Active Beers: 45
Beer Ratings: 263
Beer Avg: 3.82
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 281 | 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:
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.