Active Beers: 43
Beer Ratings: 259
Beer Avg: 3.81
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 275 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kylelenk:
2.83/5 rDev -38.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Residing in GR I am fortunate to be able to frequent HopCat quite often. Being a regular, I've come to realize there is much needed for the bar to live up to it's reputation.
Atmosphere is decent but is always overcrowded. You're giving a multitude of different seating arrangements which can be either booths, couches (upstairs), picnic tables, or traditional seating. The bar looks quite dusty but my recommendation is to always sit at the bar...no matter what...as the bartenders are the only experienced staff in the establishment.
The service is obviously the Achille's Heel as the waitstaff are undertrained and unbelievably slow. I've walked in at 12:30AM with almost nobody in the bar and it has taken more than 15 minutes for a waitstaff member to come over. Additionally, I've had waitstaff confuse nitro beers with firkins...not something to expect with being named the 3rd best beer bar in the world.
HopCat has an outstanding collection if you're from out of town but often seems to cycle through beers if you're familiar enough with the establishment. Their bottle selection is quite a gem as they don't distribute menus unless you request. I was able to find some Mikeller even though it has sense stopped being distributed in the GR area.
People may rave about the Crack Fries, which are amazing, but the burgers seem to be quite generic (Sysco). Stella's across the street has hand formed burgers that come stuffed at the same price point...which is embarrassing concerning both restaurants share the same ownership.
I will say that HopCat throws some awesome parties. Their Wood and Wild Ale Fest last year brought some true whales to tap. Additionally, they throw parties when breweries enter the distro market and offer a chance to find some rarer beers.
Value is reasonable. Their specials often carry unreasonable stipulations like the $6 burger and beer combo being limited (last time) to a New Holland Kolsch despite the fact it carried the same price point as some of their own pub beers.
All in all I compare HopCat to DisneyWorld...Fun to take people when they're from out of town but you can see right through all of it's shortcomings. If they can't fix the service, at least fix the website as the taplist is sometimes months out of date...something in this day in age should be always synced.
10-15-2013 23:17:41 | More by kylelenk
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
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 275 ratings.