Explore the Hudson Valley

Experience The Hudson Valley

What’s New at the New Hop

  |   March 6, 2015  |  Comment
Photos by Bri Stachowski.

Photos by Bri Stachowski.

The Hop has become an institution in Beacon since it first opened its doors in 2012. It operated originally as a beer retailer and tasting room, offering an astounding selection of beers to take home, along with nine taps and a small tasting menu for local and artisanal fare. The excellent selection and incredible food led to an explosion in popularity, and it soon became common to see the small room packed to the brim with happy imbibers throughout the weekend. Prompted by the community’s response, owners Matt Hutchins, John Kelly, and Chris Kavanaugh jumped on the chance to expand into a new building further down Main Street, just a short walk away. They opened their doors in November 2014, and we sat down with John Kelly to hear about what’s new in the new place.



“We’re trying to do the same thing, just bigger and better,” says Kelly from behind the ample bar. The building now features three rooms; one for retail, one for the bar, and another room set off from the others, dedicated to sit-down dining. Each expectedly expands the reach and capabilities of the owners. The retail space now has a bigger selection, along with a cooler for some beers that can be harder to find. The tap-list has gone from 9 to 16, and showcases a variety of styles hand-picked by Kelly to offer something for everyone. “We try to find the balance between what people want versus what they don’t know they want,” he says, and with so many different styles The Hop is a great place to go to try something new. Recent highlights run the gamut, from a steam-beer similar to a lager, to sours, to black IPAs and even Belgian quads, making it easy to find a great pairing with something from the new menu.



The food is at once novel and familiar. Kelly characterizes it as “same vibe, same style,” which will get no complaints from us. Chef and owner Matt Hutchins has been putting out exceptional dishes Kelly called “country French with a Southern inflection,” but regardless of the origins, diners are delighted by its simple elegance and rusticity. A bigger kitchen has enabled Hutchins to do what he does best, and also to branch out a little bit into the more esoteric. “Because we do more volume, we have access to more ingredients,” Kelly says, including a recent special featuring squab, served because “[Hutchins] had a craving and so he did it.” The adventurous among us should look out for the Rabbit & Raisin terrine, and owe it to themselves to try the escargot, which had a wonderful earthiness so rare among an ingredient often only used as a butter-skiff. Hutchins offers staples as well, like a house burger, a roast-beef sandwich, and BBQ pulled pork mac-n-cheese, all prepared with excellent ingredients, including local cheeses from Adirondack Farms.

The new Hop offered a couple surprises as well, including a wine-list and a full bar. Much like their beer selection, each has been curated to showcase some of the finer options available, but with an emphasis on accessibility. “It’s all stuff that we would drink,” says Kelly. The cocktail program as well stays true to form, featuring some playful takes on classics and several options in line with the overarching beer theme. The Storm King Stout Old Fashioned in particular is made with a reduction of the beer of the same name, along with Four Roses Bourbon and orange peel. The Hops & Tonic too, includes Half-moon Gin or Tuthiltown Indigenous Vodka house-infused with Citra hops to give it an extra layer of flavor.

the-hop-beacon.john anthony

One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is The Hop’s popularity. People still travel from all over for the excellent beer, great food, and community atmosphere that made the old location so special. What’s new at the new Hop is now there’s just more of each, and that’s never a bad thing.

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