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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat

Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 43
Beer Ratings: 259
Beer Avg: 3.81

Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
BA SCORE
100
world-class

272 Ratings
Ratings: 272
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 9.61%
$$ - reasonable
[ 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:
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 added by: hopcatgr on 01-06-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of steebo777
steebo777

Michigan

4.85/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$

One word for this place: Holyshitthisplacerocks! I have been going here for a couple years, but New Year's took it to a whole other level. They never have cover on NYE, but it is always packed. We got there early, waited for 15min until we found a booth that fit all 6 of us. The entertainment that evening was wicked good, but it was the service that took it to another level. Our server made sure we were ALWAYS taken care of no matter what the entire night. She got the highest tip I have ever given (about 40%) and has sealed the deal for me going there as many times as possible from here on out.

The quality here is always the best in Michigan. On top of getting a variety of solid brews form around the world, they allow growler filling of anything on tap (it can get pricey though).

Service = see above story.

Selection as everyone else has said in other reviews f'n rocks!!!

Food is great at HopCat. It is above standard pub fare but still is unique and damn tasty.

Value is solid because it offers such a wide variety of brews from around the world that they keep the prices at a steady rate.

01-29-2010 16:42:28 | More by steebo777
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.9/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

you enter hopcat through a door in the corner of an L shaped room. along the short side are a bunch of tables with seating for approximately 40 people. there's also a small slightly raised area that can be used as a stage and has a portion of the tables the rest of the time. the other bonus in this section is the bank of windows giving you a view of downtown grand rapids. along the longer side of the room is a giant bar with about 25 bar stools, a center isle with a bunch of tall tables, and long tables/booths along the outer wall. breweriana decorates the walls and ceilings. there's no mistaking that this is a beer bar, and that they haven't tried to be some sort of faux-pub.

the quality of everything i've had - from the lighter snacks to full meals and all the assoicated beverages - is top notch. even the music is pretty damn good and not projected at ear-shattering volumes.

the service is one of the things that keeps you coming back. the staff know their beer, and if you happen to have a question that they can't answer, they're quick to go find one rather than waving you off or making something up. they seem happy to be there too and often share their own passion for the food and drink on the menu. on the rare occasions that your chosen beer is no longer available, they seem good at providing alternate suggestions to help you make your decision.

selection... wow, if everything else didn't keep you coming back, it'll certainly be this. i don't think i've ever ordered a bottle at hopcat simply because i don't think it's possible to run out of tap options. 48 taps, approximately half from michigan breweries, with the rest a mix of midwest, north american, and worldwide favourites. there's often something rare or hard to find pouring and very little chance you'll ever be disappointed. and if you happen to be looking for something a little more obscure, just ask! their "beer guy" (hi steve!) has stockpiles of all sorts of great beer hidden away. but don't get talking to him - you'll find a bunch more beer in your glass and probably spend the rest of the night talking away. wait, i think those are both reasons to talk to him...

the food is great. a good variety of interesting and tasty snack food (if you're just looking for a little nip to accompany your beverage of choice) and entrees (if you'd like something more substantial). possibly the best pretzel i've ever had (especially with the cheese dipping sauce), and i have to say i'm hooked on their crack fries. they really are that good.

when you finally decide it's time to crawl away from hopcat (since walking is often no longer an option), you'll probably be pleasantly surprised at the bill. i thought the food and drink were quite reasonably priced, and i always expect it to have been a more expensive night than it is.

hopcat is a wonderful place, and definitely one that i'd consider to be at the top of its class. i think hopcat is a good chunk of the reason that i've currently made 3 trips from toronto to grand rapids, and i always look forward to the next. heck, each visit seems to have me considering whether i could relocate to the area and visit all the time. now when can i plan my next trip?

01-28-2010 19:29:30 | More by grub
Photo of HopOverdose
HopOverdose

Michigan

4.9/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$

This is by far the best beer bar in Grand Rapids and probably the best in the state of Michigan.

The atmosphere is wonderful, non-smoking and a great crowd. They have a wonderful upstairs lounge with a starry ambience and comfortable furniture. If you are a smoker, you can smoke in this lounge (at least until May due to the Michigan smoking ban) , or out on the deck. The outdoor deck is nice in the summer spring and fall.

