Allison Hoekstra is an official “beer nerd.” She passed the Cicerone® exam in 2016, receiving a 100% on the tasting portion. She has dedicated over two years to studying and tasting each and every beer style in preparation for the certification. In addition to having this respected beer title, Allison has over sixteen years’ experience in the hospitality industry. Not only is she well-informed about beer, but her ability to work with people and bring the endless amounts of beer knowledge to every level of beer nerd is exceptional.
Allison also has management experience from various restaurants in Seattle, WA and Grand Rapids, MI, known by many as Beer City, USA. She works for the original Hopcat, which has been repeatedly named the #1 Brewpub in the United States by RateBeer.com, and has recently ranked among the top 5 Beer Bars on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate Magazine. Additionally, she is part of the team at Brewery Vivant, a Benefit Corporation and the first ever microbrewery to be LEED Certified. Allison can be found giving tours of the brewing operations there as well as discussing craft brews.
Since opening our Grand Rapids location in January 2008, we’ve been on an unending quest to ensure that our beer selection is the best in the world. We’re listed as one of the Top 50 bars in the US by Draft Magazine. But that’s just the start: Beer Advocate Magazine has ranked us as the #3 Beer Bar in the world, CraftBeer.com has rated us the #2 beer bar in the U.S., and from 2012-2016 RateBeer.com has ranked HopCat – Grand Rapids as the #1 Brewpub in the United States. We’re humbled by the response that craft beer lovers all over the world have shown to our philosophy, and are truly grateful for the simple fact that we are lucky enough to be located in the Midwest, where craft beer is way of life.
And if it’s Tuesday, you can find Allison teaching beer education classes as part of her “Tuesday Tasting” series at Craft Beer Cellar in downtown Grand Rapids. Learn more about the Cicerone® Program at www.cicerone.org