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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BEER AVG
3.82/5
Based on:
35 Beers
199 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 323
Reviews: 195
rAvg: 4.59
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:
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: 323 | Reviews: 195 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JordanEllwanger
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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.

Photo of nikolep
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of SteveDoeschot
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Pudge43
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

HopCat is one of those places that just makes me want to keep coming back over and over again. I just wish I did not live three hours away. This is the best beer bar I've ever visited. One word...OUTSTANDING!

I was in GR on a business trip on 1/8/09 and made it my mission to find time to make a visit. Fortunately the busines meeting lasted only a couple hours which left me time to make the visit.

This bar is beautiful with seating that says "sit down and stay awhile". 40+ taps and 150 bottles is quite the selection. The decor in this place is really rustic with the exposed brick and lots of wood.

As for the beer, there was definitely no shortage in this department. Since I only had about three hours before having to head for home I didn't even attempt the bottle selection, but it looked quite impressive. Their tap selection featured plenty of MI local brews as well as West Coast and Belgian selections. Pricing was reasonable and service was top notch (Jeremy really knew his beer). Growlers are $6 with prices very reasonable on filling. They will also fill any growler you bring in. I also want to thank the owner, Michelle for the hospitality. She and I had e-mailed back and forth a few times once I knew I was going to make the trip and she made the trip very easy.

The mural in the men's restroom is absolutely remarkable with photos of the Dead, Zappa, Johnny Cash (flipping you off when you turn around from the urinal) and many others.

I will do whatever in my power to make the trek up there again to visit this outstanding establishment. Hopefully the next trip can be a little longer. I would really like to experience the night time operation of this wonderful place.

Photo of Jyoungquist
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of adamette
5/5  rDev +8.9%
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 bigfurrynutz
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This was a stop on my Grand Rapids pub crawl for my 35th birthday. This is a must stop for any BAs who are passing through GR or live nearby. The selection of beers is mind boggling. It took a considerable amount of time to decide on what I was going to drink but I decided on a house beer, the Hopapotomus. It was decent but the selection of other guest beers was what really made this place worthwhile. In addition, the food here is incredible. The wife and I split an order of crack fries with cheese and they really hold up to their name, you will want more. We also feasted on macaroni and cheese which was out of thie world. When I return to GR, I will be back fo sho!!

Photo of Thereformedtheo
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of vtisme
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I feel like a broken record saying awesome things about HopCat just like everyone else, but:
Bottom Line Up Front - If you are anywhere in MI, you MUST visit Hopcat in downtown Grand Rapids, MI!!

I brought my wife, father, and 5 friends to HopCat because I knew they have literally hundreds of beer available either on tap or in bottle and I would like to have dad/wife try things out to fine tune their beer tastes. As you walk in you can immediately feel the warm, professional atmosphere. Without even talking to someone, you know these people know what they're talking about. Which leads to the fact that it seems every single one of their staffers knows, in deep detail, about all of their beers. You ask what examples of any style they have on tap/bottle, they will name them without blinking. Not only that, the courteous service they provide is honestly second to none, that signature midwestern hospitality shows through. The crack fries must be sprinkled with it, and their humus was also the best i've had. The prices are spot on with the quality of beer they have.

If you're a homebrewer as well, they are more than happy to talk about brewing and what they're up to. Talking through brewing with them was another highlight of the night.

Also, to repeat a review before mine, a special shoutout to Steve - he was amazingly gracious, hospitable, and he is the perfect example of how personalized service really makes it no matter where you go.

