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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat

Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 45
Beer Ratings: 263
Beer Avg: 3.82

Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
BA SCORE
100
world-class

281 Ratings
Ratings: 281
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 9.61%
$$ - reasonable
[ 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: 281 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of frampin
frampin

Michigan

4.8/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$

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%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

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%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

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%
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.

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

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

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

Michigan

4.83/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

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
Photo of mjvos
mjvos

New Mexico

4.83/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

I am from Grand Rapids, and this is one of my favorite places. I often go multiple times a week. The atmosphere is really neat with a very large bar and great artwork all around. Usually quite busy, except maybe early in the week, but always a few people in.

The service is very good, and the bartenders are very friendly and knowledgeable. I have been able to make some serious small-talk with some of the staff. When it's super busy later in the week at night it can take a little bit to order, but never terribly long.

The selection is extremely good with 48 taps, the most in the area, and they are constantly getting new beers cycling through to the point the menu is updated weekly. Lots of bottles as well.

For food, they have burgers, a number of different sandwiches and a couple larger plates. All the items I have tried have been delicious. Try the Spicy BBQ Pulled Pork and Cheese Ale Soup!

Lastly, all of this comes at a fairly reasonable price given the quality.

08-11-2011 05:09:46 | More by mjvos
Photo of jale
jale

Michigan

4.83/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$

What more can you say about this place. Great tap selections and great bottle list. The staff here are friendly and if you have a question they don't know they will ask someone who does. The food here is just amazing. Everyone knows the crack fries are awesome. The burgers are just as great, the best burgers around. They have a cheese ale soup which must be tried. I can easily see why this is one of the best beer bars in the country. On the weekends during the busy hours the service can be slow, but that is to be expected. Mark has done a fantastic job making this place shine. This is a must stop place when you come to Michigan.

11-27-2011 15:05:39 | More by jale
Photo of Flabbyjandro
Flabbyjandro

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Rock solid bar. Food was spectacular, not your standard fired bar food in the least. Selection was a good 25+ beers on tap as well as a huge to go selection. Staff was very friendly and knowledgable. Steve is the man, hooked it up, that's all I can say.

The atmosphere is very chill with some tvs to watch your sports and plenty of tables and bar space.

Next time I'm in town to hit up Founders, Hopcat will make the must stop list. Check it out, you won't be disappointed! Unless you hate craft beer and a full stomach.

11-20-2012 03:07:37 | More by Flabbyjandro
Photo of libbekat
libbekat

North Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$

The husband and I had a great night at Hopcat. We were in town for the Founders KBS release the following day. If you are in western Michigan NOT going to Hopcat is cardinal beer sin.
We were lucky to get a booth in the back of the restaurant, better for people watching.
We started with "nachos" that instead of corn chips had fried potato chips. Very tasty. And the "crack fries". This was based on a recommendation from the hotel we stayed at. The fries were tasty but I really liked the nachos.
I can not say enough about the beer list. Pace yourself!!! I was so excited about the beers I did over indulge. I drank a sample of all the IPAs on draft. I don't know what I was thinking. I was completely overwhelmed by the selection available. In NC we get a very limited selection so perusing this menu was a treat.
Back to the food....I had a great sandwich and had a hard time deciding on which one because they all sounded interesting. But my husbands entree was the best thing I have had in awhile. Let me state for the record, I don't like junk food and I am not a big meat eater. My husband got the Mac and Cheese. Trevor, our waiter who was the best waiter we have encountered in awhile, recommended trying it with sloppy Joe's on top. It has been 3 days and I am still thinking about it. OMG!!! this was the best stuff! Creamy with savory meat and some crunch from breadcrumbs perhaps? I helped my husband finish off his entree, I couldn't stop eating the stuff.
We were treated to a tour by Tim, I thought when he opened the doors to show us the beer they store you could angels sing. Then again I had a few IPAs by this time. We had a very memorable evening thanks to Tim and Trevor's excellent service and recommendations.
I am looking forward to returning to MI next year, pacing myself on the beer at Hopcat and eating my own dish of mac and cheese.

03-16-2010 02:24:10 | More by libbekat
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.