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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BA SCORE
100
world-class

297 Ratings
Ratings: 297
Reviews: 194
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.37%
Active Beers: 46
Beer Ratings: 273
Beer Avg: 3.81
Taps: 48
Bottles: 150
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

25 Ionia SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503
United States
phone: (616) 451-4677

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @hopcatgr

Notes:
Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine.

Hours 11:30 AM - 2 AM seven days a week.

In-house brewing system up and running as of January 2009.

Large outdoor patio open year-round.

(Place added by: hopcatgr on 01-06-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 297 | Reviews: 194 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alexanf
5/5  rDev +8.9%

alexanf, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of rvera
5/5  rDev +8.9%

My best friend and I did a beer tour that lasted 4 days, starting in Goose Island-Chicago, and continuing to Dark Horse-Marshall, MI; Bells-Kalamazoo, MI; New Holland-Holland, MI; Founders-Grand Rapids, MI; Hopcat-Grand Rapids, MI and ending in Michigan Brewering Company-Lansing, MI.

Needless to say it was a great trip; but there is no doubt in my mind that the biggest surprise of the tour was Hopcat. We knew it had a great beer list (3rd longest in the world), what we didn't know is that we were going to be treated like kings! Brian, the manager, gave us a private tour of the place and really took the time to talk to us about the bar and about beer in general. John, the bartender, could not had been more helpful and attentive. Both Brian and John treated us like old friends and that along was worth the trip. We enjoyed excellent beer among exellent people. The place is beautiful and the food was great. It really was a great visit and we are already planning another one very soon.

If you are in Grand Rapids, near Grand Rapids, or in the US at all, you MUST stop by Hopcat! My review for this place is A+++!!!

rvera, May 24, 2010
Photo of atpben
5/5  rDev +8.9%

This place came highly recommended by my friends and on the BA forums. I gotta say off the bat. This is the best beer bar I have ever been to. Great atmosphere as soon as you enter the establishment. High ceilings with lots of sitting room inside and outside. There is a great smoking lounge upstairs wich I loved since I do smoke occasionaly. And of course the selection was awesome. All the great Michigan beers were respresented quite well there. I first had the Reissdorf kolsch which was on tap. I had the pleaser of meeting and speaking with Garry Boyd - Ringleader. Great guy and he was nice enough to share some bottles from the inside with me. The Stone-Nogne O collaboration beer and two other beers from Dieu Du Ciel both excellent. I had a great time there. I would also like to thank Brett the brewer, Corey our bartneder and Mark the owner. Great bunch of guys and they better believe it that I will be back next time I'm in GRR. And I would definately will be telling all my friends about it. A+ all way.

atpben, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of Danielr26
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Danielr26, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of cosco
5/5  rDev +8.9%

I had my first experience here last night and could not have been more impressed. The atmosphere was great; very hip but not contrived. Nice long bar and plenty of space. I had the pleasure of sitting next to the owner (which I didn't even know until I was cashing out). The crowd was pleasant. It was a nice mix of a younger and a middle-aged crowd. The bartenders were extremely knowledgeable. The bar was at capacity but there was still plenty of room to hang out and it was very easy to get drinks.

It was tough to even decide what to order because there were so many outstanding choices. They definitely cater to Michigan beers, which is great. I had Short's Huma Luma, Oaked Arrogant Bastard and Livery Double Paw on tap. My wife had Celis White and GLBC Holy Moses on tap. Everything was was very fresh and tasted great. The best part was the tab was only $21!!!

In my opinion, one could not ask for more from a beer bar.

I will be stopping by this place whenever I am in Gr Rapids. Very impressive.

cosco, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of bladesy88
5/5  rDev +8.9%

bladesy88, Jul 31, 2014
Photo of JohnParadee
5/5  rDev +8.9%

JohnParadee, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of mcrawford
5/5  rDev +8.9%

mcrawford, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of simplejj81
5/5  rDev +8.9%

The brewery has a huge selection of beers (about 200 i was told), and when i was there they had 3 house brews. It also has delicious and reasonable priced food, I had almond crusted duck tenders for less than $8. The 2 bartenders i talked with provided great service and answered several questions!

simplejj81, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of spartanlaker
5/5  rDev +8.9%

spartanlaker, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of JToad
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

My girlfriend surprised me with a trip to Grand Rapids based solely on HopCat for Valentines Day.

The place is simply amazing. 48 drafts of some great rare brews, and bottle list that is outstanding! The place was packed, the only available seats were upstairs in the loft, but the bartenders were very attentive and prompt. I was fortunate to get great treatment from Steve their chief beer guy. After introducing myself (as i was told to do by Mark, the owner via a previous beermail conversation) the rest of the night was incredible. I started with a Bells Batch 9000, moving on to a Shorts PB &J and then an 06 Stone Double Bastard. For dinner I had the shredded Pork Sandwich and Crack Fries and an order of the Beer Cheese for an app. Food was simply fantastic. My GF had the chicken salad wrap and was in heaven.

