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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 Billolick
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Great looking room, large, high ceilings, huge windows looking out onto the active GR night life scene. Large bar area, all the beers on a large chalk board. 40 or so taps, great selection of multiple Michigan selections and all star choices from around the world. They are starting up their own brewery in the rear of the place and the fermenters were on display. Outside seating area. Beers served in appropriate glassware. Beer obviously being respected here. Pleasurable place for a visit, I'd be here often if I was local. (About 10 minutes drive to Sicicliano market and 3-5 mins from Founders)

Billolick, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of emerge077
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%

This was easily the highlight of a recent Michigan trip.

The place exuded an effortless cool, a combination of the turn of the century exterior, Art Deco & Folies Bergère posters framed on the ceiling, with the imagery incorporated elsewhere in the decor. Some nice paintings of 20th century jazz greats hung on brick walls in between art deco lanterns, hanging above intimate circular booths. Many tables, with a patio containing comfy sofas and furniture too. Brewing equipment was visible in the rear of the space. Multiple tap islands at the bar, maybe 6-8 per. I noticed the brand new Ommegang Rouge barrel-shaped handle, and ordered it first thing.

Once seated we ordered a round and had a couple appetizers. The food was good, "crack fries" were just ok in my opinion. It was busy, so it took a minute for initial service, but we were taken care of afterward.

Selection was really amazing for MI brews, there were 5 taps from Short's (it was a special of the month) and 5 from Kuhnhenn. Several from Arbor, Founders, and a few more obscure brewers too. Prices, style, and ABV were listed on the menu, also a plus. This place was worth the detour off 94.

emerge077, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of wide3345
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%

We were heading to Kalamazoo for the weekend but decided to go a bit out of our way to visit Grand Rapids and HopCat. The Kuhnhenn's were brewing the night we were there so I knew we'd have an even better time.

HopCat is situated right next to Van Andel arena and just down the street a block or so from Founders as well as a few other cool pubs and diners.

Inside HopCat they have a beautiful wood bar that goes clear to the ceiling with muchroom style bar taps situated every few feet or so. The crowd is diverse and friendly although I didn't get a chance to really meet anyone as we were busy in our own conversations.

As far as beer selection, I wouldn't go so far as to say they have the largest tap and bottle selection but I would definitely argue that their selection is by far the best in Michigan if not the Midwest. A few notables on draft: Short's Smugglin' Plums, Saison Dupont, Dark Horse Rod, Jolly Pumpkin ESBam, Rodenback Grand Cru..and on and on. They really did a nice job getting a great cross-section of Michigan brews as well as classic styles from Europe.

Their bottle selection is impressive as well. We had a Nogne IPA and an Abbey Trippel that I can't seem to remember the name of...it was good though...it was late.

Food selection is good. I enjoyed the bar cheese and the mac and cheese.

Definitely worth the extra drive if you're anywhere near Michigan!

wide3345, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of maltusaurelius
4.86/5  rDev +5.9%

I was visiting my home state of Michigan for 4th of July week and absolutely had to try this place out while I was home. It's a comfortable space with high ceilings, exposed brick, and a beautiful bar. The ceiling is decorated with several posters with beer themes that look like prints of early to mid-20th century adverts or artwork. Windows are primarly near the front door and along the wall opposite the bar, and there is an outdoor seating section, which makes it possible to enjoy the great Michigan summer weather while drinking some great beer. I wouldn't recommend sitting out there in January, but the interior is spacious so I doubt they'll run out of room for you. Overall a very pleasant place to have a few brews.

The beer selection is very extensive (I think I counted 48 taps! plus more in bottles!)and the waitstaff seems to know their stuff pretty well. My only disappointment was that there were no taps dedicated to the hometown brewery (Founders) but I guess HopCat figures if you want their beer you can head on down the street to get it from their brew pub.

I have to say that the bathroom at this place is absolutely the coolest bathroom I've ever been in. The wall above the urinals is covered in 40's and 50's pinup art - the illustrations of scantily clad women that used to grace calendars and such during the WWII and postwar era. The other walls are plastered with iconic black and white images from American cinema and music, from Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash to Al Pacino and Clint Eastwood. They seem to have had an eye for detail everywhere in this place.

