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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
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BEER AVG
3.79/5
Based on:
41 Beers
70 Reviews
Place Score: 100
Reviews: 197
Visits: 358
rAvg: 4.6
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:
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: 358
Photo of ThirstyBird
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
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! (771 characters)

Photo of JohnPPutz
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (734 characters)

Photo of HopOverdose
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (760 characters)

Photo of Roeters
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (529 characters)

Photo of grub
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
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? (3,209 characters)

Photo of ahq514
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (554 characters)

Photo of cratez
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (1,652 characters)

Photo of RxforBeer
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (784 characters)

Photo of jt31914
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (511 characters)

Photo of hurfer
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (630 characters)

Photo of sloppymoose
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (731 characters)

Photo of MexiDutchVedo
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (745 characters)

Photo of krz001
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (543 characters)

Photo of maltusaurelius
4.86/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (1,764 characters)

Photo of BertSugar
4.86/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (798 characters)

Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.86/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

What more can be said about the number 3 beer bar in the United States. Place had a totally cool retro feel to it and a long line of tappers. Considering the volume of micros to try it would already be more than enough, but... oh they also make their own beers.

Looked for probably forever through their menu of beers. Found a few I had to try and also tried a few of their house beers and really liked their barleywine. I considered getting a growler for the $33 they asked, and although steep would have normally done it if I hadn't spent an astronomical sum at other breweries.

Service was good, but considering I was there on a weekday during afternoon is to be expected. Did not however rise above the masses much though.

A place I would definitely come to again.... Founder's and this place a few blocks apart.... wow! (828 characters)

Photo of hurricanelars
4.86/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I came to Grand Rapids specificlly for the Short's event at the HopCat and was not disappointed.

We got there around 6 and the place was filled with people enjoying some of tastiest brews around. Lots of seats at the bar and some long wooden tables to satisfy larger groups. Real high ceiling that allow a smoking section to be lofted at the far end of the bar. Very relaxed atmosphere upstairs with a few couches and some comfortable chairs for those who don't mind a little second hand smoke.

It was Joe Short's birthday event so the selection was definitely top notch. Some of my personal favorites from the night were the Turtle Stout, the S'mores Stout, and the Key Lime Pie brew that really nailed the flavor. I stopped back the next morning to try a few others and really enjoyed the Hopapotamus and Bumbles Bounce that were brewed by HopCat. We didn't get a chance to try any food but everything we saw brought out looked amazing.

It was pretty busy during the event so it took a little bit of time to get a beer, but the next morning the service was great. Very knowledgeable staff and friendly. I will definitely be stopping here again the next time I head to Michigan (1,184 characters)

Photo of Yetiman420
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Stop #331 on my world brewery tour.

7:00 PM on a Monday in mid December. 75% full and a couple of empty stools at the beautiful bar closest to the door. Wonderful view looking down the bar with the taps and the small brewery-behind-glass at the far end.

I've been to many of the finest beer bars on both costs, Philly, Chicago, and even passed on the Kulminator on a train connection in Belgium. Blah, blah, blah I'm real cool.

Hopcat is among the best. Two or three other places come somewhat close in terms of ambiance but fall a bit short. Beautiful woodwork and modest, historic signage throughout.
Reminded me of Ginger Man in Manhattan and the painful cost per pint.

Bartender greeted me immediately with a menu. I spent some time researching my first pick (Citra Pale from Odd Sides in Grand Haven) and he was patient and knew when I was ready.

I had to ask twice and was finally told they do $1 2 oz pours. Other great beer bars advertise this policy and I think Hopcat should consider being more forward with it because I went on with the following...

House beer sampler with one word review...
Honey herb'd pale (nice)
American IPA (creamy)
Cedar Aged American Wild (muddy)
MI Maple Dopplebock (spectacular)
Chili Porter (balanced)

Other samples I had...
North Coast Grand Cru
4 Elf Winter Ale from Darkhorse
BB Shamans Barrel Aged Porter
Bells Java Stout

I had the Greek salad and veggie chili and my bill came to $24.

Some reviewer(s) complained of the price for a sample. I think it's a wonderful idea to allow a person to explore as many beers as possible.

If I had to be critical, the food was ok. The Greek salad was passable but the veggie chili tasted like a bowl of refried beans. I'm comparing this with food from the coasts and I'm not factoring this into my review because I travel enough to know it's hard to get exceptional food in the central US outside of a major metro area.

