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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BEER AVG
3.81/5
Based on:
35 Beers
200 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 327
Reviews: 195
rAvg: 4.58
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 327 | Reviews: 195 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of b3shine
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I can't say enough good about this place! It's AMAZING!!! Everything exceeded our expectations! The food was outstanding, especially for the price! Generous servings too! The wings are a must-try! The staff is super! I wore in a 3 Floyds t-shirt, and Steve, the beer ordered (and I think brewer) complimented me on it. Not long after, he brought my wife and I over an unnamed rare beer (I don't want to get them into any trouble) that was FANTASTIC, and told us I won the "beer gear of the day award." They made customers out of us for life! And oh yeah, the beer... Outstanding esoteric selection complemented by a small but excellent selection of in-house brewed libations. We used to live in the area, bur moved away a little over 3 years ago, and they've been open slightly after we moved. I will now come here every time we come home, as my wife and I both LOVED it! Do yourself a favor and stop in. It's fantastic, and the value is great too!

Photo of MarvinTheMarzen
4.68/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Hop Cat has to be one of my favorite bars - bar none. The place has a great atmosphere and enough room to accommodate crowds. The beer selection is really good and they rotate brews rapidly - and the write updated to the beer menu on chalkboards.

We've eaten there a few times and the selection and quality is good. Once you try the "Crack Fries" you'll understand how they got their name. The staff is also good - we got to sit at the bar during one visit and had a great time chatting with the staff. The owners even stopped by (they had seen us at another bar earlier) and we compared notes on several brews. Overall a great time and a great place.

Photo of mjvos
4.83/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I am from Grand Rapids, and this is one of my favorite places. I often go multiple times a week. The atmosphere is really neat with a very large bar and great artwork all around. Usually quite busy, except maybe early in the week, but always a few people in.

The service is very good, and the bartenders are very friendly and knowledgeable. I have been able to make some serious small-talk with some of the staff. When it's super busy later in the week at night it can take a little bit to order, but never terribly long.

The selection is extremely good with 48 taps, the most in the area, and they are constantly getting new beers cycling through to the point the menu is updated weekly. Lots of bottles as well.

For food, they have burgers, a number of different sandwiches and a couple larger plates. All the items I have tried have been delicious. Try the Spicy BBQ Pulled Pork and Cheese Ale Soup!

Lastly, all of this comes at a fairly reasonable price given the quality.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.65/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Nestled in downtown Grand Rapids, this bar is on the corner of the street and looks pretty cool from the outside.

Walking in, the place looks awesome. Bottles everywhere, old church pews with big tables, an outdoor patio, paintings hanging from the ceiling, a huge bar, etc. Very cool atmosphere.

My brother-in-law, father, and myself only had a short time here as it was a quick stop on our way up to Traverse City. There was a great tap list (though I will admit nothing was too crazy on it – was hoping for some legit sours or other crazy stouts but most were just run of the mill (though solid).

The food was damn good and I enjoyed my BBQ chicken sandwich thoroughly with a Short’s Huma. A very enjoyable experience and I can’t wait to go back and enjoy some more of their good food and beers.

Photo of ahq514
4.9/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Been here a few times before but now decided to review it. Awesome experience. 48 taps, 150 bottles. All quality selections, a lot of michigan beers. Awesome service. We sat at the bar, made a comment about a half acre shirt of a guy behind the bar. Ended up being the beer buyer for hopcat and we bullshitted about beer for about 15 to 20 mins. Was really busy for a wednesday night, not a spot in the place besides at the bar. Food was also excellent and fairly reasonably priced. I would love to live in this place. Too bad I don't live in gr anymore.

Photo of yankeej13
4.94/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

My dad and I took a trip a month ago up to Michigan on a Microbrewery crawl. This was one of the places to try along the way. We were just going to go in for a beer and leave. Once we were in there our plans changed!

Once we first walked in there we were shocked at the surroundings of the place. Beer bottles everywhere a totally awesome looking interior for a beer bar!

Quality- Absolutely fantastic! Fresh beer everywhere! Loved it.

Service- The service of the staff was so fantastic we stayed almost 2 to 3 hours in this place just talking and hanging out having a good time. The staff behind the bar made us feel right at home and kept giving us free samples and just being completely awesome! Had a great time talking to them about our beer stories and what not.

Selection- Amazing had a ton of tap handles from all different Microbreweries. They had a great variety of different bottles as well! Not to mention a giant menu of their own brewed beer which was fantastic!

Value- Most reasonable prices on our trip.

Looking forward to going back to Michigan and stopping in Hopcat, this time with our intentions of being there for a while!

Thanks guys Cheers to you all!

Photo of ElizabethCraig
4.9/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Hopcat, how I love thee!

My husband and I went there two days in a row when we visited Grand Rapids. "Bob" help us if we lived there, it would be our regular haunt.