I didn't have anything to eat so I can't rate the food, but the beer was excellent and served in appropriate glassware. Definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in GR.

maltusaurelius, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of nrbw23
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Stopped in at Hopcat on Sunday and low and behold they had a beer pairing from Arcadia. It was pretty awesome. Good food and good beer.

The atmosphere was pretty awesome. Huge list of taps and bottles. Top notch and very classly looking. They had around 50 taps and 150 bottles available. The service was outstanding, they had a great knowledge of the beer and let us sample several other brews.

They had so many beers that I had a hard time deciding which ones I wanted to try. This place is great by far one of the coolest bars I've been to.

nrbw23, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of Stonebreaker
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

In the interest of full disclosure the owner of this joint Mark sent me a beer mail after reading one of my posts saying that I was planning on attending his spot on my birthday and set me up with a free pint. Kudos to you Mark. That said, it seems to be a perfectly fair and smart thing to do and is certainly good business strategy. Let me say first that this place is beer nerd heaven....pause for dramatic effect... period! When we arrived, we were hungry and it did not disappoint, I had a house beer cheese w/applewood smoked bacon burger. I'd have to give my meal an A although the crack fries, were a little heavy on the onion powder for my taste(but my wife loved them), my wife had the macaroni which we had heard people raving about, but hers, all false humility aside, should be paying my rent right now so it didn't impress as much. My server, Emily, humbled this beer nerd in training with her knowledge of the sweet nectar and reccomended me a spiced belgian white that I'll never forget and search out forevermore, it was in some weird display of anti-snobbishness? referred to as mannequin piss? Thank you Emily and Mark for an experience that made the long drive from Chicago more than worthwhile. This is the type of place I aspire to having one day. Beer nerds everywhere should make the hajj to this place, it was made for you. Highly reccomended.

Stonebreaker, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of frampin
4.8/5  rDev +4.6%

Extensive bottle selection, although a bit pricey, there are a few rare gems, i.e 6 of the Short's Imperial series. A bit of a mark up at $45.00 a piece, though. Exceptional tap selection with pretty good variety, depending on the month/season. The opportunity to try Rodenbach Grand Cru, La Trappe Quad, and Ola Dubh 30 Year on tap is worth seeking this place out, in my opinion. Food is good, but nothing to write home about. All in all, this place is easily the best beer bar in Michigan, aside from Ashley's, but the atmosphere of HopCat trumps Ashley's easily.

frampin, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of ThirstyBird
4.9/5  rDev +6.8%

Well, on my recent visit to western Michigan I hit Hopcat after doing some research and was so happy that I hit it at least three times in five days! Katie our server was great and we sampled plenty of the wonderful beer on tap! I was impressed with the quality of the 48 or so taps, great European beers and well as wonderful Michigan beers and regional beers.

The food was a very nice surprise. My brother ordered a quasadilla the first night and wouldn't stop talking about it the whole trip (It was damn good!). We ate a couple of meals there and found the food to be high end bar fare which was also a good value.

This is truly one of the best beer bars that I've ever been in and if I am ever in Grand Rapids again I will race to Hopcat directly from the airport!

ThirstyBird, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of sloppymoose
4.88/5  rDev +6.3%

This place is great. Let me start with the negative. Some of the individual bottles are extremely pricey. more than double the cost of what you can get at a beer store around town. The price is really the only negative. atmosphere is very cozy and the outside patio is outstanding. they have plush couches. they have 5 or so shorts beers on tap which is the most i've seen anywhere besides the brewery. michigan beers are very well represented here. the service was great, barely had to wait, and the selection was, as rated, world class. only selection complaint i have is that there's only one firkin/cask. for an establishment of this caliber, an additional cask is a must. other than that, you must go if you have enough money.

sloppymoose, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of andythejerk
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%

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!

andythejerk, Jun 29, 2008
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 297 ratings.