By Meredith Heil
Hops Hill is perched on the corner of Waverly and Fulton Street, smack dab in between both Clinton-Washington C Train exits – a prime location for attracting Clinton Hill’s thirsty after work crowd. The cozy taproom evokes a cool calm – very Brooklyn -–with its thick, rectangular marble bar, raw plank shelving, subtle jazz-and-soul soundtrack and glass-enclosed bare bulbs dangling from the ceiling. The space is intimate – besides the ample bar, there are just a few tables in the window and a handful of stools beneath a narrow rail. The taps are unmarked, and a tall chalkboard lists the rotating selection, complemented by a wonderfully descriptive printed list. The bartender, a certified beer geek decked out in a Bell’s Brewery workshirt, guided me through the draft selections, pointing out the latest releases from locals like Third Rail and Finback.
“This is a legit beer place,” I heard one patron exclaim on a recent visit. The woman, charmed by the bartender’s friendly demeanor, was starting in on her third complimentary shot glass-sized taster. He was patiently helping her pick the perfect porter to pair with the crisp Autumn evening, as small groups of friends gossiped happily over candlelit pints.
In addition to their twelve taps, Hops Hill offers an impressive array of whiskeys, from top shelf bourbon to single malt Scotch and everything in between. The bar also boasts a modest yet well curated bottle list and a few meat and cheese plates to tide over the work-weary. The vibe is welcoming yet sophisticated, totally relaxed but clearly serious about spreading the gospel of great brew – a “legit beer place” indeed.
Hops Hill is located at 866 Fulton St. Closest subway is the A/C train stop at Clinton-Washington Ave. Image from the Hops Hill website.