A beautiful place, with lots of dark wood, but not so dark that it feels cave-like. There's quite a few tables, a nice decent sized bar and a standup bar rail in case the place is busy.

Late night the place was pretty hopping, we had a table near the window and each had a beer. The waiter was very helpful with beer selection and was happy to make recommendations and even bring out a few samples. Extremely kind, good service - I regret that we missed their kitchen hours that night.

We returned the next day and happily the gentleman at the bar (edited to add: Steve) was their beer purchaser! Happy day!!

We talked about a Detroit area brewery while I sampled some of their beers on tap (we will definitely visit them soon, great beers!), they sampled out a sour stout from Jolly Pumpkin that was so absolutely wonderful that we brought back a growler of it (we shared it with some local friends and spread the Jolly Pumpkin love), and we got to sample their crack fries (they are, by the way, addictive).

The service was stellar, the beers were excellent (both their own, and their draft beers), the atmosphere is very elegant, but casual.

Locals were eating lunch at the end of the bar, I like seeing local peeps eating at a bar - usually it means a good value and good food.

To sum it up, if you're in Grand Rapids go here!

Photo of fulcrum
4.7/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Clearly lots of people love this place and I am no exception. Been there three times. The last time I sat inside even though it was a beautiful summer night--the bar atmosphere is just that comfortable. Two of the three times our server was a terrific gal from New Zealand (Katie?) who knows her beer and is great at engaging with drinkers on their level to recommend a good choice--from expert to beginner. I really want to try the Founders brewpub but every time I'm in town I gravitate to HopCat. Can't miss.

Photo of Urbancaver
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I can't believe I haven't reviewed HopCat yet... This is one of the few places I've been that time and time again is absolutely hands down THE place to stop. Phenomnal atmosphere. Huge tap list. Amazing bottle selection. Their own brews are top notch. service is GREAT, I was able to get samples for cheap and try a LOT more than ordering full pints which was especially nice for trying things like Bloody Beer. The food was super tasty (especially the crack fries) and the price was rigth on target. Overall the best beer bar I've ever been to hands down

Photo of EnJeiBee
3.95/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is one of my favorite places to go in Grand Rapids. Their selection is smaller than only one bar in GR (Logan's Alley) and the atmosphere is amazing. That being said, they have some of the worst service of any beer bar I have ever been to! It's one of those places that has so many people who want to be there that they don't care if you leave or not. Unless you seek out your server you're probably going to be sitting with an empty beer for some time. I really wish more staffers there were like Katie (she doesn't work there anymore, but she was amazing!).

Photo of jkrich
4.08/5  rDev -10.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

On a recent trip to visit my niece in Grand Rapids, I put this at the very top of my destinations. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, the festive bar/brewpub was large enough to handle a very large crowd on a late Saturday afternoon. The extensive beer list comes on a laminated sheet arranged by styles. All Michigan breweries are prominently displayed. The waitress seemed to have a good knowledge of the beers. Despite the crowd we received our drinks and food in a respectable time. The food offerings were largely sandwiches, i.e. reuben, french dip, chicago style, and addictive, seasoned "crack fries". I also purchased a hopcat tee shirt. My beer drinking and eating experience was marred a bit by the extremely hot peppers on my sandwich. The menu only referred to these peppers as spicy.
By the way, the music played was very diverse and eclectic. I even heard an obscure Grateful Dead song. Because this location is downtown, parking is a premium. There were parking lots charging 7-9 dollars; street parking was difficult to find. However, it was well worth the visit.

Photo of bigfurrynutz
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This was a stop on my Grand Rapids pub crawl for my 35th birthday. This is a must stop for any BAs who are passing through GR or live nearby. The selection of beers is mind boggling. It took a considerable amount of time to decide on what I was going to drink but I decided on a house beer, the Hopapotomus. It was decent but the selection of other guest beers was what really made this place worthwhile. In addition, the food here is incredible. The wife and I split an order of crack fries with cheese and they really hold up to their name, you will want more. We also feasted on macaroni and cheese which was out of thie world. When I return to GR, I will be back fo sho!!

Photo of beerwolf77
4.3/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Another must stop during the GR tour.

Nice old school bar feel and look to this place. Killer art on the walls and specialty bottles lined up behind the bar. Long bar and plenty of booths and tables for eating. The place was packed from the moment we got there but it never felt too busy.

The selection is where this place shines. Took us a solid 10 minutes to decide. They have something for every beer geek on the menu. The server was quick and helpful with picking out beers.

The beer cheese soup was recommended highly so I ordered that for dinner. It was as delicious as advertised.

Overall a superb place for dinner and a beer. I will be stopping back every time I'm in town.

Photo of krz001
4.88/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I love this place! The staff is great, the food is wonderful, and the beer is awesome.

