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Not Rated.
Grab a complimentary copy of BeerAdvocate magazine here while supplies last.
Based on:
40 Beers
210 Hads
Place Score: 100
Reviews: 197
Visits: 368
Avg: 4.52
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

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 197 | Visits: 368
Photo of HopsMatt
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I recently stopped here while in Grand Rapids on a brewery tour. Our last stop was Founders, and although the food was great, the selection that was on tap was just so-so and the crowd and horrible band just killed it for us. Coming off of that negative experience, we decided to walk the three blocks to HopCat as I had been pointed to by other BA members. Man am I glad we did!

Our wait time was only about 15 minutes, and on a Saturday night! The bar is spacious enough and very comfortable. We were seated at the corner booth back by the jukebox. I cant remember the name of the waitress but she was the best! I really wish I could remember her name so I could give her props! Never had an empty glass and always helped us pick out our next bottle to open up!

We ended up spending probably over two hours there. The music was really good. It was as if they tapped into my ipod. We made our way through some Aww Jeah, Black Cherry Porter, Freedom of '78, other various stouts and a bottle of B. Nektar Cherry Chipotle. We also had a few house brews. We didnt have any food as we had filled ourselves up earlier, but we were thinking hard about some of those crack fries!

I honestly cant wait to go back up to Grand Rapids so that we can stop by HopCat. Out of all the breweries we visited and all the places we went, this was our favorite and for me personally, held the most memorable part of the trip. I will return.

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Photo of ttaxtell
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is a must stop in Grand Rapids. There is a reason why this place is rated one of the best beer bars in the U.S., it is a great experience. I make the trip from a few hours away to go there. My daughter goes to a nearby University and make any excuse I can to go see her so I can go to Hopcat. Every time I have been there the service and treatment was great, even during very busy times.

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Photo of yankeej13
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

My dad and I took a trip a month ago up to Michigan on a Microbrewery crawl. This was one of the places to try along the way. We were just going to go in for a beer and leave. Once we were in there our plans changed!

Once we first walked in there we were shocked at the surroundings of the place. Beer bottles everywhere a totally awesome looking interior for a beer bar!

Quality- Absolutely fantastic! Fresh beer everywhere! Loved it.

Service- The service of the staff was so fantastic we stayed almost 2 to 3 hours in this place just talking and hanging out having a good time. The staff behind the bar made us feel right at home and kept giving us free samples and just being completely awesome! Had a great time talking to them about our beer stories and what not.

Selection- Amazing had a ton of tap handles from all different Microbreweries. They had a great variety of different bottles as well! Not to mention a giant menu of their own brewed beer which was fantastic!

Value- Most reasonable prices on our trip.

Looking forward to going back to Michigan and stopping in Hopcat, this time with our intentions of being there for a while!

Thanks guys Cheers to you all!

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Photo of shivtim
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

What a fantastic bar. Easily one of the best I've ever been to. It's a tall space that's semi-formal yet warm. Non smoking is a huge plus. Nice big wooden bar, with a custom-made triple arch backing on the wall. The nearly 50 taps are grouped along the bar, right in front of customers. The selection is heavy on Michigan microbrews, with some unique and rare-ish offerings. In fact, they pretty much convinced Dark Horse to brew some Thirsty Trout Baltic Porter, and then bought all of the kegs. Plenty of other American brews, and a good Belgian selection. Tons of bottles to choose from as well. Probably the best selection in Michigan, and a great place to go for out-of-staters to try stuff from Bells, Shorts, New Holland, Dark Horse, Arcadia, etc etc. Plus they have a weekly firkin! I had some of the crack fries (fantastic) but didn't eat a meal, so I wont rate the food.

The employees are incredible. The bartenders all really know what they're talking about, and plenty of beerversation takes place. The owners were chatting with people at the bar, discussing beer festivals and breweries, recommending beers and at one point even buying an Achel trappist bottle for us. The people make the place.

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Photo of mobius387
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Stopped here for dinner and drinks one night on a road trip through western Michigan. This was undoubtedly the highlight of a trip filled with awesome breweries and brew pubs! Service is just flat out awesome. The people who work at this place go out of their way to make sure you get the most out of the beer they serve. Food was really good too. Atmosphere is very unique and the whole place seems centered around the bar which is perfect for a place that is known for their great beer. Some of the beer is a bit pricey, but considering that you can't find most of these beers on tap anywhere else, its understandable.

Overall, this was where we spent the most time at one place on our trip, and it was because this place is a fantastic place to drink beer and relax. Thanks HopCat! Can't wait to return

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Photo of tat2matt
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

When my girl and I decided to visit her family in Michigan (my first time visiting the state), we knew we would find some local breweries/pubs to hit. We love beer and would try to find crazy guys home brewing in their compounds if we were lost in the desert. I did my research and discovered HopCat, but didn't think we'd make it to that side of the state. Then God smiled upon us and gave us a perfect reason (beyond beer) to go to Grand Rapids. I was silly happy like some kid knowing he's going to Disneyland.

