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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BA SCORE
100
world-class

287 Ratings
Ratings: 287
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 9.61%
Active Beers: 45
Beer Ratings: 265
Beer Avg: 3.82
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: 287 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ndekke39
ndekke39

Ohio

4.8/5  rDev +4.8%

Visited HopCat with my brother on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The place was pretty open, so we found a seat easily. The place has a really nice vibe - lots of wood accents, great old building. Big long only bar with a couple of TVs. There's a patio out front, and at one end of the building are the guest brewing facilities that you can see through the glass.

Service was great - very attentive and patient with us as we selected our beers.

Selection is top-notch. They gave us a huge menu of beers on tap. Big focus on Michigan breweries, plus a good American and import selection. There's also a huge range of bottles, although we didn't see a menu for that. Which was good - it was hard enough to choose from the draft list as it was.

Didn't try the food, although that menu looked great, too.

Nice addition to the Grand Rapids beer scene. Great building, nice folks, excellent selection. I'll definitely be back.

09-25-2008 15:00:35 | More by ndekke39
Photo of MasonBeerMan
MasonBeerMan

Michigan

4.8/5  rDev +4.8%

Came here last August with my wife for our anniversary trip to a brewery. Stopped here for lunch before heading to Founders for dinner. Very nice looking place, it was very nice out, so we sat outside. Sat at a comfortable couch and sipped some top notch brew. There were so many beers to choose from that we just had a couple of samplers. The staff was very knowledgable about the beers. It seems like they had drank most of them. The food was decent, nothing special. I was able have a nice cigar out there too. Great experience and will be back there for the Winter Beer Fest.

02-17-2009 18:13:57 | More by MasonBeerMan
Photo of jim102864
jim102864

Connecticut

4.8/5  rDev +4.8%

Another gem within walking distance of my hotel while on business in Mason, MI but actually staying in Grand Rapids (and doing the 80 mile drive each day just so I could check out Founders. See my review). I started my visit with a Madrugada Obscura by Jolly Pumkin. A RIS sour (wow) that the bartender said was difficult to get and that they hadn't had for over a year. Everbody out here seems to know quality. It was served a tad too cold so I let it sit. As to the atmosphere itself, it reflects the neighborhood which is in an area with brick sidewalks and vintage buildings. You will see a high wooden plaster and lathe exposed wood ceiling with a lovely cherry wood bar back with arches like a cathedral. Large, leather padded bar stools and handsomely decorated tall wooden chairs with elephants or a beer drinkers face lightly painted on them. Sorta loud music plays which was only mildly annoying. There is a long bar which is primarily straight but curves at one end like a question mark. Interesting throwback twenties and thirties era framed posters hang from the ceiling. Looks like about 50 taps with MI very well represented. I also met the owner, Mark. What a cool dude. If I recall correctly, he is in the financial investment world by trade and became a beer enthusiast whose travelled all over the country and has been to the best beer bars. It shows in the level of quality brew offerings and the beer enthusiast supportive atmosphere. We shared a 750 of Shorts Imperial Black Cherry Porter. Awesome stuff. Gary the bartender said it was a two year old bottle. God I loved this place. Next was the Dragonmead Final Absolution Triple. I finished my solid experience with a Shorts Chocolate Wheat Porter. A must place to visit if in Grand Rapids, only a short walk from Founders.

04-04-2009 12:17:23 | More by jim102864
Photo of willygreen
willygreen

Michigan

4.8/5  rDev +4.8%

I stopped in at Hopcat prior to heading over to Founders for their KBS release party. The beer selection was phenomenal.

My only complaint was that their beer menu was missing some of their taps. I discovered a table tent with additional beers on it and then found out they still had beers on tap that were missing. How do you find out what these mystery beers are? They really need a system that makes it easy to read what all of their taps are.

This place is unbelievable. I had a dogfish 60 minute and a harpoon ipa, both really good and my first time on draft. Also tried a Hobgoblin (good English bitter) a great session beer.

The place was packed and the bartenders were still very attentive; the service was fast and friendly. I tried an appetizer and it is just average--typical Gordon Food Service or Sysco stuff.

03-17-2008 23:40:07 | More by willygreen
Photo of frampin
frampin

Michigan

4.8/5  rDev +4.8%

Extensive bottle selection, although a bit pricey, there are a few rare gems, i.e 6 of the Short's Imperial series. A bit of a mark up at $45.00 a piece, though. Exceptional tap selection with pretty good variety, depending on the month/season. The opportunity to try Rodenbach Grand Cru, La Trappe Quad, and Ola Dubh 30 Year on tap is worth seeking this place out, in my opinion. Food is good, but nothing to write home about. All in all, this place is easily the best beer bar in Michigan, aside from Ashley's, but the atmosphere of HopCat trumps Ashley's easily.

07-09-2008 00:51:14 | More by frampin
Photo of wxgod
wxgod

Wisconsin

4.8/5  rDev +4.8%

Did a brewery tour of southern/western Michigan and, in between hitting Founders etc, had to make a stop at HopCat based on the stellar reviews from Beeradvocate. Have to say, the reviews were right on. Stellar selection of brews, with lots of local represenation. Good, because that is what we were there for...try the stuff we can't get at home. Service was great and Tyler (our server) was very helpful and attentive, but didn't hover. Definitely a place worth any beer lovers' time. It was packed on a Saturday evening, but that was to be expected.

11-15-2010 23:57:04 | More by wxgod
Photo of MDekker
MDekker

Michigan

4.8/5  rDev +4.8%

My brother and I tried this on a Sunday afternoon. It wasn't very busy. The building is very cool - old, refurbished, tons of wood. We were given a simple, large, laminated menu - beer on one side, food on the other. The selection of brews on tap is deep and broad, with lots of Michigan beers, American beers, and international beers too. Their website also lists a huge stash of bottles that they have available. It was hard to decide what to get. Everything is high quality, except their one "lawnmowing" offering, which they basically acknowledge is not up to the standards of everything else. The staff was friendly, and knowledgeable enough when we needed them to be. I'd like to try the food someday too. I'll definitely return sometime.

09-15-2008 01:46:57 | More by MDekker
Photo of malty
malty

Michigan

4.83/5  rDev +5.5%

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.

04-06-2010 02:33:48 | More by malty
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +5.5%

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!

01-02-2009 17:54:02 | More by ffejherb
Photo of northernbrews
northernbrews

Michigan

4.83/5  rDev +5.5%

HopCat is the best beer bar I've been to overall. Everything here is top notch...from the atmosphere, service, food, and definitely the beer. This was my second trip (would go ALOT more if it wasn't 2.5 hours away) and both times they had crazy events. The first was a Goose Island event w/ 20+ Goose Island beers on tap. This trip was the Short's event w/ 25 Short's beers on tap. Pretty much had a sample of all the beers (quite a good deal and great way to try lots of stuff at $1.00 per sample). Other beers ranged from $4.00 to $6.50 for pint of all the Short's offerings w/ a few pricier (but worth it options on the regular menu) They had Samiclaus on tap which I've never seen before. Had the mac-n-cheese w/ sloopy joe and herbed tomatos....it was damn good. Hung out with Mark the owner and some buddies from Rate and BA which made the experience that much better. Definitely deserving of its high rating on BA and it truely is a world class beer bar!

12-22-2009 15:00:09 | More by northernbrews
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 287 ratings.