.9%

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5/5  rDev +13.9%

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5/5  rDev +13.9%

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5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of cck5
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Srkolodn
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Gajo74
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

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.

Photo of The_Craft_Deviant_Rob
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

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4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of BetterBaconBureau
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

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.

Photo of Roze
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of amano_h
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
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 brystmar
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Been here a few times, and I will continue to return whenever possible. Ted and his staff have earned my repeated business by offering an assortment of good beers at reasonable prices. Plus, everything is properly stored in coolers so there's no concern about spoilage. Draft lines are cleaned regularly. They even display when each line was last cleaned on the front chalkboard; all bars should be required to do this.

Come in for a pint from one of their 20 draft lines, take some home in a growler, or buy a bottle from the coolers in the back and enjoy it on the premises (might be a $2 corking fee for bigger bottles, not sure. Still reasonable IMO). Food selection is minimal with hard pretzels, mustard, and charcuterie. Not really my cup of tea, but great for those who like that stuff.

Ted cheerfully supports the local BA community, thus I am happy to support them.

Photo of Yetiman420
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Loving the new trend of these coffee shop type bottle shops where you can consume on premises. Plenty of taps to enjoy pints and a pretty excellent bottle selection that you can buy to go or to consume on premises. TONS of cooler space to keep everything fresh.

Most impressively is the vibe. This spot has hosted a few BA tasting events and there is always a crowd, but a chill crowd. Was lucky enough to find a few bottles of Ruination 10th there the other night too!!! Will definitely be back as often as I'm in the city.

Photo of BKBassist
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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.

Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of LPSteve
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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Top Hops Beer Shop in New York, NY
97 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.