Top Hops Beer Shop

Top Hops Beer ShopTop Hops Beer Shop
Top Hops Beer ShopTop Hops Beer Shop
Bar, Beer-to-go

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

(212) 254-4677 | map
tophops.com

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.4
Reviews:
33
Ratings:
123
pDev:
7.05%
View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 123 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by amano_h:
Photo of amano_h
4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 4,144 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of MaximumYuks
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of OompaMentor
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Location is off the beaten path but the selection both on tap and in cold case is exceptional. Limited table seating, and bar is capable of seating 20-25 people. Sit a spell and then make a purchase to go ---

 210 characters

Photo of CreightonSM
3.56/5  rDev -19.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Photo of Brianh427
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of jaydoc
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of rharper
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

On a quiet Tuesday night a couple of beer friends visited. There was a great selection on draught with plenty of options and an extensive list of bottles and cans. One friend from the east cost spoke with the bartender to find a number of really excellent IPAs. While we were discussing things the bar tender mentioned they had just gotten some Focal Banger in; fantastic luck and made for a truly enjoyable setting and evening. Definitely going back whenever I'm in NYC.

 476 characters

Photo of mig100
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Tabbie
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of Nrod
4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Dharmelink
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of flexabull
4.07/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Nice little growler/bottle shop in the LES.

Small, dark, but cozy. A few tables, small bar, and coolers full of bottles in the back.

Quality of taps is good. I thought the selection leaned more towards the larger craft breweries, than the smaller ones though. Close to 20 taps, bottle selection was pretty good. The space is small so they can't fit a lot, but the choices were mostly good ones.

Service was quite good. The gentleman running the place (owner?) was friendly, prompt, and helpful. My wife had questions about some of the ciders, and he was eager to help.

All in all, a worthy spot for a beer or some bottles to go.

 634 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Just in time for their 5th anniversary today, my review of Top Hops!

I stopped in at Top Hops while waiting for a table up the street at Russ & Daughters. I almost passed right by it as I wasn't expecting a shiny all glass front; and when I stepped inside I found it equally polished. There are some accents to the decor that give it a more natural, comfortable feel though, like the chalkboard "back bar" and wooden shelving where items for sale are displayed (books, glassware, large bottles, etc).

I wish I'd had time for more than 1 beer because there were at least 6 out of their 20 taps that I'd never tried, and a quick review of their current offerings before writing this reveals that to still be the case. As if that weren't enough, there's a full aisle of coolers in the back chock full of cans and bottles that you can purchase to go or to drink there.

They do about 4 events a month, sometimes more, sometimes less, with special kegs, "meet the brewer", and so forth. Beyond those, there's a fairly solid crowd of regulars so it's never empty except for the times you'd expect it to be -Monday at about 1:30 for example... every bar's dead.

If you're in the area you'd be an idiot not to stop by, and I'd say it's almost a no-brainer as a destination as well. now where's my "thumbs up" emoji?

 1,310 characters

Photo of 322wingedfoot
4.07/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of Waggman
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of plaid75
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of dbthom123
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of captainkrad
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of HeartofMiami
4.61/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Urk1127
4.23/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

 434 characters

Photo of JamFuel
4.54/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of cptbenjamin
4.64/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

 155 characters

Photo of Beervana
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of sanha926
4.57/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Perhaps the best selection of bottles in Manhattan (taps not as impressive). Good service, nice vibe. A pleasant surprise on the LES.

133 characters

Top Hops Beer Shop in New York, NY
Place rating: 4.4 out of 5 with 123 ratings