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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
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BEER AVG
3.79/5
Based on:
41 Beers
70 Reviews
Place Score: 100
Reviews: 197
Visits: 358
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 197 | Visits: 358
Photo of andythejerk
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

First of all, thanks to Steve the beer guy and Jake our bartender for the great experience we had at the HopCat. Cool little place that I definitely felt comfortable in and would love to go back to next I'm anywhere near the area. Great draft list and many pages of fantastic bottle selections. We enjoyed a Rodenbach Grand Cru off tap followed by a couple bottles of Kentucky Breakfast Stout and then a J.W. Lees Lagavulin-cask aged ale. Amazing. Jake was very friendly, attentive, and eager to please us. He suggested several beers and served us several samples. Unfortunately, those three beers were enough for the day and I was forced to leave while still desiring to drink my way through so much more of what this place has to offer. Good grub, too. I had a very tasty breaded Tilapia sandwich and my buddy had a pork sandwich that was pretty kick ass. The decor found its pinnacle in the hodge podge of pictures in the bathroom. I kept wanting to go back to the bathroom over and over again just to look at the pictures again, and even snuck into the girls' bathroom to see if their decor was as awesome (it wasn't, though still pretty awesome).
But definitely, hands-down, the best thing about the place was the hospitality received from Jake and Steve. Thanks guys! (1,273 characters)

Photo of CortexBomb
4.58/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Interesting place, I finally stopped by here the other week...it's been open for quite some time and I'm not infrequently in GR, but it's hard to pry myself away from Founders.

Hopcat is located downtown in a spacious corner building with high ceilings, a long bar, and a great tap list. With 48 taps, a hand pull, and scads of bottles anyone should be able to find something they like here. I rate it 4.5 only because of the superior Ashley's selection in Ann Arbor, but given the city the selection is bar none the best, easily.

Prices are quite reasonable in comparison to many of these places, and the staff were absolutely on the ball, great service, friendly, they clearly care. Coming during non-peak time probably impacted this, but still.

They have a large food menu, and the snibblets that I've had of of it are good and also reasonable.

Really, I can only nitpick and say that the only reason why I'm not a huge, huge converted fan is the overall feel of the high ceilings and large space. This is the same beef I have with New Founders, I just like my bars to be a bit smaller and more intimate than this one, so my opinion of the atmosphere takes a ding there.

This is a nice stop off place if you're in GR and looking for a brew and perhaps some food. I doubt I'll go here often in lieu of New Founders, but it's a good option for the locals, and I can see the charm. (1,386 characters)

Photo of FURIOGUINTA
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

what a great looking corner bar. it's only two minute drive from Founder's. i was impressed with the decor, upon entering the door. my friends and i bellied right up to the bar and looked over the impressive beer list. what a great collection of Michigan brews, including Short's, which was fantastic. i was in town to hit a few spots and catch a Mustard Plug concert. as i sat and enjoyed a couple pints, the guys from Mustard Plug (local ska-punk heroes) came in and went to a private drinking area. if local celebrities hang here, it must be good, right? ;) (of all the places in town to hit, i managed a second visit after the show.) i met and spoke with one of the owners, Michele. we had a great chat about FFF (as i was sporting one of their shirts) and she recommended The Hideout to me. she was awesome! service was fine, if a bit inattentive. i can overlook that being that it was a Friday and business was booming. i will definitely be back and plan on trying the food, as what i saw others eating looked fantastic. i will also be prepared with a cooler so i can take a few growlers to go. if you are anywhere near Grand Rapids you owe it to yourself to visit this place! (1,182 characters)

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

I had the pleasure of stopping into HopCat last Wednesday on recommendation from some nice Grand Rapids locals I met at Founders (but I wanted to go anyway based on BA reviews). The bar is beautiful, very cozy, lively atmosphere. It was around 11:30 and there was a jazz band playing. The decor was very much eye candy and I loved the oversized bar stool seats.

I had trouble deciding what to get after being let down initially (not their fault). I saw Bells two-hearted on the chalk board and ordered that only to find out the board said it would be on cask tomorrow. Damn. So that threw me off and I decided to get an Oberon while I poured over the menu. Unfortunately my co-workers wanted to leave after that pint so I didn't end up having anything else, which is too bad because I could have spent all night trying beers I can't get back home in MA.

I really hope I have the opportunity to visit the area again and give this place a thorough tap by tap inspection :)

In the mean time it left me with a fantastic memory and a yearning to go back.

PS I found something very inspiring about this place. We talked with several Grand Rapids locals over the next few days. Folks that claimed to not be big beer drinkers even, and everyone recommended the HopCat. I see that has a HUGE boon to the craft beer industry. Here's a place with a drool-worthy tap and bottle selection that is attracting more than just beer geeks. Good job HopCat, this is exactly the kind of positive exposure the beer industry should be proud of! You have a great word-of-mouth following out there, keep up the good work! (1,601 characters)

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

The hopcat is easily one of the best beer bars i've been to in michigan, with a huge selection and great atmosphere.
Went today for the first time with my girlfriend and we enjoyed the environment very much. She ordered a veggie wrap (which was fantastic) and i got a burger and beer deal, which was also very tasty - the food is above average and well worth it (the fries!!), prices are really good, walked out of there with a 18$ bill for 2 beers, the food, and a pop. Our server was amazing as well, i haven't had such a good experience with speed and mannerisms in a while and she seemed completely comfortable and knowledgeable.

