To many, it’s known as an escape — a place where you can enjoy a cold beer, get lost in an intriguing conversation, and catch a fresh breeze outside on the patio. They think of it as their getaway from the everyday grind. Some plainly call it “Hop Shop.” No matter what it means to you or what you tend to call it, Tucson Hop Shop is a wonderful spot to simply hang out.
“What is unique about Hop Shop is the culture that we have established,” said David Zugerman, co-owner. “Very clearly we have a common core of beliefs that define each and every one of us. Every person that works at Hop Shop, and past employees, too, has left a huge impression on the business. I believe, collectively, that we wear that authenticity on our sleeves and that is the reason why customers can feel the ‘vibe’ when they walk in. It’s why people like to come back.”
“The success of Hop Shop has been an absolute dream come true,” said Jessie Mance, co-owner. “I remember the business plan days when we really just didn’t know if people were going to come. We aren’t downtown, so they have to want to come to this area just for us. Could we fill it up with people? Would they come? I have been very happily surprised at the community support, love, and patronage.”
It’s been seven years now since Tucson Hop Shop opened its doors and the taproom is ready to honor all that they’ve accomplished in such a short time. To get the party started at the Metal Arts Village, the crew is hosting a three-day event from Friday, September 30 – Sunday, October 2.
It’s the perfect weekend to stop by, give thanks, and celebrate with the familiar faces — both behind the bar and the folks sipping on drinks. According to Mance, the staff at Tucson Hop Shop is the “heart and soul” of the business. To some of them, there’s no plans on leaving any time soon.
“I love when customers tell me they love this place,” said Jason Schneider, an employee at Tucson Hop Shop. “I usually respond with ‘I love it, too’ — so much so that I plan on working here until I die.”
“Thank you to Dave and Jessie for giving me the opportunity to join their little craft beer and wine family,” said Sarita Mendez, an employee since Tucson Hop Shop opened its doors. “I came from the outdoor recreation industry — I had no experience in craft beer. I just knew that I liked to drink it. Fast forward seven years and I have gained an immense amount of knowledge not just with beer but with wine, marketing, social networking, behind-the-scenes action, and so much more that is involved with running a business.”
Therefore, it’s not only about pouring tasty beers.
Over the years, Tucson Hop Shop has had the unexpected benefit of supporting the community by hosting wedding receptions, baby showers, graduations, retirements, and even Chicken Poop Bingo on occasion. The crew also prides themselves in planning significant fundraisers for groups they want to elevate here in Tucson.
“One of my favorite events every year is the Queer Bazaar, where we host artists of the LGBTQIA+ community to showcase and sell their art,” said Mance. “We don’t charge vendor fees and why would we? These artists put their souls into their work and we want every item they sell to benefit them directly.”
“It is inspiring to work for people who support a multitude of different causes and who are comfortable with using their voice and platform to do so,” said Mendez.
So, with a massive list of community events under their belt, the Tucson Hop Shop team is excited to be throwing a lowkey party for its seventh anniversary. All they want for their birthday is to see your smiling faces inside or outside on the patio. Plus, they’ll be selling playing cards created by Joel Gowen of Aesthetic Result of Thought and new glassware designed by local artist Sasha Lewis.
“I feel very lucky to have found such an inclusive group of folks, from coworkers to customers,” said Laura Price, an employee at Tucson Hop Shop. “Everyone is welcome to join the party… and I get paid to put beer in the cups.”
If you’ve never paid a visit to Tucson Hop Shop, the anniversary weekend would be a nifty opportunity to do so. If you’re not sure where to enjoy your first beer, Mance has a few recommendations for you.
“My favorite seat in the house: I have too many,” she said. “An Adirondack chair in the beer garden when Golden Boots is doing an instrumental set is absolutely dreamy. I like to bring my laptop in and work in the loft above the bar to sneak covert peeks at who walks in. The Emerald Room and the Beer Hall were my first design projects outside of my own home, and I’m just really proud of how they turned out. I think they really showcase Hop Shop’s funky, lighthearted, and welcoming vibe really well.”
“We are excited that Ciao Down is opening up its pizza studio next door very soon, and we welcome that partnership,” said Mance. “We hope to keep hosting fun events, live music, and fundraisers. We hope to keep being a place that is comforting and welcoming for all types of people, from our loyal regulars since day one, to the newbies who come in and say ‘I didn’t even know this place was here.'”
Additionally, they’ll be sure to keep the beer flowing and even the beer garden cats happy, too.
“We truly have the best customers,” said Mendez. “Huge shoutout to all the people who kept us afloat during the pandemic — you are certainly an integral part of the shop and your generosity still pulls at my heartstrings.”
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