“It’s very different from the culture surrounding the wine world or the spirits world,” says Bill Guth, standing in a construction zone morphing into HOPS Culture (hopsculture.com), the 150-seat, distressed wood and concrete, indoor-outdoor beer bar he’s opening on the Hyman Mall in May. “We just experienced the Colorado Collaboration Festival in Denver, where all different breweries—competitors with one another—are paired up, and they brew beer together and share secrets to make something totally unique. It’s cobranded, marketed, and sold. I’ve never heard of that in any industry. Working together, that’s what we’re all about.”
Guth’s mission is to create a similar culture among downtown drinkers by introducing them to myriad styles of craft suds: 170 bottles and cans and thirty on tap, rotating frequently and often featuring experimental or labor-of-love brews. (Riffs on Moscow Mules, eight types of hard cider, and fifteen prudently priced wines by the glass are pouring, too.) Executive chef Sarah Helsley’s menu of comfort plates includes Emma Farms sausage soft pretzel bites, six spins on mac and cheese, and big crunchy salads. Peach, strawberry, and cherry lambic or a chocolate stout work just fine for dessert.
Avid explorers of the alehouse’s encyclopedic roster of libations earn access to special tappings and loyalty discounts. For a $400 membership fee, HOPS’s 414 Club awards milestone prizes and a draft beer of its cardholder’s choosing every day for a year. Just don’t ask for Coors.