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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BA SCORE
100
world-class

297 Ratings
Ratings: 297
Reviews: 194
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.37%
Active Beers: 46
Beer Ratings: 273
Beer Avg: 3.81
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:
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: 297 | Reviews: 194 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of reallyhoppie
4.9/5  rDev +6.8%

Hands down the best selection and most knowledgeable staff I have ever encountered, and I can be pretty critical of both of those aspects of bars. The vibe was awesome, the food was great (can't beat the Thurs. special), the service was incredible, and the beer selection is unparalleled. Though the selection of HopCat's own beer is currently limited, after talking to the brewer and trying what they did have, I'm convinced that their own brews have a great future. Bret, Corey, the owners, and the rest of the staff went above and beyond.

If you are anywhere near southwest Michigan you absolutely must stop by HopCat. I'm planning part of a vacation around it myself.

reallyhoppie, May 30, 2009
Photo of EffinABubba
4.78/5  rDev +4.1%

One of the coolest bars I've been in, hands down. If you're a jazz fan, you'll love the murals (e.g. Thelonius Monk, etc.), if you're a beer fan, you'll love the selection and beerphanalia, if you're a fan of comfortable bars with interesting decor, you'll be at home. This is a very nice bar that isn't pretentious. You can comfortably mix crowds. Mark, the owner, was present at our visit and was very friendly and extremely generous to us out-of-towners. We also saw him circulating through the bar chatting with folks, so he proves himself to be a man interested in the experience of his guests. Mark introduced us to Steve, who I believe is either the bar manager or operations manager. Anyway, Steve gave us a tour and made sure we had a chance to try beers we normally wouldn't have had a chance to try or didn't have on our radar screens...and all this during a busy evening. I highly recommend this place!

EffinABubba, May 26, 2009
Photo of Baileyuk
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

Well after finally getting to eat here off the regular menu I am able to fully put in a review.

I fell in love with this place as I watched a Soccer Match on the flat screen (a perfect amount in the place). The feel has a true pub feel to it for some reason, so many have tried but this is good.

Quality of the building, selection, staff knowledge, and everything else is awesome.

Selection is top notch, probably the best in Michigan. There are a few close to it but with seeking out rare finds this is just above. Lots of Shorts including some stuff they aged themselves so even I did not have any anymore. They have some shared storage space in the old mines. Little touches like that put this into the elite tier.

Food was excellent, I have been to a couple of beer dinners and was very satisfied but this was my first trip. Was no kids menu which was not the end of the world due to some appropriate choices on the menu anyways. Was not a great fan of my barbecue sauce but I put that down purely to personal preference as my wife liked them alot. Fries awesome, as was the coleslaw.

Baileyuk, May 23, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
5/5  rDev +8.9%

First off just let me say I had a better time visiting here than at Founders for the day. I didn't really know what to expect when I walked in there but I figured this had to be a good place. Good doesn't even begin to really say how I felt. I was blown away when I first walked in and noticed how big the place was. The beer (tap) list was amazing with beers from all over the place. And the bottle list had even more of a stranglehold of beers from all over the world. This is the place to go if you are ever in Grand Rapids. Prices were very reasonable and Mark is very friendly and helpful (thanks for the beer shop advice). And talk about a great host (thanks for cracking open those beers). I have been to a lot of "beer bars" and this one by far is the best I have been to. The staff was friendly and even though I didn't taste the food I saw many plates come out and it did look quite good. I can't wait to swing back up there when I get a chance. Just simply amazing....I don't know what else to say.

Edit: After forgetting to mention this in the original post I must say the bartender Kim was amazing. She was friendly and even took time out to make small talk with us. And take our picture..in the women's bathroom. She rocks....times 10!

alleykatking, May 18, 2009
Photo of Bung
4.74/5  rDev +3.3%

I remember this place being the Sierra Room, a wine joint. What an improvement this place has become. Too bad this wasn't around when I actually lived near GR.
Nice woody interior, like many downtown GR bars. Place for a band near the entrance windows. Porch outside is nice, for 4 months of the year. Upstairs smoking lounge is a real nice touch and does seem to keep the smoke out of the rest of the establishment.
Definetely have not seen a better beer selection, a few maybe equal, but none better. Good selection and variety and plenty of local brews. Shorts being the treat for me. The Hopcat brand stout was not bad either, just not quite as good as the Chocolate Wheat from Shorts. Vintage stuff seemed a bit pricey, but I've never understood the "cost" of keeping something in a cellar. For a restaurant I suppose there could be some, but the basement is there whether they use it or not, it's not like it is an extra cost. Anyways, this is far and away the best place to stop in GR. If you don't want to come downtown, try Logans Alley or Graydons, but you might as well come the rest of the way.

