HopCat in East Lansing - photo from LSJ
EAST LANSING (LANSING STATE JOURNAL) - HopCat's owners had plenty to smile about Thursday. Their beer pub opened to crowds, brews flowed and they believe they set a world record for the most beers on tap at one pub from a single brewer.
Hundreds of people were lined up outside HopCat, 300 Grove St., to be among the first to try the 100 beers on tap from Short's Brewing Co. when the pub opened at 11 a.m. The line formed much earlier, stretching at one point from the corner of Grove Street and Albert Avenue about two blocks to the East Lansing police station on Park Lane near Abbot Road.
Some customers camped out as early as Wednesday evening. And early Thursday evening there was still a line out the door, more than seven hours after opening.
Chris Atallah, a Michigan State University Law school student, hopped in line at 12:15 a.m. Thursday with a few friends and waited through the heavy rain and wind for the doors to open.
"One week until school starts. Why not go out with a bang?" Atallah said.
Michigan ranked 5th last year in the nation for most craft breweries, according to Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association that represents the craft brewing industry. And the numbers are growing. The Michigan Brewers Guild in Lansing said the number of Michigan craft beer breweries grew from 111 in 2011 to 136 in 2012. There now are more than 140 craft breweries in Michigan.
Evan Rudman, an MSU alum, got in line at 6 a.m. Thursday, looking forward to trying the tobacco flavored beer.
"It just sounds horrible," Rudman said with a laugh.
Paul Starr, owner of Imabeerhound.com, a website all about Michigan beer, doesn't see craft beer as a trend.
"I look at (craft beer) as a lifestyle," Starr said.
Starr said the reason for the growth of craft beer the past few years is because people are becoming more educated about beer and treating beer like good food.
"People are passionate about good beer," Starr said. "And people want stuff that is more locally sourced."
Garry Boyd, ringleader of HopCat in East Lansing, believes the 100 tap takeover is a world record, but that has not been certified.
A spokesperson from Guinness World Records in New York said they don't monitor that specific category in their records, but said HopCat East Lansing is free to submit a claim to be reviewed by their officials.
"We are gonna get some kind of certification at some point in time that says we did this," Boyd said.
The new HopCat is owned by Barfly Ventures LLC in Grand Rapids, where the original HopCat is located.
Lansing State Journal