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HopCat will host world record tap takeover in Detroit

Just in case you are not too tired out from Black Friday on Nov. 27 the day after Thanksgiving, beer releases such as Goose Island’s Bourbon County lineup and Odd Side Ales Hipster Brunch Stout (aged in bourbon barrels with coffee, maple syrup, and bacon, 10 percent ABV) and Scally Wagger (India Pale Ale aged in rum barrels, 7.5 percent ABV), here is another event just announced: Dark Saturday.

HopCat Detroit and Dark Horse Brewing Co. are teaming up to bring you this monumental event in which there will be a world record breaking 130 different brands of Dark Horse beers tapped. This all-day event will break the previous record which was set at HopCat Detroit’s grand opening and featured 120 varieties of beer from Short’s Brewing Co., of Bellaire, Mich.


The two announced the plans for Dark Saturday this past weekend at the Michigan Brewer’s Guild Detroit Fall Beer Festival.  

“Dark Saturday is our answer to Black Friday,” said Mark Sellers, founder of HopCat. “We worked with Dark Horse to design an event that brings people together to celebrate great beer, hear some great music and get people in a festive mood for the holidays.”

Sellars opened his first HopCat beer bar in Grand Rapids, Mich., which is often cited as of one of the best beer bars in the country. It has an amazing bottle list of more than 200 brands, including many Belgians, but with only 49 taps it is quite a bit smaller than the Detroit location. Other locations include Ann Arbor and East Lansing, Mich., Indianapolis, Ind., Madison, Wis., and opening just this past weekend in Lexington, Ky.

The tap takeover begins at 11 a.m. with 130 varieties of beer brewed by Dark Horse founder Aaron Morse and the rest of the Dark Horse brewing team. Distributor Rave Associates is providing logistical support that helps make the event possible. 

The home of Dark Horse, Marshall, Mich., is my hometown and I have had the opportunity to watch these guys grow from just a small brewery in the back of Wacky Willies, a party shop owned by Aaron’s dad. Today, they are one of the major forces in Michigan’s brewing community and they are putting out some incredible beer.  One of their best known and most coveted beers is Bourbon Barrel Plead the Fifth. This is the fifth and last beer in its stout series that is aged in bourbon barrels and is released at its annual Four Elf Party in December.

They do things their own way, which can be viewed in its History Channel series Dark Horse Nation. To produce this many beers for a single event is no small task, but I believe they are up to the challenge. There will definitely be some amazing, not-to-be-missed one time beers available at this event.

Dark Saturday will include a special one-day renaming of HopCat Detroit’s Huma Room into the Crooked Tree Room, which will feature 30 varieties of Dark Horse’s Crooked Tree IPA. Live music in the Crooked Tree Room will begin at 7 p.m. to help close out the day.

“Putting 130 Dark Horse beers on tap in one day is a monumental undertaking that has required months of planning by the HopCat, Dark Horse and Rave teams,” said Garry Boyd, HopCat Ringleader and vice president of food and beverage. “Setting another world record will make Detroit the center of the beer universe on Nov. 28 and help remind the world that Michigan craft breweries are some of the best and most innovative in the nation.”

Dark Horse beer can be found throughout Michiana, both on draft and in bottle shops.

For more Michiana craft beer news and commentary from Eric Strader, sign up for the Hop Notes email newsletter.

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