No diet beers available. The bartender recommended other bars owned by the same company down the strip for that kind of stuff. This tainted the experience a bit that a group this good at craft beer would stoop to the masses. It's technically a local chain which I can live with but was slightly disappointed. It makes sense that it MIGHT be difficult to start up/finance/operate a place like this as a stand-alone operation. Off soapbox.

This was my third visit to Grand Rapids and I'm bummed that I didn't stop her my first time (went with BOB instead...booo).

***UPDATE***
The owner of Hopcat, Mark, read this review and informed me that all the other bars he/they own (Stella, Viceroy, Pyramid Scheme) serve the kind of alcohol he would like to drink and no BMC. I was misinformed by the bartender and apologize for a review with incorrect information. (2,779 characters)

Photo of jcompton
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

i went into the hopcat on on friday afternoon and had extremely high expectations due to this sight. this place definitely lives up to the hype.

I had Arcadia Sky High Rye, Shorts Huma Lupa Lucious IPA, and Founders Breakfast Stout. all were great. they had a post stating they were tapping a firkin of Founders Centennial IPA that evening.

the service was very knowledge of the brews and also willing to throw out a suggestion.
i had the Sloppy Joseph and "crack fries." i'd say it's above average pub fare.

the interior is almost all wood and kept very clean. in the back is an area where they brew a few beers. the crowd was mostly local professionals have lunch and a brew.
there is no doubt i will revisit this place everytime i go to GR. this place is a gem. (771 characters)

Photo of webmanspidey
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The receipt came with the message "Review us on beeradvocate.com", so I'm complying..

I had been looking to visit here a while and finally had the chance about a week ago.

One of the best selections of beers I've seen on tap, including several that I had not run into before. Several rarities from Goose Island, small Michigan breweries, and others across the country. They also have a few of their own beers.

Service was great and very knowledgeable. Offered me the remainder of a keg for free when I ordered a beer they had just about exhausted.

Food was very good and had a few out-of-the-ordinary items for a bar beer like this.

Great place all-around. (662 characters)

Photo of steebo777
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

One word for this place: Holyshitthisplacerocks! I have been going here for a couple years, but New Year's took it to a whole other level. They never have cover on NYE, but it is always packed. We got there early, waited for 15min until we found a booth that fit all 6 of us. The entertainment that evening was wicked good, but it was the service that took it to another level. Our server made sure we were ALWAYS taken care of no matter what the entire night. She got the highest tip I have ever given (about 40%) and has sealed the deal for me going there as many times as possible from here on out.

The quality here is always the best in Michigan. On top of getting a variety of solid brews form around the world, they allow growler filling of anything on tap (it can get pricey though).

Service = see above story.

Selection as everyone else has said in other reviews f'n rocks!!!

Food is great at HopCat. It is above standard pub fare but still is unique and damn tasty.

Value is solid because it offers such a wide variety of brews from around the world that they keep the prices at a steady rate. (1,107 characters)

Photo of lurpy1
4.84/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I was there for 30 minutes after the Bolt Cutter release, and all I can say is "oh my fucking god". The place hits all the right notes for a relaxed pub. The barkeeps are friendly, prompt, and know their stuff. Then there is the beer list. Mind blowing in its expansiveness. They are getting ready for a Wood and Wild fest which has a list that will break your heart if you're not going. Being not hungry at all, I did not eat. However, the guy next to me ordered the vaunted crack fries, and based on smell, that name is by no means an exaggeration.

It is a shame I was not able to linger. Best bar I've ever been in. (619 characters)

Photo of gauldk
4.84/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Frankly, it lives up to the hype! Super cool place with an astonishing selection of beers from their in-house brewery, Michigan, across the USA and the world. If you happen to be unimpressed by the 40+ drafts (just joking, that's impossible), there's also an extensive and impressive selection of bottles available (just ask to see the bottle list).

Their own in-house brews are well worth a try, don't overlook them.

Get some appropriately named "crack-fries". At the moment but you can get a 1/2 order free with a foursquare check-in.

