Beer, Beer, & Better Beer | HopCat

Beer, Beer, & Better Beer

Legendary Bell's Hopslam kicks off 2020 for Michigan craft beer lovers
HopCat Beer Blog | January 6, 2020

Bell's HopslamNew Year’s resolutions for Michigan craft beer lovers: 1) Drink Bell’s Hopslam, 2) See #1.

The year’s first major Michigan beer release is already here, and it’s a doozy. Hop-heads already know what to expect, but for the uninitiated, the Hopslam from Bell’s Brewery is an accurately named double IPA, noted for a profile that contains six different hops, forming a complex balance of pungent, fruity and floral flavors.

Notably, the brew is dry-hopped with a hefty addition of Simcoe hops, a variety from the Pacific Northwest popular for its bitterness and complexity. To offset the powerful flavor combination, Bell’s adds ample malt and a touch of Michigan honey.

Despite what its name might imply, you’re not going to want to slam this one. (If you’re not careful, it might actually slam YOU.) The brew clocks in at a hefty 10% ABV, yet remains a uniquely drinkable example of the double IPA style. It’s one to be savored as slowly lengthening days signal the promise of a new year.

Hopslam is available as of Monday, Jan. 6th at all Michigan HopCat locations, and will be rolling out soon throughout our locations in other states. Join us as soon as you can, because this one rarely stays on draft for long

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Why Oktoberfest starts in September, and other very important facts
BarFly Ventures | September 10, 2019

Das Gud BurgerHere at HopCat, we’re gearing up for Hoptoberfest, which is our version of the traditional Oktoberfest celebration that happens in late September through early October in Germany. Unless you’re on a plane to Munich right now, you should consider joining us as we raise a Hofbrauhaus stein on Saturday, Sept. 21, to the world’s best-known and biggest beer festival, which we'll celebrate through the end of October.

We'll be offering our limited-time-only Das Gud Burger, which features German Smash Burger patties, ham, arugula, stout onions, gound mustard, lettuce and pickle. Each of our locations will be pouring a variety of seasonal beers from Dogfish Head, Sam Adams, New Holland, Warsteiner and other favorites.

Knowledge makes every experience better. Wherever you’re planning to spend Oktoberfest, fortify your brain with some of  these Very Important Facts:

Yes, Oktoberfest starts in September.

Right, but why? Because it’s better drinking weather, basically. The festival began in 1810 and originally lasted from Oct. 12-17. As it became a fixture of Bavarian culture over the years, it expanded in length by starting earlier and earlier, so the revelers were able to continue enjoying themselves on September nights. The official version now lasts from Sept. 21-Oct. 6.

It started as a dry wedding.

Wait, what? Lame, but true. The festival originated in at the celebration of  Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The public was allowed to watch a celebratory horse race, which is exciting, but they were not served any beer, which is less exciting. The dry festival continued for a few years until 1819 when the horse races were finally replaced by beer suppliers.

Now that there’s beer, people drink a lot of it.

The quantity of beer consumed during a typical Oktoberfest is about 7.7 million liters – more than 2 million gallons.

Americans and Germans drink different beers at Oktoberfest.

There are two types of beer people associate with Oktoberfest: the Marzen and the festbier. The copper-colored Marzen lager was the official beer of Oktoberfest from the 1870s until 1990, when it was replaced by the lighter, golden festbier. The six Munich breweries that are official producers of Oktoberfestbiers continue to brew the original Marzen, but mostly export it to the United States, so depending on your preferences, we may have gotten the good end of the deal. (Note: Most HopCats will be serving both versions at our Hoptoberfest celebrations.)

The Guinness record book has a field day.

Oktoberfest, as you might imagine, is home to some pretty phenomenal world records. There’s the most beer steins carried at once (29). And the world’s largest lederhosen (18x15-ft.) And obviously the world’s largest pretzel (1,728 lbs.)

Paris Hilton is not welcome at Oktoberfest.

The heiress and reality TV star was banned from Oktoberfest in 2007 when she showed up in Munich wearing a dirndl to promote her new brand of canned wine. She hadn’t cleared the appearance with organizers, who banished her permanently. Harsh, but fair.

She might not be welcome at Oktoberfest, but you definitely are. Find your nearest HopCat’s Facebook for more info on Hoptoberfest. Prost!

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Light beer drinkers are welcome at HopCat, too
Joe Sonheim, BarFly Ventures Director of Marketing | July 15, 2019
Light Beer

Beer MeThe next time you stop into HopCat, you may notice that we’ve expanded our beer selection to include a few light beers. The reason we have introduced these brews (about 3% of our total beer list) is because of consumer demand. More than drinking the beers that we love, we want to make sure any guest coming in our doors can find the beer that THEY love.

We don’t expect everyone to love craft beers at first taste. When I first started drinking beer I believed PBR was the “proof God loves us and wants us to be happy” and Founders Porters tasted like week old licorice (I’ve grown, Founders. I love you!!) However, the more I spent time in Michigan breweries like Vivant, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, White Flame, Green Bush, and many more, I quickly converted to the creative craft community.

We believe there are many people out there like early 20s Joe that pledge allegiance to Miller Lite simply because they’ve never tried Huma Lupa Licious. That’s why you’ll NEVER have one of our amazing HopCat team members judge anyone for their beer purchase but, if you’re interested, they would be happy to make a great recommendation based off your personal taste. Big fan of Bud? You might enjoy Waypost Brewing Co’s “Table Beer” Blonde. Parched for PBR? Try a sample of Perrin’s “Gold.”

If you’d like to chat more about craft beer, hit me up at Or, better yet, we can grab a pint. If it’s a short conversation, I’ll have an Apex Predator Saison. If we’re hanging out for a while, I’ll have a couple of PBRs.

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