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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BEER AVG
3.81/5
Based on:
36 Beers
201 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 332
Reviews: 197
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 

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: 332 | Reviews: 197 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tpd975
4.53/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Stopped in during my Indiana trip.

Real cool location. Nice bar with tons of tables. The building itself is nice with very nice restrooms. We went after an assortment of appetizers for a snack and all were tasty. Above your normal bar fare for sure.

The online beer list was a bit outdated but the waitress was great. She knew exactly what had been killed and what new offerings were on tap. I ordered a ton of beers and a million more 2 ounce samples (one dollar each). I love an educated waitstaff and our waitress was really on top of things.

The draft list was real nice. They had it broken down by category and the selection was nice with offering from all parts of the US and beyond. The bottle list was nice as well. I went after several of the B. Nektar Meads which I had never heard of before.

Overall a real nice spot. Falls a bit short of Founder's which I thought was an absolute gem. That being said if I am ever within a hundred miles of Grand Rapids I will stop by the hopcat again, and you should as well.

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

Atmosphere is a very open and airy, but still warm & cozy. 20 ft. ceilings with cool old style beer prints staring down upon you from the ceiling. The same prints are found on the backs of various high-sitting stools around the tables throughout the bar - very nice touch of keeping the cool art flowing. Spectacular handmade custom bar that's as nice as I've ever seen - all real wood and very high class. The lighting is very natural during the day (big windows facing the street corner) and adequately (a bit dim) lit at night. Men's bathroom has cool retro rock & film icon prints on the walls: Garcia, Cash, Dylan, Waits, Newman, Pacino, Dirty Harry, etc. War time pin-up prints are fun too. Music is always unique and fresh on the jukebox. The sound system is very full and clear. Not too loud, but still very perceivable. Haven't been there when there's live music or DJ though.

Quality is top-notch. Never had a bad draft or bottle. Always fresh and served in appropriate glass. They even rinse every clean glass with a sprinkler gadget right before the fill it with your beer - just to make sure your glass is perfectly prepared to receive the beer of your liking. 48 taps of fantastic craft beer. Always changing, always fresh. They do have a few certain mainstays, but that's just because demand is so high for these, (ie: Short's Huma Lup IPA, etc.). Their one cask always seems to have something special. I've had so many great cask beers from it, I can't remember them all. There bottle selection is extensive and wide ranging. Many good Belgians, Germans, (Mmmm...Plank) and high gravity special releases. I love their $3 Michigan pint/goblet 2-4pm weekday specials. Just last week I had a (normally $7) chalice of Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout for $3. Makes it hard to just pick one when you have to go back to work. Every once and a while they'll have a highly recognized person from the industry visit and showcase some special brews and events. Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery is coming later this month, I believe April 26th (Monday). I'll definitely be coming to this! Michael Plank even brewed a special beer to initiate their brewing system their first summer!

Service is the best. Jeremy and Ernie command the bar like super-cool malt & hop ninjas. Always eager to please your pallet and offer smart suggestions, leaving no beer without proper representation. it can get a little slower when the bar is fully packed, but that's what happens when the bar is packed two deep. To say they're friendly is without question. To say their knowledgeable is correct.

The food is amazing. Great twists on American standards. Soups, burgers/sandwiches, salads, unique appetizers and their infamous 'Crack Fries'. They also host the most amazing beer dinners (usually on Sundays at 6pm) I've had the pleasure of attending. Their commitment to world class craft beer and fresh, clever and tasty food is the best I've ever had under the same roof.

The overall value is reasonable when you take into account the total package of HopCat. They do have great daily specials to help your wallet. They don't cut corners, so remember this when you look at the prices. There are cheaper prices out there, but we're not comparing apples-to-apples when putting them next to 'pedestrian'- type bars either.

I was lucky enough to make it to the 'BA Grand Opening' on a Thursday night in early January '08. It was the night before their official Grand Opening. Everything was Half-Off. I thought I was in heaven. I've been here many, many times since and every visit is always as good as the last. They've made the blueprint, now I'm spoiled for life.

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

The husband and I had a great night at Hopcat. We were in town for the Founders KBS release the following day. If you are in western Michigan NOT going to Hopcat is cardinal beer sin.
We were lucky to get a booth in the back of the restaurant, better for people watching.
We started with "nachos" that instead of corn chips had fried potato chips. Very tasty. And the "crack fries". This was based on a recommendation from the hotel we stayed at. The fries were tasty but I really liked the nachos.
I can not say enough about the beer list. Pace yourself!!! I was so excited about the beers I did over indulge. I drank a sample of all the IPAs on draft. I don't know what I was thinking. I was completely overwhelmed by the selection available. In NC we get a very limited selection so perusing this menu was a treat.
Back to the food....I had a great sandwich and had a hard time deciding on which one because they all sounded interesting. But my husbands entree was the best thing I have had in awhile. Let me state for the record, I don't like junk food and I am not a big meat eater. My husband got the Mac and Cheese. Trevor, our waiter who was the best waiter we have encountered in awhile, recommended trying it with sloppy Joe's on top. It has been 3 days and I am still thinking about it. OMG!!! this was the best stuff! Creamy with savory meat and some crunch from breadcrumbs perhaps? I helped my husband finish off his entree, I couldn't stop eating the stuff.
We were treated to a tour by Tim, I thought when he opened the doors to show us the beer they store you could angels sing. Then again I had a few IPAs by this time. We had a very memorable evening thanks to Tim and Trevor's excellent service and recommendations.
I am looking forward to returning to MI next year, pacing myself on the beer at Hopcat and eating my own dish of mac and cheese.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.3/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place is much bigger on the inside then it looks from the street. Pretty good atmoshpere too. The selection is amazing. Only had time for a couple drinks, but the tap list was fantastic, and the bottle list was ridiculous. They look a little on the pricey side though. They have all the michigan breweries covered, and tons of selections from north american and across the ocean. I ended up going with a pint of Brooklyn Cookie Jar Porter and Dark Horses's Double Crooked Tree. Would have loved to try more beer had time allowed it. Every town should have a bar like this. I really hate Canada.

