Hop Grenade offers ever-changing beer experience at Foothills Mall

Sarah Ehrlich

The Hop Grenade

  • Constantly changing craft brew list
  • Cozy and modern atmosphere 
  • Knowledgeable and friendly staff
The Hop Grenade encourages customers to request special brews to add to their ever changing menu.
The Hop Grenade encourages customers to request special brews to add to their ever changing menu.

Fort Collins is a hot spot for all things beer, and we’re not afraid to get creative with it. Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout anyone? There are breweries, bars and pubs sprouting up around every corner it seems, but one new taproom stands out among the rest.

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The Hop Grenade is a brain child of the popular podcast network called the Brewing Network. As the craft beer scene grew, the host, Justin Crossley, only thought it was right to open a bar that appeals to everyone’s taste. Thus, the Hop Grenade was born in 2014 in San Francisco’s East Bay.  Enthusiastic listeners of the Brewing Network suggested that Fort Collins should be Hop Grenade’s second home.

Housed next to Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar in Foothills Mall, the Hop Grenade has a modern, chill vibe and offers high end pub fare and a curated rotating beer menu with 27 taps, making each visit different from the last. As soon as a keg is tapped, a new one comes on.   

“The whole idea behind this taproom is that we want to be as fresh as possible,” said Tim Griggs, general manager. “We want to make sure that you are getting the same experience here as you would drinking at a brewery, and we want to offer brews that you can’t get anywhere else.”

Griggs said that although Hop Grenade brings in beer from around the country, they really love supporting local Colorado food and drink production and believe it helps build a stronger community. The many menu items are made with meat from Moe’s BBQ, soups from Spoons, pretzels from Das Pretzel Wagen and flatbreads from the Rollin’ Stone food truck.

“We also have a lot of friends and connections in the industry where we can call them up to get the rare stuff,” Griggs said. “That really helps us because we are all about different styles of beer. You name it, it’s probably been brewed, and if we don’t have it, we will get it.”

The Hop Grenade offers beer orders from iPads that tell you what's new and what's about to go.
This chill space offers beer orders from iPads that tell you what’s new and what’s about to go.

The Hop Grenade’s employees come from unique backgrounds in the restaurant and brewing industries. Griggs has 24 years of experience working every part of a restaurant, and he worked at Breckenridge Brewery for three years before the Hop Grenade. Nick Betteker, assistant general manager, is a nationally ranked beer judge and gained most of his beer experience from Alesmith Brewing Company in San Diego.

“Beer is just really fascinating to me,” Betteker said. “The reason they brought me onto the Hope Grenade was because of my beer knowledge. I am here to make the best beer list I can and to make sure all the employees are really well educated.”

Betteker said the Hop Grenade thrives on customer feedback and encourages anyone to contact them with suggestions of what beers should show up next.

“Our success is based on the experience our customers have,” Betteker said. “What we are really focused on now is letting Northern Colorado know we are here. We opened at a time where we could iron out the kinks and get ready for the big push.”

Kevin Callahan, managing partner, said he believes in the beauty of Colorado beer culture and hopes Hop Grenade can celebrate that with fun events.

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“Fort Collins is a very active and outdoor community, and getting involved with that is so fun,” Callahan said. “We are hoping to have events or small beer fests to celebrate the people who spend a day in the mountain or the water and have the energy to come back and enjoy a beer.”

The Hop Grenade fully supports Colorado food and beer and incorporates it with quirky paintings on the wall.

What does the future hold for the Hop Grenade? Growth. A rooftop patio is expected next summer along with more involvement with CSU including tours and collaborations with fermentation science students.

The current tap list and menu of eats, along with events and a rewards program can be found at hopgrenadefoco.com

Collegian reporter Sarah Ehrlich can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @SarahEhrlich96.