I love that their beer menu always changes. When you're a regular, the bartenders know exactly what you like and what beer you need to try because it's likely the last one you had there is no longer on tap.

I enjoy that the environment is very laid back and it's the place that douche bags stay away from because it isn't a night club where they can easily hit on drunk girls. Everyone there to enjoy beer and talk to others about what they're drinking.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.3/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Visited a couple of times on a recent beer trip to Grand Rapids.

Really great atmosphere, 50 beers on tap, a large bottle selection and friendly service.

I was a little bit puzzled by their lack of Michigan beer on tap - they seemed to have one from each of the big breweries but a complete lack of Bell's (and Hopslam is in season), only 1 Dark Horse & 1 Shorts beer were on tap. The overall mix was pretty good, keeping in mind that about 10 of the taps were Hop Cat house brews.

Over my two visits I tried about 6 or 7 different beers.

The food here is great! They have a number of appetizers that are amazing, including some of the best chicken wings that I have ever had.

I will return here some time soon for sure.

Photo of hurfer
4.9/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I've been to The Hopcat a few times now and not sure what else to say that others haven't already said. It is one of the best beer bars I have been to any where.

49 taps very heavy on Michigan beers. They also have their own small brewery setup and brew some very nice beers themselves. Bottle list is also great.

Service is where they really take it to the next level, everyone that I have talked to that works there is very knowledgeable. I always enjoy getting to talk to Steve & Timm, they know their beer.

This place is reason enough to make a trip to Grand Rapids, and that's saying a lot in a town full of great beer.

Photo of lloyd83
4.3/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Visited this place after going to the tapas joint down the street. Wasn't 'in the know' at the time as to how absolutely cool it is, but as soon as I sat down I was literally overwhelmed. The beer menu is friggin' GIGANTIC. Stuff I'd never heard of, never seen before, etc. My sister lives in GR. She's lucky that we stumbled upon this place, as it means that we'll definitely be coming back for another visit! Growler fill seemed a bit expensive though; $43? I haven't bought many, but that's been the highest thus far!

Photo of brew3crew
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

A-Place was crowded, but not crowded enough where you couldn;t here what the person you were with was saying. A good kind of crowded. Love it

Q-Clean, smoke free and nice workers. What more can you ask for?

S-Exceptional! Friendly patient and they know alot about their beer. This is the reason they are ranked #3 bar in the world!

S- Crazy selection! over 40 beers on tap as well as their own. i wish I had this in my hometown!

F- Didn't have much. but their cracked fries are UNREAL!! only $3? are you serious?

V-You can get a taste of beer for $1. I tried I have never had before. Awesome!

Photo of Vdubb86
4.22/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I stopped here with my girlfriend for lunch on our way home from a wedding in Michigan because I had heard great things about this place. The atmosphere was really cool looking. Not only did it have a normal high quality old world beer bar going with lots of wood decor and the ever-changing chalkboards above the bar it was cool. The place was decorated in a Bohemian Style and the chairs were covered in what seemed to be some sort of French art and jazz was playing over head. This just came off as a very classy establishment. The quality of this place was pretty good. It seemed that if it wasn't a Sunday afternoon in January they may have had some amazing stuff on tap. As far as Barleywines were, they had a lot of things with some serious age on them that were really tempting, but overall my choice was for a year-old Batch 9000. The service was good, our waitress was attentive, and seemed to know how everything was done. I never really tested her because for the most part I knew of everything on the menu. The food was pretty tasty, I enjoyed a pulled Beef sandwich and my girlfriend went crazy for a veggie wrap that she thought was amazing. The prices of beer are a little on the high side unless you get a HopCat beer, but the food prices are in some instances on the cheap end. Overall an enjoyable experience, I would love to be back with a different tap list.

Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.86/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

What more can be said about the number 3 beer bar in the United States. Place had a totally cool retro feel to it and a long line of tappers. Considering the volume of micros to try it would already be more than enough, but... oh they also make their own beers.

Looked for probably forever through their menu of beers. Found a few I had to try and also tried a few of their house beers and really liked their barleywine. I considered getting a growler for the $33 they asked, and although steep would have normally done it if I hadn't spent an astronomical sum at other breweries.

Service was good, but considering I was there on a weekday during afternoon is to be expected. Did not however rise above the masses much though.

A place I would definitely come to again.... Founder's and this place a few blocks apart.... wow!

Photo of SlowCentury
4.53/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is a beautiful old watering hole which I miss very dearly. I since had an opportunity to stop in during a visit home recently, and this time could fully appreciate it. The appearance is very well kept and classy, but not to the point where you feel out of place in jeans and a t-shirt, it is a place to drink beer after all. They offer a remarkable selection of beer without being redundant and still highlighting that sweet Michigan brew that I miss so much. I've been to bars with twice as many taps that still end up boring me with their selection. Not the case here. This is any beer lover's dream come true. Service is decent, pretty average, but the front of the house is genuinely friendly which goes a long way for me. Good upscale bar food to top things off. I used to eat lunch there somewhat often while I lived in GR so that says something considering all the close competition for the style. Overall, I have no trouble seeing why HopCat got the honor of being rated BA's #3 beer bar in the world. Well done.