This beer venue is set right in the heart of downtown and is within walking distance of every attraction down there.

Parking is somewhat reasonable depending on the time of day you go. Expect a walk if going on a friday or saturday night, as this is to be expected anyway.

The service is wonderful and the choices are excellent.

01-10-2010 01:31:06 | More by HopOverdose
Photo of blakesell
blakesell

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Came here on a holiday trip Michigan brewery tour as Founders didn't open until late.

As Grand Rapids isn't that impressive of a city, I was wowed and surprised that there was this place just around the corner of downtown and nearly walking distance of Founders. The place has tons of taps that at my time of going you could make your own sampler at the rate of .50 to $1 a sample!! The samples weren't too skimpy either, so I had one hell of a sampler going on.

There were one off Goose Island beers and TONS of beers I had never seen before.

The food menu was very impressive as well and I'm disappointed to say that I ate at the hotel before I got here. I'm sure the food here would have been better than the breakfast buffet.

One of the most memorable things about the place was the restroom for me. A massive collage of Johnny Cash, Frank Zappa, Bowie, and Tom Waits posters, clippings, things of that sort.

Always good to have something pleasing to the eye when doing your business.

This is a place I would be sure to return to if I came back to Founders (which I would love to do!)

01-07-2010 20:35:41 | More by blakesell
Photo of hurricanelars
hurricanelars

Indiana

4.86/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

I came to Grand Rapids specificlly for the Short's event at the HopCat and was not disappointed.

We got there around 6 and the place was filled with people enjoying some of tastiest brews around. Lots of seats at the bar and some long wooden tables to satisfy larger groups. Real high ceiling that allow a smoking section to be lofted at the far end of the bar. Very relaxed atmosphere upstairs with a few couches and some comfortable chairs for those who don't mind a little second hand smoke.

It was Joe Short's birthday event so the selection was definitely top notch. Some of my personal favorites from the night were the Turtle Stout, the S'mores Stout, and the Key Lime Pie brew that really nailed the flavor. I stopped back the next morning to try a few others and really enjoyed the Hopapotamus and Bumbles Bounce that were brewed by HopCat. We didn't get a chance to try any food but everything we saw brought out looked amazing.

It was pretty busy during the event so it took a little bit of time to get a beer, but the next morning the service was great. Very knowledgeable staff and friendly. I will definitely be stopping here again the next time I head to Michigan

12-27-2009 10:41:02 | More by hurricanelars
Photo of northernbrews
northernbrews

Michigan

4.83/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

HopCat is the best beer bar I've been to overall. Everything here is top notch...from the atmosphere, service, food, and definitely the beer. This was my second trip (would go ALOT more if it wasn't 2.5 hours away) and both times they had crazy events. The first was a Goose Island event w/ 20+ Goose Island beers on tap. This trip was the Short's event w/ 25 Short's beers on tap. Pretty much had a sample of all the beers (quite a good deal and great way to try lots of stuff at $1.00 per sample). Other beers ranged from $4.00 to $6.50 for pint of all the Short's offerings w/ a few pricier (but worth it options on the regular menu) They had Samiclaus on tap which I've never seen before. Had the mac-n-cheese w/ sloopy joe and herbed tomatos....it was damn good. Hung out with Mark the owner and some buddies from Rate and BA which made the experience that much better. Definitely deserving of its high rating on BA and it truely is a world class beer bar!

12-22-2009 15:00:09 | More by northernbrews
Photo of jt31914
jt31914

Michigan

4.9/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$

For the beer selection the price is pretty good; the only thing you will get ripped off with is food and liquor. It costs about $4.50 for an order of fries and the prices only go up from there while a double rum and coke costs somewhere in the neighborhood of 8.50. However, this place is the beer lover's dream - 50 taps and 150 bottles with a good rotation. Fun atmosphere, and an awesome place to go if you like good beer. Hopcat is clearly deserving of their title as the number three beer bar in the world.

12-21-2009 19:49:10 | More by jt31914
Photo of ioeth
ioeth

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

I happened to be in Grand Rapids from out of town for a weekend, and stumbled onto Hopcat when I was looking for a decent beer. What a fantastic place for a beer lover! Their selection is one of the best that I've ever seen, ranging from local favorites such as Founders, which is brewed only a few blocks away, to breweries from around the world to which I had never been exposed.