Photo of Molly
4.95/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Made the trip across the state to hit the Michigan Winter Beer Fest, needed a place to go for some food and beer. Stopped into Hopcat by suggestion from a friend.

Walked in on Friday to a mess. Place was swamped, there was no host type anywhere, and little direction as to how to get a table. I was lucky enough to poach some stools at the end of the bar. WTF, 49 taps?

Despite the fact the bar was three deep, we were greeted immediately presented with a large menu of the taps, happy to see that most of them were Michigan brews from all over the state. Equally impressive was the bottle list.

Service - impeccable. The bartenders were on top of getting us another pint every time, but not intrusive. Knowledgeable, recommended some great beers we've never had. They all seemed like they truly were enjoying what they were doing, which was a large part of the atmosphere.

Food - very good. We had the "crack fries" with some soft cheese dip. Extra heavily seasoned, plus a touch of something sweet, a great match for the big beers we were having at the time. Followed up with Mac and Cheese that we added Chorizo and Jalapenos to. Yum.

We only had 1 house brew, and it went over well, but with so many really good beers to choose from...

Being Beerfest weekend, the place was full of beer nerds and brewers, which means the atmosphere was great. Jukebox was marked out of order, but we heard a couple of killer songs anyways.

Actually, we liked it so much there we headed back the very next day and did it all over again. No regrets, the experience was just as good.

The owners of this place should be proud.

Photo of JToad
4.95/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

My girlfriend surprised me with a trip to Grand Rapids based solely on HopCat for Valentines Day.

The place is simply amazing. 48 drafts of some great rare brews, and bottle list that is outstanding! The place was packed, the only available seats were upstairs in the loft, but the bartenders were very attentive and prompt. I was fortunate to get great treatment from Steve their chief beer guy. After introducing myself (as i was told to do by Mark, the owner via a previous beermail conversation) the rest of the night was incredible. I started with a Bells Batch 9000, moving on to a Shorts PB &J and then an 06 Stone Double Bastard. For dinner I had the shredded Pork Sandwich and Crack Fries and an order of the Beer Cheese for an app. Food was simply fantastic. My GF had the chicken salad wrap and was in heaven.

Steve took care of us all night, then gave us a private tour of the inner workings of the HopCat. Got to see the bottle cooler, and the three of us broke open a bottle of the Old Rasputin 12.

Ive never had this good of an experience at a bar in my life. It's so nice to have a place so passionate and knowledgeable about great beer. The food was great and the prices were very reasonable. Many thanks to Mark and Steve and the rest of the HopCat crew.

I am proudly wearing my HopCat tshirt! Thanks Steve

Photo of sullenbee
4.01/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I honestly don't understand the hype. Don't get me wrong, HopCat is an exceptional bar. Great beer selection, great decor, and a great alternative to other downtown Grand Rapids bars.

My experiences have been fairly mediocre when it comes to atmosphere. Service however, has been attentive on slow nights, but somewhat non-existent on busy nights. (Which is understandable, sometimes places just get busy) Perhaps I'm choosing the wrong nights to check HopCat out. In reality, I'm probably just an odd duck.

Things I do enjoy: No smoking, other than the smoking lounge.

Beer selection is phenomenal, and doesn't disappoint. I really need to make it out to some of their special beer events/dinners.

In all, I'm going to keep trying to talk friends into accompanying me there. I really think I just need to find the right crowd to make me comfortable, and it could easily become a regular stop for me to try out new beers.

Photo of eopacich
4.33/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ah, The Hopcat. So I saw the #3 status and read the hype so I had to make a road trip. This was the centerpiece of my tour, but I also made stops at Sicilianos, International Beverages, GB Russo, and Founders. The Hopcat is a great brewpub. Nice handsome dark woods, hardwood floor on the ceiling, vintage beer artwork, nice old brick,great woodwork and heavy metals on the bar - exactly what a kick ass brewpub should look like. Awesome selection of beers. 48 on tap. Now I've been to places with 50+ taps but there is no crap on their drafts here - lots of great beers. Great selection plus a ton of bottled beers too. Lots of talk about the bathroom so I had to check out both (whoops, too many beers and I accidentally found my way into the women's room). Came here Friday night at 5 ish and amazingly there were open tables (Founder's was packed by 4). Came back for lunch the next day - had a great Pork sandwich (ask for some BBQ sauce) and the crack fries live up to their namesake. Not sure if this is #3 in the world but definitely one of the best in the midwest. I will be back.