Another kudos, Hopcat was kind enough to politely explain the cost for a business to keep a cellar, which makes absolute sense in that it ties up money. I was more caught up in some BA's thinking their $15 dollar beer is now worth 2 of my $10 beers because you kept it in your basement, but I digress.

Bung, May 15, 2009
Photo of JordanEllwanger
5/5  rDev +8.9%

After months of being told to visit I finally did. Had a little trouble finding a seat at first, and had to stand behind my wife until a neighboring stool opened up, which was before I finished my first beer. Upon finishing my first beer I happened to glance up at the vintage posters randomly hung on the nice high ceilings. Ordered another beer and a veggie burrito, that was outstanding.

Superior selection. 48 taps & 150 bottles. Including Hopcat's very own brews.

Atmosphere is killer. Black and white photos of some of the greatest rock artists of all time in the men's room.

Helpful, attentive, and knowledgeable staff.

While it is a bit pricey the food is great.

By far the best bar experience I have had.
Cheers,
Jordan.

JordanEllwanger, May 13, 2009
Photo of regeimbk
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%

Had an odd run-in here with a homeless man who asked me and my girlfriend if we wanted to be in his movie and sat on top of our stuff so he could sit in our booth. However, as soon as customers complained, the man was kicked out.

The food here really is good. I've never had any complaints about it. The fish and chips is delish. Burgers are awesome. Steak is yummy. They have "crack fries" which I wouldn't call addictive, but they are good, especially when dipped in their cheese sauce. Whoever is cooking back there is doing their job.

Beer selection is awesome--duh.

Can be hard to find a table in there some nights, especially in the winter when their outdoor patio isn't open. When we were there, there wasn't a bike rack (not sure if there is one now), so we chained our bikes to a street sign. When we were getting ready to leave, a cop car pulled up beside our bikes and sat there for what felt like fifteen minutes. We had heard stories of cops ticketing bikers for locking their bikes to signs so we had to wait it out. Then we crunk road it.

regeimbk, May 03, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%

Now this should be the model by which all beer bars are built from. Wow, what a place! Very classy and clean interior. A bar that is probably fifty feet long with taps lining it's entirety. And these are not just filler taps. They have a couple Short's, and everything else you could imagine that's available in Michigan. Plenty of space and relaxing. I ordered the Burger with beer cheese and it could have possibly been the best burger that I have ever eaten. Paired it with a Short's Huma Lupa and I'm in heaven. I can imagine this place would get crowded during the weekends, but this is a must stop. I could spend a long time in here just working my way through some taps. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Great place that is only a few blocks from Founders. This place is a must stop.

FtownThrowDown, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of nhudson
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%

Man this place... I am so glad I came here today. From the south there are not too many places like this. The Brickstore in Decatur GA is the only better place I have been to this being 2nd. Soon as you walk in you are overwhelmed by the tap selection. I didnt count, but others have said 48 and its 45-50 taps on the bar. They had everything and it took me a minute to figure out what I wanted. I went with the cask they had today which was the New Holland Dragons Milk. Not too many people out on an Easter afternoon so service was awesome. Hamburger and their crack fries. I sure wish I could have gotten more fries they are awesome! Very nice bottle selection, only thing holding them back is a vintage bottle list otherwise I would have given them a 5.0. If you are ever in grand rapids go here. There are no excuses for not hitting this place up.

nhudson, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of moshea
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

What else can you say about HopCat that has not already been said? The place looks great as you walk in. The bar area is dominated by a great ornate bar back the rest of the bar looks as good with some fun twists thrown in.

Service was top notch. Marc the owner and his wife stopped by introduced themselves and shared some beer knowledge. Steve was great, steering me through some selections from Shorts and the Livery I could not get at home. I mentioned to Steve that a friend was through last June. Steve immediately remembered that my friend had bought a bottle of beer but left it at the bar and asked me to take it to him.

The selection is great with 48 taps and over 150 bottles. All the Michigan heavies are present and the rest of the country and world are well represented. Be sure to ask to see the reserve list. They also recently began brewing their own beer. The Barley Wine I had was fantastic and a great example of its style.

I cannot recommend this place enough. HopCat and Founders have taken a small corner of Grand Rapids and turned it into a top notch beer destination.

moshea, Apr 09, 2009
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 297 ratings.