Steve took care of us all night, then gave us a private tour of the inner workings of the HopCat. Got to see the bottle cooler, and the three of us broke open a bottle of the Old Rasputin 12.

Ive never had this good of an experience at a bar in my life. It's so nice to have a place so passionate and knowledgeable about great beer. The food was great and the prices were very reasonable. Many thanks to Mark and Steve and the rest of the HopCat crew.

I am proudly wearing my HopCat tshirt! Thanks Steve

JToad, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of alexgash
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

Made the pilgrimage from Ann Arbor for the BA Pre-Opening Party. And wow am I ever glad I did! Since the party was a special event with a special crowd and very special specials (half off all beer!) I am reviewing this place based on what I would expect to be a regular night with full prices.

The atmosphere was incredible. Spacious with tall ceilings, big windows, rustic brick, great art/decor, and just a great overall feel to the place. Oh, and the centerpiece is the big, beautiful bar with its properly-tap handled tap fountains and cathedral-like backing (worth the trip just to see this alone!). No smoking on the main floor with a small, cozy smoker's lounge upstairs. Service was great, especially considering how new the place is and how busy it was. The menus are thorough and descriptive and there were plenty of them.

The quality and selection were top-notch with 48 taps (not a single crap-tap) and 150+ bottles and one hand-pump. Good local representation (which allowed me to try The Hideout's and The Livery's fine offerings for the first time). Clean and appropriate glassware was provided with each beer (tulips, imperial pints, and over-sized wine glasses). The food was terrific too. The fries were very addicting and the pita/veggie spread was great to snack on with our bottles of Three Philosophers and Old Ruffian. Reasonably priced too! This is a destination beer bar and I can't wait to go back!

alexgash, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of Tetano
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

What can I say, this past Sunday I had the pleasure of ponying up to the bar at HopCat for the first time, and all I can say is wow. Everything I have read on this site, which lead to some extreme expectations, were met and exceeded. The selections of beer was fantastic and varied. Chocolate Wheat, several sours, IPA's, milk stout, Belgians, and various others were there to tempt your palette.

I ordered a German breakfast which was fitting and interesting. The bar tender was incredible, her knowledge of the beers was impressive. Thanks again Katie, you are fantastic! She is a real testament to their establishment and her craft.

The real highlight of the visit was meeting the owners and the beer purchaser. We got to go into the basement and take a look at the keg room and the bottle room. Each stop was a highlight and a real treat. I have never felt more undeserving, they went all out. I am humbled.

If you have ever have the opportunity to visit Grand Rapids, this is the place to stop and check out. You walk into what felt like a neighborhood Brew Pub prior to Prohibition. Large comfortable bar stools await you at the bar where vintage cooper clad tap towers studded with a wide variety of suds call to be sampled. I can sum up my visit with this, I am in love.

Tetano, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of Molly
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

Made the trip across the state to hit the Michigan Winter Beer Fest, needed a place to go for some food and beer. Stopped into Hopcat by suggestion from a friend.

Walked in on Friday to a mess. Place was swamped, there was no host type anywhere, and little direction as to how to get a table. I was lucky enough to poach some stools at the end of the bar. WTF, 49 taps?

Despite the fact the bar was three deep, we were greeted immediately presented with a large menu of the taps, happy to see that most of them were Michigan brews from all over the state. Equally impressive was the bottle list.

Service - impeccable. The bartenders were on top of getting us another pint every time, but not intrusive. Knowledgeable, recommended some great beers we've never had. They all seemed like they truly were enjoying what they were doing, which was a large part of the atmosphere.

Food - very good. We had the "crack fries" with some soft cheese dip. Extra heavily seasoned, plus a touch of something sweet, a great match for the big beers we were having at the time. Followed up with Mac and Cheese that we added Chorizo and Jalapenos to. Yum.

We only had 1 house brew, and it went over well, but with so many really good beers to choose from...

Being Beerfest weekend, the place was full of beer nerds and brewers, which means the atmosphere was great. Jukebox was marked out of order, but we heard a couple of killer songs anyways.

Actually, we liked it so much there we headed back the very next day and did it all over again. No regrets, the experience was just as good.

The owners of this place should be proud.

Molly, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

This is the best bar I have ever been to in my life hands down! And the crazy thing is I went for lunch on a Wednesday!

On a recent trip to MI I thought "what the hell" and emailed HopCat not really expecting a response. I got a reply from the owner with some recommedations and welcoming me and my friends to come by. I arrived with my girl about a half hour or so after they opened and it was already starting to fill. We took a seat at the bar and started looking over the huge beer list. I asked if the owner who I had emailed was there and the bartender pointed out he was sitting right next to me. I introduced myself and he even gave my girl (after she commented on how muhc she liked the ladies room) a personal tour of the mens room as he was particularly proud of it. Very classy guy I must say.

