1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BEER AVG
3.81/5
Based on:
36 Beers
201 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 331
Reviews: 197
rAvg: 4.57
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 

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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 331 | Reviews: 197 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of freehafe
4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

One of the nicest bars in Grand Rapids, the vibe is very chill and laid back. Many tables up front with booths towards the back, long wood bar, and outdoor patio.

The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful if you have trouble deciding (which is a good possibility with so many options.)

The beer selection here is epic. 49 on draft, 150 bottles, all served in appropriate glassware. Drafts rotated frequently. Beers range from "lawnmower" beers to locals to imports.

The food here is good, try the crack fries or the mac and cheese, wide selection, several vegetarian options, has the standard pub fare as well as more adventurous options.

Prices are reasonable, food is inline with what you expect for the price. Most beer prices are in the 4-8 $ range. The beer prices may be a bit more for those used to $2 you call its or happy hour tankards, but it is definitely within reason of what you expect for the quality beer you are getting in return.

Photo of Labonix
4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is a must if you're ever in Grand Rapids. They have a huge selection of beers to choose from both bottle and on tap. I liked how they had the beer menu set up. The beers were split up into differnt catagories based on the style of beer. The bartenders do a nice job with the service even though they have a full bar to tend. The food here was really good and it wasn't too pricey. It wasn't a long wait for my food after I placed my order. I would actually say that this place is worth a 30min or so wait for a seat.

Photo of JohnPPutz
4.9/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited Hopcat this past weekend while I was in the Grand Rapids area for my 24th birthday weekend and this was on our agenda for the first night. First of all the beer menu was fantastic. I won't be able to remember everything I had but Key Lime Pie, BB4D, BA Shipwreck and the HopCat Hefe come to mind. All were very good, and the service was excellent. As for food, let me just say the crack fries with cheese have that name for a reason. Everything we ordered was awesome. Prices are reasonable, as 4 of us spent only about 200$ total for a few hours of beer and food(although the GF's didn't drink more than a couple) and tip. I recommend this place to anyone in the GR area and I know I'll be making a return trip in the future.

Photo of DoctorB2B
4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Last stop on my Grand Rapids bonanza. I saved the best for last apparently. Very good looking spot inside ... very high ceilings with some old time framed artwork. The bar is long with taps o'plenty.

I had the pleasure of being taken care of by Mr. Steve Schultz (hope I spelled that right). I ordered the Sage Against the Machine to sip on and the Bar-Zee Burger which was DELICIOUS!!!

I noticed they had a couple bottles I had been looking for in Michigan but couldn't get my hands on. I asked if they sold bottles to go, which they do. So I was able to walk away with a Kuhnhenn 4D and Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Shipwreck.

The service was top notch, so when you do go in, ask for Steve, you'll be well taken care of!

Photo of b3shine
5/5  rDev +9.4%
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 +2.4%
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 +5.7%
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 +1.8%
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 +7.2%
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 +8.1%
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 +7.2%
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 +2.8%
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 +9.4%
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 -13.6%
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 -10.7%
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 +9.4%
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 -5.9%
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 +6.8%
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 -5.9%
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 +7.2%
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 -5.9%
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 +9.4%
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 -7.7%
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 +6.3%
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 -0.9%
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.

HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 331 ratings.