With the expanding options of brewing gear and other love put into the hopcat, i wish i lived closer to frequent often :D

definitely a must in GR!! (785 characters)

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

I had my first experience here last night and could not have been more impressed. The atmosphere was great; very hip but not contrived. Nice long bar and plenty of space. I had the pleasure of sitting next to the owner (which I didn't even know until I was cashing out). The crowd was pleasant. It was a nice mix of a younger and a middle-aged crowd. The bartenders were extremely knowledgeable. The bar was at capacity but there was still plenty of room to hang out and it was very easy to get drinks.

It was tough to even decide what to order because there were so many outstanding choices. They definitely cater to Michigan beers, which is great. I had Short's Huma Luma, Oaked Arrogant Bastard and Livery Double Paw on tap. My wife had Celis White and GLBC Holy Moses on tap. Everything was was very fresh and tasted great. The best part was the tab was only $21!!!

In my opinion, one could not ask for more from a beer bar.

I will be stopping by this place whenever I am in Gr Rapids. Very impressive. (1,009 characters)

Photo of Roeters
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Just down the street from my apartment and thank GOD. Great service, great beer, great place to sit and enjoy a pint or four. If you are not sure what you want just ask a server or bartender, they will find something that you will love.

The only place around with a hand-pull tap, and it changes every Friday, which are mostly Michigan Brews

A hugh selection of local and national brews. With a good selection of International Brews.

The only place other then Founders stop at on a visit to Downtown GR for a true beer lover. (529 characters)

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

What a breath of fresh air for Grand Rapids. We have so many great breweries here in Michigan but before now there was no great place to buy a good variety of their great brews in one place. The atmosphere there is top notch. With a great bar, interesting decorations, a variety of seating options, tons of beer and a smoke free atmosphere, this place is lacking in little. My only problem with the place is that it was so well done that it is near impossible to get a seat there on a Friday or Saturday night. (510 characters)

Photo of bgramer
4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This bar, in the shadow of the sports arena was a godsend to a Chicagoan on a road trip.

Their tap selection of craft beers is phenomenal, and the best part is, you can take home growlers of anything on tap. I took home Short's Huma Lupa Licious and SoftParade.

I ordered the cheeseburger with bacon and jalapenos which was quite tasty but their fries are definitely addictive with a tangy seasoning and i think, some subtle garlic lime salt. Yum.

If I didn't live in Chicago, I'd be coming to this place quite often. (520 characters)

Photo of willygreen
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

I stopped in at Hopcat prior to heading over to Founders for their KBS release party. The beer selection was phenomenal.

My only complaint was that their beer menu was missing some of their taps. I discovered a table tent with additional beers on it and then found out they still had beers on tap that were missing. How do you find out what these mystery beers are? They really need a system that makes it easy to read what all of their taps are.

This place is unbelievable. I had a dogfish 60 minute and a harpoon ipa, both really good and my first time on draft. Also tried a Hobgoblin (good English bitter) a great session beer.

The place was packed and the bartenders were still very attentive; the service was fast and friendly. I tried an appetizer and it is just average--typical Gordon Food Service or Sysco stuff. (825 characters)

Photo of frazbri
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I stopped at HopCat Saturday after the winter beer festival. The place was packed, and after a little search found a few empty barstools to occupy. The crowd was a mixture of beer geeks and young professionals out on the town. There are HDTVs above the bar, and a good mix of music from old school James Brown to Zepplin played at a volume that allowed for conversation.

The menu is mostly sandwiches and comfort food of high quality. I had a fish sandwich with crack fries and side of mac & cheese. The fish was broiled tillapia with a cajun spice rub served on a tasty fresh roll. The mac is a stove-top mac, but the cheese sauce is much better than the blue box powder. The crack fries are seasoned battered fries, usually not my favorite, but these had a nice garlic kick and were perfectly crisp and golden. The food nearly equalled the beer.

HopCat boosts 48 taps plus 100 plus bottles. Approximately half of the taps are Michigan beers. Bell's, Founders, New Holland, Shorts, Dragonmead, Kuhnhenn, Michigan Brewing and the Livery were represented. The goodness didn't end there. The rest of the drafts were craft brewers too. The only exception I saw on the menu was listed as "lawnmower beer" which is one of the old lager brands at a time; pabst, strohs or something else.

Service wasn't great, but it was forgivable. The bartenders were busy the entire time we were there. They do know beer, and gave lots of good recommendations to those that were intimidated by the beer list.

