Not Rated.
Grab a complimentary copy of BeerAdvocate magazine here while supplies last.
Based on:
40 Beers
209 Hads
Place Score: 100
Reviews: 197
Visits: 361
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: 361
Photo of bigfurrynutz
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This was a stop on my Grand Rapids pub crawl for my 35th birthday. This is a must stop for any BAs who are passing through GR or live nearby. The selection of beers is mind boggling. It took a considerable amount of time to decide on what I was going to drink but I decided on a house beer, the Hopapotomus. It was decent but the selection of other guest beers was what really made this place worthwhile. In addition, the food here is incredible. The wife and I split an order of crack fries with cheese and they really hold up to their name, you will want more. We also feasted on macaroni and cheese which was out of thie world. When I return to GR, I will be back fo sho!!

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Photo of vtisme
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I feel like a broken record saying awesome things about HopCat just like everyone else, but:
Bottom Line Up Front - If you are anywhere in MI, you MUST visit Hopcat in downtown Grand Rapids, MI!!

I brought my wife, father, and 5 friends to HopCat because I knew they have literally hundreds of beer available either on tap or in bottle and I would like to have dad/wife try things out to fine tune their beer tastes. As you walk in you can immediately feel the warm, professional atmosphere. Without even talking to someone, you know these people know what they're talking about. Which leads to the fact that it seems every single one of their staffers knows, in deep detail, about all of their beers. You ask what examples of any style they have on tap/bottle, they will name them without blinking. Not only that, the courteous service they provide is honestly second to none, that signature midwestern hospitality shows through. The crack fries must be sprinkled with it, and their humus was also the best i've had. The prices are spot on with the quality of beer they have.

If you're a homebrewer as well, they are more than happy to talk about brewing and what they're up to. Talking through brewing with them was another highlight of the night.

Also, to repeat a review before mine, a special shoutout to Steve - he was amazingly gracious, hospitable, and he is the perfect example of how personalized service really makes it no matter where you go.

My wife, dad and friends havent stopped raving about going to HopCat, and next time we are here in the area we will absolutely be going back. I havent been to the #1/2 beer bars in the world, but they really must be fantastic to top this.

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Photo of Urbancaver
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I can't believe I haven't reviewed HopCat yet... This is one of the few places I've been that time and time again is absolutely hands down THE place to stop. Phenomnal atmosphere. Huge tap list. Amazing bottle selection. Their own brews are top notch. service is GREAT, I was able to get samples for cheap and try a LOT more than ordering full pints which was especially nice for trying things like Bloody Beer. The food was super tasty (especially the crack fries) and the price was rigth on target. Overall the best beer bar I've ever been to hands down

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Photo of elNopalero
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Some times it pays to start your beer drinking in the afternoon. I came here with a friend on a visit to Grand Rapids and this was our first stop. They had so many beers on tap—I was overwhelmed at first by the number of handles at the different stations spanning the length of the bar—until I learned they will provide you with a ‘menu’ of available beers. It just so happened our visit was following a Short’s take over so there were a lot of Joe Short’s tasty beverages on tap.

That many offerings alone would make me a regular. I mean, just when you’ve worked your way through the board there’s always going to be something else you just have to try coming up, right? It’s a tough life, I know.

Even better was our server who endured/enjoyed our beer geek questions, shared recommendations and tasting notes of his own, and—in what has become the stuff of legend—poured us a flight of their house beers that was somewhere more on the side of half-pours than tasters. Truly epic! We left a hearty tip on a tab that should have been tripled anywhere else. Between this and Founders Grand Rapids beer drinkers have it made.

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Photo of Hoppy2Bhere
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

My wife and I visited the Hopcat on the last day of a seven day tour of Michigan and it was truly the highlight of the trip. We found two seats at the large wooden bar and quickly lost ourselves in the fabulous beer menu. With 48 taps of high quality and hard to find beers, this is not an easy decision. I have been to many bars with more taps, but none with such a diverse selection, focusing primarily on high gravity local Michigan offerings. Hopcat is also brewing their own now and the Oblong Belgium Imperial IPA and Hoppopottamus IPA were both hoppy and delicious.

For dinner, I had the Killer Mac & Cheese with Sloppy Joe and tomatoes while my wife chose the Buffalo Rolls. Both were exceptional dishes and very reasonably priced.

But what really makes the Hopcat the best beer bar on the planet is the outstanding staff and service. We got a chance to spend some time talking to Mark and Garry about great beer and they went out of their way to make us feel at home. The tours and tastings and hospitality they offered was unbelievable. And the rest of the staff is so knowledgeable about the beers and so very friendly.

After spending several hours at the Hopcat, it is obvious they are doing it right, which makes me wonder why every good beer establishment doesn't engage the customers like family. This is not just a beer bar to go to while in Grand Rapids...this is a beer bar worth scheduling your vacation around like we did!

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Photo of hotglassmama
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Since January 12th, the official opening day, I have been a fan of HopCat. Every visit (dozens of them) has yielded the same result- amazing selection, great food, great service. I waited anxiously for them to open and took the huge selection of brews as a personal challenge not taking into account that the list is constantly changing! Something new and wonderful is always being added, such as Angry Planet Organic which might very well be my newest favorite. This is a bar that realizes girls do love real beer and embraces women with a ladies night that isn't light-weight or cheesy. Best of all is the PussyCat Brew Guild, a meeting of women who are interested in homebrewing, work in the beer industry or simply love to talk about which beers currently make them swoon. Yes, you will see me at every meeting! Friends who have accompanied me to HopCat have gushed about what a cool place it is, and they can't wait to go again. It's a classy place without being stuffy. Where else do you hear people remarking on how awesome even the restrooms are? The crowd is a good mix from all walks and it's a blast meeting new people there and bonding over some of the best beers to be had all under one roof. Check it out and I bet you'll be the next one gushing about it.