I ordered a Shorts Huma Lupa Licious and my girl got a Shorts Nicie Spicie. We split a buffalo chicken sandwhich which came with some of the "crackfries" and it was great. The fries were so good it wasnt till I was finished that I noticed I didnt even use ketchup and I always have ketchup with fries. My friend got their mac'n'cheese which was also great. The food was very good and reasonable. Then we had another employee introduce himself (I forgot his name though) as he heard we were from Vegas. He told us about this great place to eat out here that we didnt even know about. The staff we encountered were all terriffic. We kinda felt like VIP's.

Either way this place was amazing. They didnt have any of their house brews on tap yet but they didnt need any. The beer menu, both bottles and draft, was amazing. I loved my Shorts and even got a complimentary sample of Great Lakes Blackout Stout (on nitro!). I wish we could have stayed all day but only had time for lunch as we were passing through town. It was a great time and a beautiful place. Good ambience, beer, food, and staff. You CANNOT go wrong with this place!

bunnyhustle, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of moshea
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

What else can you say about HopCat that has not already been said? The place looks great as you walk in. The bar area is dominated by a great ornate bar back the rest of the bar looks as good with some fun twists thrown in.

Service was top notch. Marc the owner and his wife stopped by introduced themselves and shared some beer knowledge. Steve was great, steering me through some selections from Shorts and the Livery I could not get at home. I mentioned to Steve that a friend was through last June. Steve immediately remembered that my friend had bought a bottle of beer but left it at the bar and asked me to take it to him.

The selection is great with 48 taps and over 150 bottles. All the Michigan heavies are present and the rest of the country and world are well represented. Be sure to ask to see the reserve list. They also recently began brewing their own beer. The Barley Wine I had was fantastic and a great example of its style.

I cannot recommend this place enough. HopCat and Founders have taken a small corner of Grand Rapids and turned it into a top notch beer destination.

moshea, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of Stonebreaker
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

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

Stonebreaker, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of redmount23
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

There is a reason why this is the best beer bar in America. Beer City USA is riding the backs of the glorious people that work at this amazing establishment. Every time my wife and I walk in those doors on Ionia in Grand Rapids we are met with open arms. This is the kind of treatment that everyone should get when walking into a bar or restaurant. We will be back for years to come.

Oh and their beer list is SPECTACULAR! And let the shout outs commence! The knowledge of their brewers (Bobby and Ernie) and their beer buyer (Trevor) as well as their Head Kitten (Allison) accompanies 48 beers on draft with one cask is the best around. We usually sample most of their beers over a two day period and start getting into a beautiful bottle list as well. The food is above average bar food. Can anyone say crack fries? The secret ingredient is love and sugar perhaps? If you are within 300 miles of this place and appreciate a well thought out beer menu and a uber personal staff this is the place to come.

I am already planning our next visit in March sometime. We missed this spot as soon as we left town.

redmount23, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of Baileyuk
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

Well after finally getting to eat here off the regular menu I am able to fully put in a review.

I fell in love with this place as I watched a Soccer Match on the flat screen (a perfect amount in the place). The feel has a true pub feel to it for some reason, so many have tried but this is good.

Quality of the building, selection, staff knowledge, and everything else is awesome.

Selection is top notch, probably the best in Michigan. There are a few close to it but with seeking out rare finds this is just above. Lots of Shorts including some stuff they aged themselves so even I did not have any anymore. They have some shared storage space in the old mines. Little touches like that put this into the elite tier.

Food was excellent, I have been to a couple of beer dinners and was very satisfied but this was my first trip. Was no kids menu which was not the end of the world due to some appropriate choices on the menu anyways. Was not a great fan of my barbecue sauce but I put that down purely to personal preference as my wife liked them alot. Fries awesome, as was the coleslaw.

Baileyuk, May 23, 2009
Photo of MtnBikingandBeer
4.94/5  rDev +7.6%

Simply Fantastic! While West Michigan certainly has a fantastic selection of local breweries to choose from, I have not yet been to any pub with this vast of a selection. The atmosphere was great, very relaxing. Service was phenomenal and very knowledgeable. All beers sampled in my group of four were served in appropriate glassware. Forty some odd beers on tap and 100+ bottle options! The beer menu was quite in depth and provided excellent descriptions. As such, I was able to introduce several friends to the "better beer world" and they were quite surprised. Although they were a little confused that no MBC was on tap at first, we were able to find them some good intro beers and hopefully they'll come back for more.

I will certainly make this a regular spot to share good times with good friends and good beer! Thank you HopCat for providing GR exactly what it has been needing!

MtnBikingandBeer, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of HopsMatt
4.94/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

HopsMatt, May 26, 2012
Photo of ttaxtell
4.94/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

ttaxtell, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of yankeej13
4.94/5  rDev +7.6%

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!

yankeej13, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of shivtim
4.94/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

shivtim, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of mobius387
4.9/5  rDev +6.8%

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

mobius387, Dec 06, 2011
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 297 ratings.