Active Beers: 43
Beer Ratings: 259
Beer Avg: 3.81
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 267 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Yetiman420:
4.85/5 rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Stop #331 on my world brewery tour.
7:00 PM on a Monday in mid December. 75% full and a couple of empty stools at the beautiful bar closest to the door. Wonderful view looking down the bar with the taps and the small brewery-behind-glass at the far end.
I've been to many of the finest beer bars on both costs, Philly, Chicago, and even passed on the Kulminator on a train connection in Belgium. Blah, blah, blah I'm real cool.
Hopcat is among the best. Two or three other places come somewhat close in terms of ambiance but fall a bit short. Beautiful woodwork and modest, historic signage throughout.
Reminded me of Ginger Man in Manhattan and the painful cost per pint.
Bartender greeted me immediately with a menu. I spent some time researching my first pick (Citra Pale from Odd Sides in Grand Haven) and he was patient and knew when I was ready.
I had to ask twice and was finally told they do $1 2 oz pours. Other great beer bars advertise this policy and I think Hopcat should consider being more forward with it because I went on with the following...
House beer sampler with one word review...
Honey herb'd pale (nice)
American IPA (creamy)
Cedar Aged American Wild (muddy)
MI Maple Dopplebock (spectacular)
Chili Porter (balanced)
Other samples I had...
North Coast Grand Cru
4 Elf Winter Ale from Darkhorse
BB Shamans Barrel Aged Porter
Bells Java Stout
I had the Greek salad and veggie chili and my bill came to $24.
Some reviewer(s) complained of the price for a sample. I think it's a wonderful idea to allow a person to explore as many beers as possible.
If I had to be critical, the food was ok. The Greek salad was passable but the veggie chili tasted like a bowl of refried beans. I'm comparing this with food from the coasts and I'm not factoring this into my review because I travel enough to know it's hard to get exceptional food in the central US outside of a major metro area.
No diet beers available. The bartender recommended other bars owned by the same company down the strip for that kind of stuff. This tainted the experience a bit that a group this good at craft beer would stoop to the masses. It's technically a local chain which I can live with but was slightly disappointed. It makes sense that it MIGHT be difficult to start up/finance/operate a place like this as a stand-alone operation. Off soapbox.
This was my third visit to Grand Rapids and I'm bummed that I didn't stop her my first time (went with BOB instead...booo).
The owner of Hopcat, Mark, read this review and informed me that all the other bars he/they own (Stella, Viceroy, Pyramid Scheme) serve the kind of alcohol he would like to drink and no BMC. I was misinformed by the bartender and apologize for a review with incorrect information.
12-13-2011 02:47:02 | More by Yetiman420
More User Reviews:
4.94/5 rDev +7.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
This is a must stop in Grand Rapids. There is a reason why this place is rated one of the best beer bars in the U.S., it is a great experience. I make the trip from a few hours away to go there. My daughter goes to a nearby University and make any excuse I can to go see her so I can go to Hopcat. Every time I have been there the service and treatment was great, even during very busy times.
07-13-2014 18:51:03 | More by ttaxtell
4.01/5 rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3.25 | $$$
We made a quick walk through the darkening evening of Grand Rapids, seeing the bright yellow sign loom before us like a grinning beacon to beery goodness. I love the black cat holding a beer logo for this place! We were arriving late and the kitchen was only doing a limited bar menu, but we were so hungry that we didn't want to go looking for something else. Besides, they had a huge beer menu! They don't really do samples, but our waitress was great and brought me a taste of each of the house beers. Those were mostly mediocre. The Jerk beer had an interesting array of tropical and spicy flavors, but I wouldn't drink much of it. The Blueberry Sour was quite disgusting (coming from a sour beer lover) with hot burning acid and enteric flavor. I appreciate the effort, but ended up ordering a cask Oak Aged Hatter from New Holland. It was only later that I noticed the huge bottle beer list on the back of the menu! They had pricey but very rare Belgian beers on there for up to $40! The bar food was decent, but not light! I had the tasty but deadly (to my heart) Crack Fries with cheese. I really liked the vibe in this place and the staff was great, but more as a beer bar than a brewpub.
We actually ended up here again a few days later and bought one of those expensive bottles. Had another good experience at that visit as well.
06-30-2014 19:29:40 | More by Jackofallbrews
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.