In addition to the selection, the staff and service is second to none, and is surely what makes Hopcat truly excellent. After pulling up a chair to the bar and chatting, I came to find out that some of the folks that I was talking to were actually the chef and brewmaster in addition to the regulars. Kim was tending the bar that evening, and after explaining my beer background, made some top notch recommendations for me along with Timm. As far as I'm concerned, Kim is the epitome of a superb bartender.

I can certainly understand how Hopcat came to be one of the top rated beer bars on this little blue orb, and look forward to the next time I'm in Grand Rapids when I'll be able to visit again.

12-03-2009 19:07:31 | More by ioeth
Photo of adamette
adamette

Ohio

5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

Based on a visit there 10 18 09 at its noon opening time. This is the limited note that I took at the time: World class environment, people, very good food, cellar with bottles with emphasis on craft, imports, Spoke with Timm Merill, the Chancelor of HopCat. The rest of my comments are from my memory which is still very clear to me.

Atmosphere I cannot recommend an improvement. Long bar on the right as you enter and seating for probably 200 in a modern but very comfortable jazz era high ceiling downtown feel of a place. Bar stools were particularly large (I like that!) and tap and bar fixtures were appropriate dark, heavy metal, etc. There was good inclusion of the HopCat signage but it was not overwhelming. There were lots of posters advertising beer but, also, as I recall, other forms of alcohol. Everything was class in this place. Oh, Timm brought my wife and I down to the cellar during our visit too. Man that was cool to see the kegs, actively connected to the bar above, in action. I even saw that a few of the kegs had "for HopCat" written on them, probably by brewery staff. So the upstairs was all class and the cellar was like a dream. 5.0

Quality The highest. HopCat has ultimate respect for beer. This is not limited to simply the selection, which is world class, but in how it is presented.

Service Really nice. Our bartender was patient, informative and when she had the time (early in our visit...it really hopped after about 1 pm) was talkative and interactive. Of course being taken down to the Cellar was an unexpected plus as well.

Selection This cannot be improved in my opinion. The best part of the selection was the beers that HopCat brewed themselves. I had the sublime Pel Kwint and Kwin Tel and a third HopCat selection that I cannot recall at this time. At least the Pel Kwint surpassed any of the guest beers that they had on tap and that is saying something since that day I also had: Chocolate Starfish, Sorachi Ace, Final Absolution Dragonmead, Shorts Huma Lupa Licious, Bacchus Flemish Red Ale, Shorts Black Cherry Porter and Shorts Soft Parade. 5.0

Food Did not have any food. That is too bad because everything looked like it was probably excellent. We had just gone to the Omelet Factory in Grand Rapids that morning for breakfast.

Value Very good I thought but probably just reasonable (I was so giddy about being in the place that I thought any price would be too low).

11-25-2009 06:36:49 | More by adamette
Photo of jbrown1
jbrown1

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -15.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

We lucked into HopCat with a recommendation of a local, and then after getting lost we found our way right in front of the door and I'm delighted that we did!

This place really has a charming atmosphere. While vintage French posters, HD TV's, brewery equipment, and elegant wood paneling don't naturally go hand-in-hand, HopCat makes it work. As a resident of Chicago, where beautiful old wood carved bars are the norm, HopCat has done the same, but with a newer and lighter grain.

Their beer selection is phenomenal. They showcase Michigan brewed beers, as well as their own HopCat brews. And if you thought Michigan only included Bells and New Holand, then you're in for a treat. The staff are self proclaimed beer geeks, and they are very knowledgeable. In addition, all pours are placed into appropriate glass where. And if you're not a beer nut, they offer a comprehensive selection of liquor.

However... we were a little surprised on a Monday night. With a football game going on, and a Metallica show across the street, that the kitchen closed promptly at the regular scheduled time. The bar staff does a great job with pours, but fell short working for tips. They didn't have any chips, pretzels or nuts out, so when I pointed to the 'pretzel' on the menu they said no can do. A bit later on, Mr Bartender bragged about their 'beer cellar', and when I asked if I may tour it with the manager, another no can do.

Good atmosphere, nice value, Michigan should be darn proud that someone showcases their goods, but don't expect red carpet treatment.

11-15-2009 00:09:24 | More by jbrown1
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.