With 100 taps and ‘crack fries,’ HopCat does it all

Brew columnist, Adam Pennavaria, visits downtown HopCat. HopCat has 100 taps, some local. 

Watch out Wildcats, there’s a new feline in town. HopCat is taking Lexington by storm.

I went into the building, toted as Kentucky’s largest craft beer selection, with high expectations but they were far exceeded in every realm (100 craft taps and “crack fries”). When I left the brew haven, I was glowing with adoration for all things HopCat.

The servers were exceptionally friendly and helpful. I was shown straight to a clean table beside a window. The server quickly provided extensive beer menus and allowed adequate time for me to make a decision.

My first beer, the Country Western Vol. III (13%) from West Sixth Brewing and Country Boy Brewing, arrived very soon after I ordered it. I was smitten by the combination of the beer’s chestnut, pecan and cocoa nib tones.

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The walls of the brewpub are decorated with paintings of notable musicians, and an eclectic mix of classic and modern rock played over the speakers.

I ordered the loaded crack fries (fries with bacon, jalapeños, red onions and an delicious cheese sauce) and a Schlafly Tasmanian IPA (7.2%), both of which continued to wow me in more ways than I have words. The fries live up to their name, so much so that I was scraping my plate to get the last tidbits.

Schlafly can do no wrong in my eye. The Tasmanian IPA was light and floral with a notable pineapple hop flavor.

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To close out the session, I ordered the 2012 Barrel Aged Black Chocolate Stout (10%) from Brooklyn Brewery. A tour de force in the marriage of sweet and bitter, this beer really knocked me out of the park.

As if HopCat couldn’t be more ideal, it is also community-minded and participates actively in recycling and composting. Additionally, the business sources local food and products from other likeminded companies.

I’ll say it again — HopCat is a brew haven. With 100 rotating craft beer taps (20 devoted to local brews), enticing décor, a genuinely friendly and passionate staff, and a mischievous looking feline holding a pint for a logo, Heaven truly is a place on Earth.

Adam Pennavaria is the beer columnist of the Kentucky Kernel.

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