Photo of slowbie
4.15/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I used to go to this place quite a bit when I lived in the area, but after a trip back I decided to finally write a review.

It's a dimly lit place with a good amount of seating, even better during the summer. I like the atmosphere quite a bit on their less busy days but it gets really loud and really packed on weekends and some weeknights.

They carry some of the best quality beer of any bar I've been to. One BMC-ish option and a bunch of craft. They are probably the only place in west Michigan that you will find Kuhnhenn, and they are likely to carry beers from other great Michigan stops such as Dark Horse and Shorts (and of course Founders and Bells).

They also brew their own beers, many of which are, for lack of a better word, weird (e.g. sage pale ale, orange IPA). Whenever I've ordered one that sounds good it's been excellent though and the prices are relatively cheap for the quality of beer. However, about every other time I go all of the Hopcat brewed beers look a little too out there for me. (Though I'm admittedly not a fan of too much spicing in my beer).

I'm ranking the service above average because every server in there is more knowledgeable about beer than at most places. However, from a non-beer knowledge standpoint, the service is average at best. I've never had a great waiter/waitress, and I've had a couple that were not so great.

As far as selection goes, I've been to places with twice the taps and half the selection of Hopcat. This is helped by the fact that they have one rotating BMC tap. The other taps tend to change with the seasons (i.e. I couldn't find a barleywine on tap last summer but when I went recently the menu was mostly barleywines, stouts, and strong ales).

The food is good, the fries are better, although I haven't been overly impressed by their other appetizers. But nobody goes to hopcat for the food anyways.

Hopcat has the best selection in the area, but it doesn't have the best prices or service. Their prices get especially dicey on the more expensive beers. Still a great place that I plan on returning to though.

Photo of vtisme
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I feel like a broken record saying awesome things about HopCat just like everyone else, but:
Bottom Line Up Front - If you are anywhere in MI, you MUST visit Hopcat in downtown Grand Rapids, MI!!

I brought my wife, father, and 5 friends to HopCat because I knew they have literally hundreds of beer available either on tap or in bottle and I would like to have dad/wife try things out to fine tune their beer tastes. As you walk in you can immediately feel the warm, professional atmosphere. Without even talking to someone, you know these people know what they're talking about. Which leads to the fact that it seems every single one of their staffers knows, in deep detail, about all of their beers. You ask what examples of any style they have on tap/bottle, they will name them without blinking. Not only that, the courteous service they provide is honestly second to none, that signature midwestern hospitality shows through. The crack fries must be sprinkled with it, and their humus was also the best i've had. The prices are spot on with the quality of beer they have.

If you're a homebrewer as well, they are more than happy to talk about brewing and what they're up to. Talking through brewing with them was another highlight of the night.

Also, to repeat a review before mine, a special shoutout to Steve - he was amazingly gracious, hospitable, and he is the perfect example of how personalized service really makes it no matter where you go.

My wife, dad and friends havent stopped raving about going to HopCat, and next time we are here in the area we will absolutely be going back. I havent been to the #1/2 beer bars in the world, but they really must be fantastic to top this.
-vt

Photo of alrhodesjr
4.72/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Luckily, I have the privilege of living just a few miles from this beer Mecca. Once you walk in the door you feel like you have died and awoken in beer heaven. All the taps and different selections from the beer menu can be a bit overwhelming, but if you are lucky enough to have a bar seat the bartenders are more than willing to help you in you quest of beer. The only time when service isn't exceptional is when you would expect: night-time on the weekends. The bar is right night to most of the nightlife in GR. Prices are right around what I would have expected to pay for the variety of beers. I have not ate there but I hear from many people that the "crack fries" are unbelievable.

Also, you can get a growler to go, just in case you need to continue to celebrate at home.

In closing, if you are in the Grand Rapids area and are looking for a place to enjoy a good craft beer, or six, then this is your place.

Photo of enfield249
4.68/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

What can I say? This is my watering hole. This is where I go to celebrate, and to welcome back old friends. The atmosphere is fine, if a little loud at times. I would prefer a quite place, but most people don't so that is fine. The quality of the beer has never been an issue, and is always fresh and ever changing. The service is without par in it's beer knowledge. The standard food is fine, mostly your average bar fare, and would have received a more moderate "3", but the beer dinner food is so good that it kicks it up a point. The price is reasonable for downtown GR. HopCat is everything it is reported to be and more. Worth a trip if you are in the midwest.

HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.