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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BEER AVG
3.82/5
Based on:
35 Beers
199 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 321
Reviews: 195
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.37%
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: 321 | Reviews: 195 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ritzkiss
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

HopCat was one of the reasons I stopped in at Grand Rapids and it did not disappoint.

Great tap list - hard to choose but the guys behind the bar steered me in the right direction. Was busy when I stopped by in the afternoon (some event) but was much more subdued when I came in that night - guess Sunday night's not a busy night.

Food was good, standard pub fare. Had the quesedilla and then their flagship burger with jalapenos. Both times sat at the bar.

Great vibe, people who enjoy their beer, friendly feel. Close to the top of my list.

Photo of wide3345
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

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!

Photo of SpdKilz
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Nestled in downtown Grand Rapids, this bar is on the corner of the street and looks pretty cool from the outside.

Walking in, the place looks awesome. Bottles everywhere, old church pews with big tables, an outdoor patio, paintings hanging from the ceiling, a huge bar, etc. Very cool atmosphere.

My brother-in-law, father, and myself only had a short time here as it was a quick stop on our way up to Traverse City. There was a great tap list (though I will admit nothing was too crazy on it – was hoping for some legit sours or other crazy stouts but most were just run of the mill (though solid).

The food was damn good and I enjoyed my BBQ chicken sandwich thoroughly with a Short’s Huma. A very enjoyable experience and I can’t wait to go back and enjoy some more of their good food and beers.

Photo of JDizzle
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

What a classy beer bar!

I have had the pleasure of being here around 5 times and I can't say enough. The price is a little on the high side, but the quality of brew is sick. They have a ton of Michigan brews + a wide range of others that make them one of the premier bars on the planet.

The atmosphere is plush with a lot of wood-bar, tables, that make it seam plush without being cold. Great windows in the day time to light up the bar.

The taps go on foreva! Such great selection of beer that ranges to every style, and not the normal ones you usually see. Price is up there, but worth the experience IMO.

Food is solid, especially when you get it on special + one of their own beers they brew(which are solid).

Can't wait to come back!

Photo of avalonct
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

HopCat is obviously a beer lover's paradise, but the food is quickly catching up. My wife and I didn't have the best service last night, but the quality of the food and beer was world class. It was surprisingly not too busy and we were able to get one of the booths that are a half circle and face toward the bar. Also, I asked the waitress about the private room upstairs and she told me that it is $300 minimum on the weekdays and $500 minimum on the weekends to get the room. That might not be a bad idea to get a bunch of friends together and do that sometime. I also go here on Tuesday nights from every once in a while as they have a burger and beer (one of Hopcat's beers) special for 6 bucks. It's great to live in a city with such reasonable prices. The one thing I wish they would work on is update us on their events on twitter more often.

Photo of regeimbk
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.64/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Came here on Mother's Day. It was very accommodating.

Our server was excellent and very good.

Beer selection was fantastic.

Food was a little salty for my taste, but nonetheless very well.

This place is worth every penny.

Great times at HopCat I can't wait to return!

Photo of dorianmarley
4.63/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

There is a reason Beer Advocate rates this place the #3 beer bar in the world: it is a blast. Hopcat makes being a beer nerd a cool and exciting experience. They have pages of available beers to choose from, including tons from Michigan and their own stuff, which is typically experimental. The place is always packed on weekends, letting the nerds depart from their basements and sample alongside real people. The food is good and American. And the people are as happy to show you new stuff as you are to try it.

Photo of Deuane
4.63/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Wow...I read about how good this place is and had a friend of a friend tell us how great this place is...after I told them to tell her to go here. Could it live up to the hype...well, in short, Hell Yeah!

What a place inside..certainly one of the classiest beer bars I have ever seen. Beautiful wooden accents with a gorgeous bar and table area.

With 48 taps, half devoted to MI micros, and 2 engines what more could you ask for...oh well, like a few hundred bottles too! If you come here and leave unsatisfied you are jaded and picky indeed! Plus they get brewery exclusives, like the Arcadia west coast rye IPA that was AWESOME! Like if that weren't enough they will soon have their very own in house microbrewery up and running with Hopcat created brews flowing too! Geesh!

Not only did we have solid service from Cheryl, who was sporting a BA T-shirt, we got to chat with Garry, a.k.a. The ring leader but also had a breif intro to Mark Sellers, the owner of this fine establishment.

Not much food consumed, we got real smart at breakfast at our Holiday Inn express, but we had to have the Crack Fries after being told how damn good they are. Well, they are good, especially with the cheese dipping sauce! I am looking forward to coming back here and enjoying a full meal.

The Hopcat...if you EVER find yourself in GR you would be making a HUGE mistake by not visiting this place. This is place is the bomb-diggity! Plus, Founders is but a stones throw away...one of the best one-two beer combos around!

Edit:One day after my review I get a personal beermail from Mark Sellers thanking me for my review and to make sure I get in touch with him the next time we make the trip to GR. Nice touch! Thank you Mark, keep up the good work!

