Wednesday, June 22, 2016

HopCat is coming to Louisville, and it's gonna be yuuuge.

HopCat (no spacing, alas) is a regional chain out of Michigan, one of those "bigger is better" ideas that proliferate in America, where "craft" beer long since has been claimed as a victim of Disneyesque Capitalism, though it cannot be denied that immediately upon planting a location in Broad Ripple (Indianapolis), HopCat started pouring (a) sponsorship money into the Brewers of Indiana Guild, and (b) lots of Indiana-brewed beers.

Duly noted. Duly appreciated. Here's how the Indy branch of HopCat describes itself on Twitter.

130 all-craft drafts, ciders, wines, cocktails + food your Mom would make if she loved beer. Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch.

The forthcoming HopCat location to Louisville has been mildly controversial owing to the familiar spatial and parking issues on Bardstown Road.

Massive Highlands beer bar now has an opening date, by David A. Mann (Louisville Business First)

HopCat – Louisville will open July 30. The big bar, boasting about 11,000 square feet, has been under construction on Bardstown Road in the Highlands, at the former Spindeltop Draperies Inc. property, since last year.

The first 200 people in its doors that day will get a card good for a free order of its "crack fries" every week for a year.

I don't think "crack" is particularly funny as it pertains to fries, or for that matter to much of anything else (remember "crack babies," anyone?) but to each his own. I suppose if a brewery called Special Ed can talk about "'tard tested, 'tard approved," then crack fries is a relatively mild linguistic offense.

Meanwhile, it's bigger and bigger and better and better. One gets the impression that if "cat houses" were legal, the marketing tie-in would be only nanoseconds away.

(The Highlands HopCat) will feature 132 varieties of craft beers on tap, a full menu, three event spaces (including two with private bars) and a rooftop deck with outdoor seating. It will also have more than 200 whiskey selections, including many many Kentucky bourbons, and a small-batch in-house brewery featuring its own creations and collaborations.

Louisville's HopCat will be the chain's ninth, with a tenth outpost to follow in Lexington, late 2016 with the Lexington outpost having opened in the fall of 2015. As Mark Twain once presciently noted, there are lies, damned lies, and press releases.

“We’ve worked hard to make HopCat – Louisville unlike any other,” Mark Sellers, founder and CEO of BarFly Ventures, said in the release. “I believe we’ve created a location that will serve as a hub for Kentucky craft beers and a magnet for local beer lovers as well as those visiting Louisville from around the world.”

The usual dreary boilerplate code language, concocted to gladden the hearts of fetishists who read business news for their jollies.

But HopCat still isn't AB-InBev, so I'd heartily recommend the Kentucky Guild of Brewers prepare an invoice and get out in front of the chain's arrival in Kentucky.

Finally, am I being cynical? Yes, but only when absolutely necessary.


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