Thoughts on HopCat opening in Madison?

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by Ri0, Dec 10, 2014.

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  1. sarcastro

    sarcastro Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2006 Michigan

    First free slurpees, and now hopcat opening. It is going to be quite the day in Madison.
     
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  2. stevegoz

    stevegoz Aspirant (298) May 5, 2008 Illinois
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    Dammit, they need to open a Chicago-area location.
     
  3. bwelch21

    bwelch21 Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2014 Wisconsin

    I was just at the Broad Ripple location when I went down for the Final 4. Really good food and a great beer selection. Looking forward to it.
     
  4. mayorQuimby

    mayorQuimby Devotee (451) Jun 5, 2009 Tennessee
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    I just moved back to Indy and have been disappointed with Hopcat Broad Ripple personally (2 visits). I caught KBS day for a handful of years through 2011, and always visited the original Hopcat as part of the pilgramage, and thought it was fantastic. Either Hopcat was never as good as I thought it was, or the Broad Ripple location is just not as good as the original. The taplist is huge but is full of mediocre locals and additionally littered with hugely over priced offerings.

    The last time I went, FFF's Arctic Panzer Wolf was $12 for a 10oz. snifter! Outrageous... The bombers don't cost that much. The overall feel of the place is also kind of corporate, and if you are unlucky which I've been both times, you get seated at an indoor park bench, which is fine unless you have back problems, which I do. Maybe I just got spoiled living in the beer havens that are DC and norCal the last few years, but I think your favorite local places in Madison will be just fine because in Indy I have to imagine the hardcore beer geeks will give Hopcat a shot and then continue to patronize their previous favorite places instead.
     
  5. Broom

    Broom Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2011 Wisconsin

    DC is a beer haven?
     
  6. mayorQuimby

    mayorQuimby Devotee (451) Jun 5, 2009 Tennessee
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    I'd recommend a visit to DC if you haven't been recently. It's a great place to visit unto itself and from a beer and food standpoint, it holds strong against NY, SF, etc., easily.

    There are no distro laws in DC. They can and do get almost everything. You have to pay for it though.
     
  7. bwelch21

    bwelch21 Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2014 Wisconsin

    If you're looking for super limited releases or special tappings, HopCat probably isn't for you. If you want a place with a good variety of beers and decent food, it'll work. It's a huge step above a place like BWW.
     
  8. Jerktookmyname

    Jerktookmyname Initiate (0) May 31, 2007 Wisconsin

    They just posted their opening day taplist. Pretty mundane except for CBS.
     
  9. Kbyfield

    Kbyfield Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2009 Wisconsin

    1 of those and a KBS to follow will make for a nice visit, assuming you can even get in the place.
     
  10. chazmcbro

    chazmcbro Initiate (0) Sep 7, 2010 Wisconsin

    There are some gems in there that don't see too many draft lines in Madison, but are sure to be buried under the massive draft list/whale chasing.
     
  11. Dachs

    Dachs Initiate (0) Oct 17, 2014 Ohio

    QSL didnt make it? Darn. Thanks, Walker. Another brewery opening in Madison isnt a bad thing, good luck trying to compete with Capital, New Glarus and Lake Louie though.
     
  12. Kbyfield

    Kbyfield Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2009 Wisconsin

    Brewery? Hopcat is a bar
     
  13. grantcty

    grantcty Initiate (125) Feb 17, 2008 Minnesota

    Some of their pricing and serving sizes seem a bit odd to me. Then again, I don't get back to Madison as much as I'd like, so maybe things have changed.

    Who's going to pay $5.00 for a 11.5 oz Black Bavarian or Capital Munich Dark?

    Edit: Add NG Two Women to that list.
     
    #53 grantcty, Jul 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
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  14. mayorQuimby

    mayorQuimby Devotee (451) Jun 5, 2009 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    Some pretty staggering prices in their list...this has kept me away from Indy Hopcat mostly. The $5 pours are all fine in my book but the $10-$12 pours are generally unwarranted. I think Hopcat expects you to pay for the privilege of hanging out at their establishment. Charging NYC/SF prices in the midwest sans Chicago just isn't reasonable.
     
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  15. Ri0

    Ri0 Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2012 Wisconsin

    We'll see if they stay in business at those prices and that location.
     
  16. a2rob

    a2rob Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 Michigan

    My experience with Hopcat is that they're not exactly experts. Their founder's favorite beer is Huma Lupa Licious FFS, which is an unbalanced mess of a beer that might not even crack the top 20 in pale ales brewed in Michigan.

    The sheer number of taps allows them to succeed, since there's going to be SOMEthing everyone will enjoy, but yeah, they're more tone-deaf than most places. This phase of their business model sort of reminds me of all those chain cupcake places that opened a ton of locations all at once and succeeded for a little while before the public lost interest.
     
  17. TheStoutHound

    TheStoutHound Devotee (470) Mar 3, 2012 Wisconsin
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    I'm going to check it out for the CBS and hoping that Brickhouse and Mr. Brews throw on some good stuff to lure me away. To the point; I'll give them a chance but Dexter's is always closer to home
     
  18. bwelch21

    bwelch21 Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2014 Wisconsin

    CBS no longer listed on the tap list on their website. Guessing it didn't make it through the weekend?
     
  19. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (5,941) Nov 16, 2012 Oregon
    Society Trader

    I would never expect it to make it more than a few hours before kicking.
     
  20. bwelch21

    bwelch21 Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2014 Wisconsin

    Yeah, figured as much. Just checked their Facebook page and saw 300+ people waited in line, and there were people there at 5am to get in line. Craziness. It was a fun bar when I went in Indy. Not THAT fun, though.
     
  21. TheStoutHound

    TheStoutHound Devotee (470) Mar 3, 2012 Wisconsin
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    CBS kicked around 2 pm Saturday. I enjoyed 3, 5 oz pours of it and was surprised it lasted as long as it did with 300 people there.

    The grand opening was a lot of fun and I was impressed with how well run the whole operation was. Thanks to all of the staff for being very attentive and friendly.
     
  22. Kbyfield

    Kbyfield Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2009 Wisconsin

    KBS was still on Saturday evening, around 8:00.

    Excellent service - Honestly was really impressed how good it was given that it was the opening night. Looking forward to going back once the surge dies down and spending some time enjoying the beer list.

    But I don't get the fascination with the fries.
     
  23. kkleu357

    kkleu357 Crusader (770) Apr 2, 2014 Wisconsin
    Trader

    My friend was worried he wouldn't get to try it since he was around #110 in line. It lasted as long as I thought it would. As I told him, most people waiting in line early wanted the free crack fries for a year. These same people are then not going to pay $1 an ounce for CBS. When I got in the door around 11:30, there were very few people drinking any small snifters of beer.

    And yes, the opening was really fun. Loved their choice of music too. And the staff was very friendly and very fast.
     
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