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HopCat Creates a Home in Madison for Craft Beer Enthusiasts

By Elisha Neubauer

When it comes to craft beer, you won't find a more dedicated group of people than those employed at HopCat. Each and every aspect of the business was designed with one thing in mind: a deep love of craft beer. From the design and stock to even the staffing choices made, each and every decision has been carefully made to enhance the atmosphere and promote an adoration of the main product.

"We wanted a place where people could enjoy a huge selection of craft beers with great homemade bar food in a casual environment," explains Chris Knape, Vice President of Marketing. The decision to start out in Madison was an easy one. The area had such a strong craft beer culture already and was the perfect location being that it sits right in between the University of Wisconsin and the capital.

Wanting to do something a little different, the setting of HopCat was created to be unique?both in look and feel. This covers everything from the chosen décor to the people they hired. "We want people who are excited to be part of the best beer bar in town," says Knape. They expect their hand-picked team to be able to educate guests on the exciting new beers and ciders. They have to love the industry as much as the founders and even more than their guests.

Another unique aspect to the HopCat concept is their sustainability program. Wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, the beer bar recycles and composts approximately 90% of the waste they generate. "This is something every employee participates in by making sure they sort (and in some cases) resort our food waste and other compostable materials, recyclable materials and trash," Knape details.

To keep in line with this program, the company works hard to source products which aid them in this goal. Everything from napkins, towels, and even straws are compostable. "It's not easy and it's not cheap, but it's worth it to us to know that we're helping make a dent in the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators," Knape affirms. On some occasions, he tells us, the company is even able to source food ingredients from local growers which has used the HopCat compost in their soils, making it a full circle event.

In the exciting world of HopCat beer, there are always 130 taps at any given time. Each beer or cider has been hand selected by the location's beer program manager, who painstakingly creates close business relationships with breweries, distributors, and guests in order to get a really good feel for the latest and greatest in the industry.

In addition to an impressive beer selection, the company has been making great headway in the food department, earning the title of Top Ten French Fries in the US from none other than the Food Network Magazine. "We also take great pride in our food," says Knape. "Most of what we make is homemade daily."

For more information feel free to check out their website at www.hopcat.com.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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