Hop Stop specialises in craft, classic, and Instagrammable beers to either enjoy in the bar or take home from the shop. But it doesn’t stop at hops, because sommelier-chosen wines and limited-edition gins, rums, and whiskies are also on the menu.
Set up by Mike Ladyman and his sister-in-law Ruth Rushforth, Hop Stop’s USP is the personalised attention to your beer or lager needs that day. A visit might start with a few questions about how you’re feeling, what you usually drink, and what you might fancy, followed by a few taster shots to help you pick your perfect pint. It removes the fear of – or actual – disappointment of trying something new while giving you and your friends the chance to expand your palates.
Although classics are always on tap, Mike and Ruth post an updated Draft List on Twitter every week so their customers can see what’s hot and in stock. The lists also connects with Untapped, a beer app where users rate each beer they try and share their reviews.
Ruth grew up in Redhill and has worked in independent breweries, including Surrey Hills – she knows what goes into a quality pint – while Mike has worked in hospitality and (allegedly) drunk some beer. With Hop Stop they’re aiming for an environment where newer beer drinkers (especially women – a growing market for quality pints) can mingle in comfort with seasoned suppers. “It’s a good mixed group from all walks of life and all ages”, says Mike, “though generally not the under twenties. We’re also dog and child friendly, except when it’s very busy on Friday nights.”
Having already opened a Hop Stop in nearby Oxted, Mike and Ruth had been looking for a location in Reigate for years, when suddenly the old La Lanterna restaurant came up. “We both love Reigate,” Mike says, “and the place has changed a lot in recent years. It’s becoming a night-time destination, a hub for the local area, with a good mixture of pubs, restaurants cafes and bars. Hop Stop has definitely found its own niche.’
We can all drink to that! Cheers!
73 Bell Street
Reigate RH2 7AN