Naturally, we started at Founders, but made our way to HopCat for dinner and drinks. The place was exactly what I hoped it would be, a dark-ish joint in an old building with a bunch of random crap on the walls and more tap handles than any beer lover could ever hope to view. The place was pretty much packed, but it didn't seem cramped, and never was conversation with our hosts difficult.

The beer selection was ridiculous. Prices were reasonable. I started with Arcadia's HopMouth Double IPA, then moved to HopCat's own Hoppopotamus. Both were delicious and perfectly complimented the very tasty fish and chips I ordered. The food was great, the beers were great, and the service (Adam) was outstanding. The entire experience was exactly what I had hoped it would be. Had we not planned to visit Brewery Vivant and another local brewery, I easily could have spent the entire evening at HopCat.

Any beer lover who finds themselves with an hour or two of Grand Rapids should make the effort to go to this bar and enjoy everything about it. It is absolutely deserving of every accolade it receives.

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Photo of ElizabethCraig
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Hopcat, how I love thee!

My husband and I went there two days in a row when we visited Grand Rapids. "Bob" help us if we lived there, it would be our regular haunt.

A beautiful place, with lots of dark wood, but not so dark that it feels cave-like. There's quite a few tables, a nice decent sized bar and a standup bar rail in case the place is busy.

Late night the place was pretty hopping, we had a table near the window and each had a beer. The waiter was very helpful with beer selection and was happy to make recommendations and even bring out a few samples. Extremely kind, good service - I regret that we missed their kitchen hours that night.

We returned the next day and happily the gentleman at the bar (edited to add: Steve) was their beer purchaser! Happy day!!

We talked about a Detroit area brewery while I sampled some of their beers on tap (we will definitely visit them soon, great beers!), they sampled out a sour stout from Jolly Pumpkin that was so absolutely wonderful that we brought back a growler of it (we shared it with some local friends and spread the Jolly Pumpkin love), and we got to sample their crack fries (they are, by the way, addictive).

The service was stellar, the beers were excellent (both their own, and their draft beers), the atmosphere is very elegant, but casual.

Locals were eating lunch at the end of the bar, I like seeing local peeps eating at a bar - usually it means a good value and good food.

To sum it up, if you're in Grand Rapids go here!

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Photo of AylwinForbes
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of ChicagoBlueIce
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This place is amazing. We were driving from Chicago to Bellaire to check out Short's Brewing and decided that we must stop at one of the top BrewPubs in the nation and are glad we did.

Upon entering this place, we noticed a nice ambiance and quickly sat down at the bar. Staff was extremely friendly, large beer selection, love the fact that you can buy a growler of whatever is on draft, and STEVE is the BEST !!!

So let me talk about STEVE... My gf and I have been to many breweries/brewpubs and have had great times at those places, but Steve is by far one of the coolest/most informative/ hospitable person we've met.

Since he asked where we were from (CHICAGO !!!) we began talking shop and then hooked us up with all this information about Michigan Breweries and where we should go. This guy is amazing. Not only did he set us up with a lil' care package, he even let us try some of Short's vintage bottle of WoodMaster.

Thanks for the patches. We will see you later tonight !!!

Ray & Christine

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Photo of reallyhoppie
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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!

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Photo of JohnPPutz
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited Hopcat this past weekend while I was in the Grand Rapids area for my 24th birthday weekend and this was on our agenda for the first night. First of all the beer menu was fantastic. I won't be able to remember everything I had but Key Lime Pie, BB4D, BA Shipwreck and the HopCat Hefe come to mind. All were very good, and the service was excellent. As for food, let me just say the crack fries with cheese have that name for a reason. Everything we ordered was awesome. Prices are reasonable, as 4 of us spent only about 200$ total for a few hours of beer and food(although the GF's didn't drink more than a couple) and tip. I recommend this place to anyone in the GR area and I know I'll be making a return trip in the future.

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Photo of HopOverdose
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of Roeters
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Just down the street from my apartment and thank GOD. Great service, great beer, great place to sit and enjoy a pint or four. If you are not sure what you want just ask a server or bartender, they will find something that you will love.

The only place around with a hand-pull tap, and it changes every Friday, which are mostly Michigan Brews

A hugh selection of local and national brews. With a good selection of International Brews.

The only place other then Founders stop at on a visit to Downtown GR for a true beer lover.

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Photo of grub
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
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?

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Photo of ahq514
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Been here a few times before but now decided to review it. Awesome experience. 48 taps, 150 bottles. All quality selections, a lot of michigan beers. Awesome service. We sat at the bar, made a comment about a half acre shirt of a guy behind the bar. Ended up being the beer buyer for hopcat and we bullshitted about beer for about 15 to 20 mins. Was really busy for a wednesday night, not a spot in the place besides at the bar. Food was also excellent and fairly reasonably priced. I would love to live in this place. Too bad I don't live in gr anymore.