The management and owners of HopCat understand beer. great beer + great food = great bar (1,582 characters)

Photo of MtnBikingandBeer
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Simply Fantastic! While West Michigan certainly has a fantastic selection of local breweries to choose from, I have not yet been to any pub with this vast of a selection. The atmosphere was great, very relaxing. Service was phenomenal and very knowledgeable. All beers sampled in my group of four were served in appropriate glassware. Forty some odd beers on tap and 100+ bottle options! The beer menu was quite in depth and provided excellent descriptions. As such, I was able to introduce several friends to the "better beer world" and they were quite surprised. Although they were a little confused that no MBC was on tap at first, we were able to find them some good intro beers and hopefully they'll come back for more.

I will certainly make this a regular spot to share good times with good friends and good beer! Thank you HopCat for providing GR exactly what it has been needing! (888 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.95/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Made the pilgrimage from Ann Arbor for the BA Pre-Opening Party. And wow am I ever glad I did! Since the party was a special event with a special crowd and very special specials (half off all beer!) I am reviewing this place based on what I would expect to be a regular night with full prices.

The atmosphere was incredible. Spacious with tall ceilings, big windows, rustic brick, great art/decor, and just a great overall feel to the place. Oh, and the centerpiece is the big, beautiful bar with its properly-tap handled tap fountains and cathedral-like backing (worth the trip just to see this alone!). No smoking on the main floor with a small, cozy smoker's lounge upstairs. Service was great, especially considering how new the place is and how busy it was. The menus are thorough and descriptive and there were plenty of them.

The quality and selection were top-notch with 48 taps (not a single crap-tap) and 150+ bottles and one hand-pump. Good local representation (which allowed me to try The Hideout's and The Livery's fine offerings for the first time). Clean and appropriate glassware was provided with each beer (tulips, imperial pints, and over-sized wine glasses). The food was terrific too. The fries were very addicting and the pita/veggie spread was great to snack on with our bottles of Three Philosophers and Old Ruffian. Reasonably priced too! This is a destination beer bar and I can't wait to go back! (1,428 characters)

Photo of Seahorse
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A beer lover's paradise. Good mix of domestic micro brews and imports. I missed the pre-opening festivities, however, visited on the Saturday's Grand Opening. Great decor throughout with plenty of seating. Impressive hand crafted bar with a monastery motif. Even the bathroom impressed me with its Vargas like 40's pinups. Service was great, from the bartenders, wait staff and on site management, everyone was helpful and friendly. This is by far the classiest beer bar I have ever frequented; however, it was warm, friendly and down to earth. Thanks HopCat for making my night an enjoyable one. Look forward to a long and healthy relationship! (645 characters)

Photo of monitorpop
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I just went to there first night "soft opening" and I hope this place doesn't change because I have a new favorite place in town.

BEER: WOW, 48 taps lined up down the bar is a sight to be seen! They had beers on tap that I have hard time finding in the bottle. It was very hard to pick a beer with so many favorites like Hennepin and 90min IPA on tap for the first time and tons more that I had never tried. The menu did a great job of describing the beers, I only wish they listed the BA ratings on the menu.

ATMOSPHERE: They spared no expense on this place, the detail on the custom woodwork and bar is amazing for a place this new. Most new places cut corners on the details, but here you can tell the owner took pride in everything. NO SMOKING in the main area, only in the loft. I didn't stink of smoke when I got home and I love it! I'm not sure what the crowd will be like when its open to the public, but this BA member only night had a nice mix of people.

FOOD: The food was actually the biggest surprise. I didn't expect the food to be very good on the opening night of a beer bar, but It was actually quite good. Some of the best casual dinning fare I've had in Grand Rapids.

MOUTH-FEEL: Nice light carbonation with a smooth finish.... (1,250 characters)

Photo of dutch05
4.43/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

As the first one in the door for the BA preopening party, We got a table across from the bar.

Great atmosphere, our server was very helpful in making our selections, a couple bugs in the computer system, beers not inputted, but nothing serious, that's what a preopening is for right?

Nice selection of beer, if you can't find one you like here I don't know where the heck you would go! Great variety on tap, but the bottle list was incomplete, should be ready for the Grand Opening on Saturday.

Didn't have the Scotch list available, but from what I saw on the shelf it should be a nice selection also. From the peaty to the smooth, another "something for everyone" selection.
The music was not too loud, nice to have it be in the background and not overwhelming for a change.

Two tv's over the bar, and one giant screen available in front for special occasions.

Really nice that the smoking section is in the loft, it didn't reach the main bar area at all. I am assuming that a outdoor area will be available in nicer weather, there is a covering outside the building that is fenced in.

All in all, a great addition to the downtown area, I am not a downtown type person, but I think this will change now. (1,211 characters)

Photo of GRPunk
4.6/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The downtown location and building are great. It's within walking distance of GR's entertainment or any pubcrawl you may want to complete in the area. It had a nice crowd, but enough space for everybody.

It has the biggest taplist I know of in West Michigan as well as a huge selection of bottled beers. It's a nice mix local, regional, and imports. Everything was served in the proper glass.

Service was friendly and helpful. After ordering my first, my waitress offered other selections that were similar or may be of interest.

The food was good and decently priced.

I would definitely suggest the HopCat to any beer lover than finds his/herself in GR. (658 characters)

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