Location, location, location... Center of the downtown nightlife area. A quick walk to Founders or Grand Rapids Brewing Company too. (675 characters)

Photo of malty
4.83/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere is a very open and airy, but still warm & cozy. 20 ft. ceilings with cool old style beer prints staring down upon you from the ceiling. The same prints are found on the backs of various high-sitting stools around the tables throughout the bar - very nice touch of keeping the cool art flowing. Spectacular handmade custom bar that's as nice as I've ever seen - all real wood and very high class. The lighting is very natural during the day (big windows facing the street corner) and adequately (a bit dim) lit at night. Men's bathroom has cool retro rock & film icon prints on the walls: Garcia, Cash, Dylan, Waits, Newman, Pacino, Dirty Harry, etc. War time pin-up prints are fun too. Music is always unique and fresh on the jukebox. The sound system is very full and clear. Not too loud, but still very perceivable. Haven't been there when there's live music or DJ though.

Quality is top-notch. Never had a bad draft or bottle. Always fresh and served in appropriate glass. They even rinse every clean glass with a sprinkler gadget right before the fill it with your beer - just to make sure your glass is perfectly prepared to receive the beer of your liking. 48 taps of fantastic craft beer. Always changing, always fresh. They do have a few certain mainstays, but that's just because demand is so high for these, (ie: Short's Huma Lup IPA, etc.). Their one cask always seems to have something special. I've had so many great cask beers from it, I can't remember them all. There bottle selection is extensive and wide ranging. Many good Belgians, Germans, (Mmmm...Plank) and high gravity special releases. I love their $3 Michigan pint/goblet 2-4pm weekday specials. Just last week I had a (normally $7) chalice of Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout for $3. Makes it hard to just pick one when you have to go back to work. Every once and a while they'll have a highly recognized person from the industry visit and showcase some special brews and events. Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery is coming later this month, I believe April 26th (Monday). I'll definitely be coming to this! Michael Plank even brewed a special beer to initiate their brewing system their first summer!

Service is the best. Jeremy and Ernie command the bar like super-cool malt & hop ninjas. Always eager to please your pallet and offer smart suggestions, leaving no beer without proper representation. it can get a little slower when the bar is fully packed, but that's what happens when the bar is packed two deep. To say they're friendly is without question. To say their knowledgeable is correct.

The food is amazing. Great twists on American standards. Soups, burgers/sandwiches, salads, unique appetizers and their infamous 'Crack Fries'. They also host the most amazing beer dinners (usually on Sundays at 6pm) I've had the pleasure of attending. Their commitment to world class craft beer and fresh, clever and tasty food is the best I've ever had under the same roof.

The overall value is reasonable when you take into account the total package of HopCat. They do have great daily specials to help your wallet. They don't cut corners, so remember this when you look at the prices. There are cheaper prices out there, but we're not comparing apples-to-apples when putting them next to 'pedestrian'- type bars either.

I was lucky enough to make it to the 'BA Grand Opening' on a Thursday night in early January '08. It was the night before their official Grand Opening. Everything was Half-Off. I thought I was in heaven. I've been here many, many times since and every visit is always as good as the last. They've made the blueprint, now I'm spoiled for life. (3,666 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4.83/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

HopCat is simply one of those beer bars that just makes me want to pack my bags and relocate to Grand Rapids, MI. This may quite possibly be THE absolute best beer bar I've ever visited. simply put... YES, it is that awesome!

I was really fortunate to visit HopCat on 11/29/08 with fellow BA's brewslut, Deuane and SierraGS. After literally getting shut out the night before (they were at capacity due to a band performance), I was skeptical that we would even get to vist. Thankfully, the Beer Gods were smiling on us, because we were able to stop in the next morning, and let me tell you... I didn't want to leave!

This place boasts an absolutely gorgeous bar with seating that just invites you to stay all day and drink from their 40+ taps. The decor in this place must have set the owner back quite a bit, but it was indeed worth the extra effort.

As for the beer, there was definitely no shortage in this department. I didn't even peruse their bottle selection, though I'm sure it was equally impressive. Their extensive tap selection featured plenty of MI local brews as well as West Coast and Belgian selections. Pricing was reasonable and service was top notch. Not only was the waitress sporting a BA T-shirt, she was also extremely knowledgeable (a self-professed beer geek) and easy on the eyes to boot!

Another big plus was the FREE juke box, which was a nice touch, albeit rather difficult to navigate and figure out. It was nice to see some Zappa in a juke box (the owner is a huge fan, apparently, as evidenced by the mural in the men's restroom). We got to meet the owner and also the manager of the place, and both were extremely friendly and jovial.

If there ever was a beer destination, this place is certainly it. I can't see myself ever visiting Grand Rapids, MI without stopping here... and hopefully for a longer time than I was permitted with this visit! (1,886 characters)

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