My wife, dad and friends havent stopped raving about going to HopCat, and next time we are here in the area we will absolutely be going back. I havent been to the #1/2 beer bars in the world, but they really must be fantastic to top this.
-vt

Photo of Urbancaver
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I can't believe I haven't reviewed HopCat yet... This is one of the few places I've been that time and time again is absolutely hands down THE place to stop. Phenomnal atmosphere. Huge tap list. Amazing bottle selection. Their own brews are top notch. service is GREAT, I was able to get samples for cheap and try a LOT more than ordering full pints which was especially nice for trying things like Bloody Beer. The food was super tasty (especially the crack fries) and the price was rigth on target. Overall the best beer bar I've ever been to hands down

Photo of Pklimas
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of canti1pd
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of kevinlater
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of larryarms847
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Stu_Grimson
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of elNopalero
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Some times it pays to start your beer drinking in the afternoon. I came here with a friend on a visit to Grand Rapids and this was our first stop. They had so many beers on tap—I was overwhelmed at first by the number of handles at the different stations spanning the length of the bar—until I learned they will provide you with a ‘menu’ of available beers. It just so happened our visit was following a Short’s take over so there were a lot of Joe Short’s tasty beverages on tap.

That many offerings alone would make me a regular. I mean, just when you’ve worked your way through the board there’s always going to be something else you just have to try coming up, right? It’s a tough life, I know.

Even better was our server who endured/enjoyed our beer geek questions, shared recommendations and tasting notes of his own, and—in what has become the stuff of legend—poured us a flight of their house beers that was somewhere more on the side of half-pours than tasters. Truly epic! We left a hearty tip on a tab that should have been tripled anywhere else. Between this and Founders Grand Rapids beer drinkers have it made.

Photo of brockg
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Beer was amazing...but u havent lived till u try crack fries

Photo of Cinephile
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of mattmarka1
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of smk8nig
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Eass
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Hoppy2Bhere
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

My wife and I visited the Hopcat on the last day of a seven day tour of Michigan and it was truly the highlight of the trip. We found two seats at the large wooden bar and quickly lost ourselves in the fabulous beer menu. With 48 taps of high quality and hard to find beers, this is not an easy decision. I have been to many bars with more taps, but none with such a diverse selection, focusing primarily on high gravity local Michigan offerings. Hopcat is also brewing their own now and the Oblong Belgium Imperial IPA and Hoppopottamus IPA were both hoppy and delicious.

For dinner, I had the Killer Mac & Cheese with Sloppy Joe and tomatoes while my wife chose the Buffalo Rolls. Both were exceptional dishes and very reasonably priced.

But what really makes the Hopcat the best beer bar on the planet is the outstanding staff and service. We got a chance to spend some time talking to Mark and Garry about great beer and they went out of their way to make us feel at home. The tours and tastings and hospitality they offered was unbelievable. And the rest of the staff is so knowledgeable about the beers and so very friendly.

After spending several hours at the Hopcat, it is obvious they are doing it right, which makes me wonder why every good beer establishment doesn't engage the customers like family. This is not just a beer bar to go to while in Grand Rapids...this is a beer bar worth scheduling your vacation around like we did!

Photo of hotglassmama
5/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Since January 12th, the official opening day, I have been a fan of HopCat. Every visit (dozens of them) has yielded the same result- amazing selection, great food, great service. I waited anxiously for them to open and took the huge selection of brews as a personal challenge not taking into account that the list is constantly changing! Something new and wonderful is always being added, such as Angry Planet Organic which might very well be my newest favorite. This is a bar that realizes girls do love real beer and embraces women with a ladies night that isn't light-weight or cheesy. Best of all is the PussyCat Brew Guild, a meeting of women who are interested in homebrewing, work in the beer industry or simply love to talk about which beers currently make them swoon. Yes, you will see me at every meeting! Friends who have accompanied me to HopCat have gushed about what a cool place it is, and they can't wait to go again. It's a classy place without being stuffy. Where else do you hear people remarking on how awesome even the restrooms are? The crowd is a good mix from all walks and it's a blast meeting new people there and bonding over some of the best beers to be had all under one roof. Check it out and I bet you'll be the next one gushing about it.

Photo of Humble4Now
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of rjcoy06
5/5  rDev +8.9%

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HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.