Photo of ROBSTARR
4.63/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Being from GR I'm here a lot !!! Don't know why I've never given them a review but here ya go .... The atmosphere is classic laid back artsy beer geek heaven. Soon as you walk in you get that feeling of "yep this is a great place" just by the smell. The servers are all very knowledgeable about beer and are always friendly. All though sometimes a lil slow, but they do get busy and stuck at tables of "newbies asking questions about beer". The beer selection is so substantial that one visit will never do. The food is great classic twists on general bar food. DON'T LEAVE WITHOUT TRYING THE CRACK FRIES !!! OR THE BAR CHEESE SOUP !! Over all probably the best bar to visit in Grand Rapids.

Photo of crashdavisinoh
4.6/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Stopped by here on my first brewery tour of michigan earlier this month. Hit founders first then walked over to Hopcat. I had read a lot of great things about this place and their amazing beer selection, I couldn't wait to check it out. Probably got there at around 7 on a Friday night and had to wait for a seat at the bar (not too long though). The place was jumping. Really good atmosphere. Good engergy in the place. I like that. I like when I go to a place and it feels like people are having a good time (if that makes any sense). My gf and I get a couple menus and are blown away by the selection of what is on tap. I decided to try short's smores stout and the gf a couple pumpkin ales. I regret to say I did not sample any of hopcats own brews but fully intend to on my next trip up. I also decided to order some crack fries that I have read about in reviews on yelp and such. Pretty good...but cheese and bacon make everything better. We hung out here for a little over an hour and had a great experience. Like I said, the place was jumping...but service was exceptional. Had multiple bartenders ask if everything was good, do we need anything, etc. My only regrets are not trying one of the in house beers and not sample more off of their draftlist. Overall, one of the better brewpubs I have ever visited. Will always go back if in grand rapids.

Photo of GRPunk
4.6/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.6/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Being from the U.P. of Michigan, HopCat has been nothing but a mystical beast for me. 460 miles away, there is no way I could travel there to enjoy all it's splendor, and make it home safely, right? Well, I just happened to be passing by, so enjoy I did!

HopCat has a really great corner location right in downtown GR (which is booming with youth, Michigan's light right now). Parking can be a bit tricky, just bite the bullet and park in the nearby parking garage. It's only a short two block walk to your every wish and joy.

The beer menu is vast. I hardly even looked at the bottle list, but most of the premium bottles were in front of my in their large "beer to go" cooler, so I checked it out. Impressive. A good mix of great beers from around the U.S., some really nice Belgian treats, and the who's who of Michigan barley pops.

The tap list is incredible though. I missed the remnants of the Wood and Wild Ale festival a few weeks early, but the tap list was still very impressive. Since this was my first time visiting, I had to try a house brew, the Frontiersmen. It was an interesting American Wild Ale aged in Cedar (which always blows my mind, being a whisky guy, cedar is a huge NO NO). Beer was pretty tasty. Nice funky notes, not too sour, but good depth of flavor, and the cedar really supported what was going on.

Food was good, atmosphere was upbeat with young business people from the local community. Great stop. I will be stopping again next time I pass through. It surely lived up to all the hype I had heard.

Photo of swanson45
4.58/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I went here on an afternoon while on vacation. The staff was very knowledgeable and gave good recommendations. They could speak at a level for a beer snob and for someone who just wants to try something good or different. We were able to create our own beer flights which was great because they had a huge selection. It appears they have good events since the next day they were going to have a special dogfish head draught night. I recommend vacationing on Lake Michigan and take a trip to HopCat bar, Founders' Taproom, and New Holland brewing Company's pub while you are there.

Photo of Ktown67
4.58/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Great beer bar. I was in town with some friends for Founders KBS Release Party and we decided to stop at the Hopcat for a beer and ended up staying for a session (6 hours).

Garry (GM) and his bartenders are very knowledgable and great hosts. The tap beer selection is nice (20+ of the 48 taps are MI brews) and the bottle book has some gems. I think I tried just about every Jolly Pumpkin they had. They brew their own beer and it too was solid. especially seeing they had only been brewing for a month or so.

A must stop for any beer lover traveling through Michigan.

Photo of CortexBomb
4.58/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of frazbri
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
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

Photo of SlowCentury
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is a beautiful old watering hole which I miss very dearly. I since had an opportunity to stop in during a visit home recently, and this time could fully appreciate it. The appearance is very well kept and classy, but not to the point where you feel out of place in jeans and a t-shirt, it is a place to drink beer after all. They offer a remarkable selection of beer without being redundant and still highlighting that sweet Michigan brew that I miss so much. I've been to bars with twice as many taps that still end up boring me with their selection. Not the case here. This is any beer lover's dream come true. Service is decent, pretty average, but the front of the house is genuinely friendly which goes a long way for me. Good upscale bar food to top things off. I used to eat lunch there somewhat often while I lived in GR so that says something considering all the close competition for the style. Overall, I have no trouble seeing why HopCat got the honor of being rated BA's #3 beer bar in the world. Well done.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
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 spankdog42
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
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 tpd975
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
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 Mxsluis
4.51/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

We live an hour away, yet find time to get here about a dozen times a year. Grand Rapids is growing and so is its reputation as beer city. This place has a very good selection of beer on tap. The selection changes so never a need to be bored with the same brews if you like adventure and variety. At times the service can be less than stellar, but the beer almost always is served correctly. The crack fries are good and I really like the chicken tacos. Nice place in an old building with character. If in town for Art Prize, I strongly recommend you check it out.

Photo of CraigTravor
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of BlueAndBrew
4.5/5  rDev -2%

HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.