Photo of n0315
4.7/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Amazing. This place transcends what a brewpub should be. A must stop if you like beer. No way around it.

The atmosphere was what you should see out good brewpub. It was lively and everyone seemed to be having a good time. The quality was as good as it gets. Proper glassware for the brews, the place was clean and it looked just amazing inside. Service was good, but it was the worst part about the visit. Took a little too long at the start to get the brews, but got much better after that. Could have just been buys, don't know. Selection speaks for itself. I cannot do it justice with mere words. Food was good, better than what you would usually expect out of a brewpub. Large menu as well.

Great place. a must see.

Photo of nflmvp
4.4/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I've only had the pleasure of stopping into Hop Cat, once. But it was quite a pleasure.

The atmosphere is fairly typical of this kind of place. It's nice but not much different than most other top notch beer bars. I can't deduct any points here but I can't hardly add them either. I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining, I'm not. I've scored it accordingly.

Quality is top notch. They do a great job of making sure there are plenty of great beers for everyone's taste. High marks, here!

Service was good but the place was pretty busy. If I could experience this place with a lighter crowd, I might up the score on service. All things considered, I think the bartenders and wait staff did a good job taking care of us.

Selection was awesome. I don't hand out fives for almost anything but if anything deserves a 5, it's the selection of brews at Hop Cat.

I just had a sandwich but it was good. However, I need more than a sandwich to really tell what I think of their food. I'll try to order something a little more substantial the next time, to see if I can upgrade that score a bit.

Value is about what you'd expect.

I look forward to stopping into Hop Cat again, very soon.

Photo of steebo777
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.

Photo of grub
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?

Photo of HopOverdose
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.

Photo of blakesell
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!)

Photo of hurricanelars
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

Photo of northernbrews
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!

Photo of jt31914
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.

Photo of ioeth
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.

Photo of adamette
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).

Photo of jbrown1
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.

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

Grand Rapids was a major stop on Dulcie and Aylwin's Second Big Beer Aventure. We sort of lucked into HopCat and we are so glad we did. This place deserves all the plaudits it receives. We ended up going there twice in one day, taking a break to visit Founders just around the corner. Where to start? The building is great architecturally with a giant bar, high ceilings and luxurious decor of an olde worlde feel. The staff is fabulously friendly and knowledgeable. Having just come from places like Bells and Arcadia, where beer is served with measured disinterest, it was nice to meet people who clearly enjoyed what they were doing. The beer selection is breath-taking in its width and depth; we enjoyed several hard-to-find big beers. The food was quite decent as well. All-in-all, you have to make a pilgrimage at some time.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.53/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I frequent this place from time to time when in need of a good beer night out. The selection of beer is excellent and I've never had a problem with the service. If you are looking for a bite to eat, I recommend the macaroni and cheese...add some chicken and jalapenos and you will be happy!
One of the greatest features at HopCat is the reasonable pricing of local beers. If you are on a budget crunch, you can always count on getting a quality Michigan brew for not a lot of coin.
During local playoffs, you may be lucky enough to view your favorite team on a screen the size of a small house.

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

The receipt came with the message "Review us on beeradvocate.com", so I'm complying..

I had been looking to visit here a while and finally had the chance about a week ago.

One of the best selections of beers I've seen on tap, including several that I had not run into before. Several rarities from Goose Island, small Michigan breweries, and others across the country. They also have a few of their own beers.

Service was great and very knowledgeable. Offered me the remainder of a keg for free when I ordered a beer they had just about exhausted.

Food was very good and had a few out-of-the-ordinary items for a bar beer like this.

Great place all-around.

Photo of spankdog42
4.53/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Made the drive for lunch one day while on vacation....

When you walk into Hopcat, you realize every other bar you have visited was missing something. I cant really explain it, but everything is just right.

Tons of great craft on tap. A number of house beers as well that hold their own. Food was good....And when you compare it to Founders or Bells, the food is fantastic.

To top off our lunch, we spent some time talking shop with Garry (the "ringleader" according to his card). Extremely great guy. He sent us home with a few bottles of Short's which just topped off a great afternoon.

Anyway, this is a must stop if you are in the area.

Photo of Pipeworks
4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Had a fantastic time here, stopped in for 1 beer and some wings and ended up staying for 4+ hours. Love the fact that the bar is a mile long allowing plenty of room for everyone to pull on up. Separate up-stairs smoking lounge was a plus to aid my bourbon barrel aged pour. Staff knows what they are doing with management on site ready to fix any problem. Prices for regular pours were $4-6 and sandwiches (which are pretty amazing) $7-9 or so. Proper glassware of course. The super high ceilings make it a very open atmosphere. They are way higher than most high ceiling which helps cut down the chatter a bit.

HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 332 ratings.