HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BEER AVG
3.83/5
Based on:
40 Beers
67 Reviews
Place Score: 100
Reviews: 197
Visits: 356
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: n/a
Taps: 48
Bottles: 150
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

25 Ionia SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503
United States
phone: (616) 451-4677

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @hopcatgr

Notes:
Place added by: hopcatgr on 01-06-2008

Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine.

Hours 11:30 AM - 2 AM seven days a week.

In-house brewing system up and running as of January 2009.

Large outdoor patio open year-round.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 197 | Visits: 356
Reviews by jampics2:
Photo of jampics2
3.23/5  rDev -29.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Wow. What an overrated place! Not to say that HopCat doesn't have potential, but this place is anything but one of the top beer spots in the world.

We visited on 3-31-12 around 5:00 PM with a group of 10. Upon entering, we saw that this place looked pretty cool - the space is big and open, and it has charm. Cool vintage posters on the ceiling and a cool bar. Not a bad atmosphere at all, aside from the lack of any standing room and the constant seat-hawkers two people deep behind the bar stools.

The beers they make at HopCat are really average at best. We tried a BBL Strong ale that was pretty good, but the IPA (Hoppopotomus?) was a diacetyl bomb and the Irish stout was also very jagged around the edges. They were in the middle of 'cider fest' apparently and had 15 taps of cider. No worries, still had a broad selection, but I found it to be rather boring. Sure 15 more beer taps could have made a difference, but I hope they still had their best stuff on. I really enjoyed a few Paw Paw beers, but the house stuff and the Shorts beers were mediocre at best. Not to mention that the IPA really should not have been poured in a world class bar, let alone at a pub where the butter bombs are made on site. This place can't hang with Belmont in PDX, Brouwers in Seattle, Torornado or a few others I've been fortunate enough to drink in.

The service was also average. The waiter was more of a "runner" than a server. He never asked us what we liked, he just took orders. Not a personable experience at all, and it was pretty crappy turnaround. We started ordering the next beer half-way into the current and that made it work better. BY FAR my biggest complaint about HopCat is the outdated lists. Their website was horribly out of date and the bottle list would take 3-4 tries to actually get something. For a world class beer bar, the tap list on the website should be accurate as of that morning. Not a single beer on the site was there, and there was no mention of cider fest on the site. Now, on to the bottle list. If you're going to offer bottles, have them in stock. Two people in our group had to order 3 times to get a "hit". It's OK if some things are not available in the interest of not printing too many replacement lists, but the server should know what's in stock and what's not. Not only did this server NOT know, he would take 15 minutes to come back empty handed. He never made a suggestion and, I'm sorry, but if I came back empty handed I would go straight back for your next request, I wouldn't put you to the back of the line. Not to mention several misprints, including a $30 bottle that was 1/3 of the size advertised. To me, a world class beer bar has knowledgeable servers and creates a great experience. This was more frustrating than anything.

Selection was pretty good. Like 40 or 50 taps and 100+ bottles *although many of the bottles were not in stock* and the server did not know what was and what wasn't.

The food here is average at best. We started with "crack fries". For $4 a plate, we got maybe 20 seasoned french fries. They were tasty but very skimpy in portion. I ordered a Reuben wrap that was minuscule, my buddy ordered a medium rare burger that was well done. My friend who ordered the bacon red pepper mac and cheese probably choose the most wisely. My food was tasty but this place is very much glorified bar food, not a gastropub by any means.

The price was reasonable, probably $5 a pint - had a nice amount of beer and dinner for around $30 pre-tip. But here's the thing - I'm happy to pay $10 a pint for the experience of being in a world-class place. TO me that means smart, friendly, educated servers. NO BAD BEER at all. And updated lists. After all, we can't enjoy what you don't tell us.

I'm going back this year and will hit HopCat again with my wife, but we ended up leaving and heading back to Founders this particular night. This place was really average at best, and easily the most overrated/dissapointing beer bar I've been to EVER. Hope it redeems itself. I'll update this if it does. (4,061 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of cptbenjamin
3.78/5  rDev -17.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Jaszucs
4.08/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of Phoodcritic
4.16/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.06/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of 98green
4.23/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Place was jammed on Thursday at 6. Bartenders are knowledgeable but overworked. Service tends on the slow side, but only because of all the people. The tenders are hustling. The beer selections are solid and the pricing is fair. (228 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.48/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of jakelang
4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of treeslothguy
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The summer months is when I goto grand rapids to visit the mecca of craft breweries and this place is always tops on my list! All local beers (which are many) are all tapped here! Food is unique and servers are always fun and friendly. Only down point is I'm not the only one who knows of this place so in the summer it does get packed which of course leads to the staff being a bit overwhelmed, therefore slower service. I personally don't care cause this is my goto in grand rapids! (486 characters)

Photo of Barnoloid
4.29/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of ummswimmin
4.81/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.04/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of aussiebeer
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Service can be better, but the selection of beer is AMAZING!!! (62 characters)

Photo of duobob
4.04/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of bshemansky
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of bolognasuave
3.68/5  rDev -20%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

horrible service. could drink or dine and dash with ease if you wanted to. not enough bar tenders working to accommodate the amount of people they have in there on the regular. beer selection and food is great and only thing that saves this place. (251 characters)

Photo of Eziel
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Shaskins80
4.21/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of donnierickles
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Great happy hour deals on food and michigan beers. Their taps are pretty impressive. They always seem to have at least one beer on tap that i have never seen anywhere else. (172 characters)

Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.39/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of beerdedrinken
5/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The staff was awesome, very friendly and helpful for my brother-in-law who is not familiar with craft beer. Food was also on point. (131 characters)

Photo of BDeibs
4.03/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of KurtE
4.63/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

this was my kind of bar!!! (26 characters)

Photo of Snyderama
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of MSEGUIN
4.13/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

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HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.