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Photo of cratez
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

First stop on a recent trip to Grand Rapids with nicktbm and our significant others. This legendary pub is a beer geek’s wet dream. Inside sports a massive old-fashioned bar, 6 towers with 50 craft taps, countless tables throughout the interior, and a bustling, party-like atmosphere with killer background music and lots of college-aged beer drinkers. We grabbed a four-person booth beside the bar.

Our waitress was very friendly and efficient. Drinks and food arrived quickly and she made some helpful beer suggestions to my oenophile girlfriend.

The draught and bottle selections are redonkulous. All of the beers are sorted by style and they have tons of rare and cellared offerings from around the world. As an example of how insane the beer menu is, they had 6 barley wines on tap. That alone is worth a "5." Our group ordered a 2011 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Arcadia Hopmouth DIPA, HopCat Weizen, and Bell’s Oarsman Ale on draught and a Saint Somewhere Saison Athene, BrewDog Mikkeller I Hardcore You, and Baird Red Rose Amber out of the bottle. The Hardcore and Oarsman were my favourites of the night.

Food is pretty good as well. I went for the Applewood Smoked Bacon Grilled Cheese while the lady had a Turkey Bruschetta Burger. Each came with a side of Crack Fries and both dishes tasted fantastic. Prices are incredibly fair as 8 drinks and 2 entrees came to less than $70.

Overall, this place boasts an unmatched beer list at excellent value with a really fun vibe. HopCat is the main reason we came to Grand Rapids and we were not disappointed. An essential stop in Michigan and the best beer bar that I’ve encountered so far.

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Photo of RxforBeer
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

We visited the Hopcat while in Grand Rapids for the KBS release. The Hopcat is one of the best beer bars and it is exceptional in many ways. It provides a great place to relax and enjoy outstanding brews. Their selection of beers is one of the best I have seen. They offer a wide range of Michigan micros - some of which can not be found in Ohio. So there was some other pleasant suprises we discovered along our journey for KBS. The service was a 5+++, as Garry and his crew went above and beyond to make our visit outrageously wonderful. THey got to know our tastes and recommended beer after beer and never misled us. I can not say enough great things about this place and the people. It is a beer bar that every true beer drinker must visit. Grand Rapids - you are one lucky town.

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Photo of jt31914
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of hurfer
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I've been to The Hopcat a few times now and not sure what else to say that others haven't already said. It is one of the best beer bars I have been to any where.

49 taps very heavy on Michigan beers. They also have their own small brewery setup and brew some very nice beers themselves. Bottle list is also great.

Service is where they really take it to the next level, everyone that I have talked to that works there is very knowledgeable. I always enjoy getting to talk to Steve & Timm, they know their beer.

This place is reason enough to make a trip to Grand Rapids, and that's saying a lot in a town full of great beer.

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Photo of sloppymoose
4.88/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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.

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Photo of MexiDutchVedo
4.88/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I'll admit that this is my personal hangout in my own hometown, so the review is bound to be favorable. However, that being said this is still the best bar I've ever been to in my entire adult life.

Let's make a list, shall we? Huge selection of top quality brews, amazing atmosphere, beautifully constructed bar area, live bands, personable and knowledgeable staff, non-smoking, and 5 minutes from my house! It's about as close to a drinking nirvana as one gets. Being a local it's nice to see that they embrace the Michigan brewing tradition with things like the beer dinners and Michigan Brews night on Mondays too.

I've been fortunate to be a regular at Hopcat since the day they opened last January and I couldn't be one at a better bar.

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Photo of krz001
4.88/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I love this place! The staff is great, the food is wonderful, and the beer is awesome.

I love that their beer menu always changes. When you're a regular, the bartenders know exactly what you like and what beer you need to try because it's likely the last one you had there is no longer on tap.

I enjoy that the environment is very laid back and it's the place that douche bags stay away from because it isn't a night club where they can easily hit on drunk girls. Everyone there to enjoy beer and talk to others about what they're drinking.

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Photo of maltusaurelius
4.86/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

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.

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Photo of BertSugar
4.86/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Took a very cold several block walk over from Founders. Very convenient location and boy was it worth it. On a Thursday night it was absolutely packed with hipster doofusses trying to score to a semi-lame jazz combo. Be that as it may, sitting at the bar we were focused on one of the best tap and bottle lists I've seen. Won't bore with the details of exact beers; but suffice it to say we were certainly not bored by any sort of usual suspects. The bartender despite being swamped was extremely couteous and attentive. He was nonplussed at having to send someone down to the cellar to retreive a special request from the bottle list. The place was done up in Chistmas finery and looked great. Very classy and I will certainly go back during, say, a Saturday afternoon when it's not a meat market.

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HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.