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Photo of brew3crew
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

A-Place was crowded, but not crowded enough where you couldn;t here what the person you were with was saying. A good kind of crowded. Love it

Q-Clean, smoke free and nice workers. What more can you ask for?

S-Exceptional! Friendly patient and they know alot about their beer. This is the reason they are ranked #3 bar in the world!

S- Crazy selection! over 40 beers on tap as well as their own. i wish I had this in my hometown!

F- Didn't have much. but their cracked fries are UNREAL!! only $3? are you serious?

V-You can get a taste of beer for $1. I tried I have never had before. Awesome!

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Photo of ioeth
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I happened to be in Grand Rapids from out of town for a weekend, and stumbled onto Hopcat when I was looking for a decent beer. What a fantastic place for a beer lover! Their selection is one of the best that I've ever seen, ranging from local favorites such as Founders, which is brewed only a few blocks away, to breweries from around the world to which I had never been exposed.

In addition to the selection, the staff and service is second to none, and is surely what makes Hopcat truly excellent. After pulling up a chair to the bar and chatting, I came to find out that some of the folks that I was talking to were actually the chef and brewmaster in addition to the regulars. Kim was tending the bar that evening, and after explaining my beer background, made some top notch recommendations for me along with Timm. As far as I'm concerned, Kim is the epitome of a superb bartender.

I can certainly understand how Hopcat came to be one of the top rated beer bars on this little blue orb, and look forward to the next time I'm in Grand Rapids when I'll be able to visit again.

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Photo of browna71
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5


Although that should suffice for a review, I suppose i could go into it a little deeper. Firstly, the atmosphere is incredibly warm, inviting and unique. One of the coolest looking bars I've had the pleasure of sitting at, the entire span of which is lined with about 40+ different taps which rotate almost daily. The staff has always been nothing but friendly and knowledgeable (not to mention they poured me and my friends and free bottle of a harder to find Belgian Kriek). The bottle selection is well over 200 bottles, comprised of mostly bombers of harder to find and foreign beers. As far as the food goes: crack fries, plain and simple. I have been to quite a few different brew pubs and beer bars, but none even come close to this place.

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Photo of proseberry
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Hello, O.K., my copious cat scratch notes were left at the bar, so let's just wing it. Went to H.C. solo during a road trip to Northern Michigan and immediately felt at home. My waiter, "John the Drummer", left me to my own devices as to selecting my brews to quaf, but was very keen when I asked for suggestions. I sat on the Hop Cat patio and enjoyed the "Big Pretzel", and the "Fire Wings" with my bevs. Delicious from top to bottom. While my highlights were the New Holland Oaked Hatter, the Lagunitas 2009 Correction Ale, and a Belgian Sour (I forget the name, sorry), everything Hop Cat had to offer was top shelf and fresh. Timm the "Chancellor" stopped by and greeted me graciously. I got through 10 of the 49 taps, and each one was perfectly presented in the correct glass. Great prices and perfect ambiance. Being first on the patio that evening, I left it completely filled to capacity. I would implore anyone going to Grand Rapids to stop by and enjoy everything Hop Cat has to offer. As I wrote on my bill, this was the best beer bar experience I've ever had. A million thank yous to the great staff. I'm look forward to returning same time next year; I wish this was a bit closer to home! Cheers!, Patrick

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Photo of drxandy
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The hopcat is easily one of the best beer bars i've been to in michigan, with a huge selection and great atmosphere.
Went today for the first time with my girlfriend and we enjoyed the environment very much. She ordered a veggie wrap (which was fantastic) and i got a burger and beer deal, which was also very tasty - the food is above average and well worth it (the fries!!), prices are really good, walked out of there with a 18$ bill for 2 beers, the food, and a pop. Our server was amazing as well, i haven't had such a good experience with speed and mannerisms in a while and she seemed completely comfortable and knowledgeable.

With the expanding options of brewing gear and other love put into the hopcat, i wish i lived closer to frequent often :D

definitely a must in GR!!

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Photo of b3shine
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I can't say enough good about this place! It's AMAZING!!! Everything exceeded our expectations! The food was outstanding, especially for the price! Generous servings too! The wings are a must-try! The staff is super! I wore in a 3 Floyds t-shirt, and Steve, the beer ordered (and I think brewer) complimented me on it. Not long after, he brought my wife and I over an unnamed rare beer (I don't want to get them into any trouble) that was FANTASTIC, and told us I won the "beer gear of the day award." They made customers out of us for life! And oh yeah, the beer... Outstanding esoteric selection complemented by a small but excellent selection of in-house brewed libations. We used to live in the area, bur moved away a little over 3 years ago, and they've been open slightly after we moved. I will now come here every time we come home, as my wife and I both LOVED it! Do yourself a favor and stop in. It's fantastic, and the value is great too!

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Photo of alleykatking
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

First off just let me say I had a better time visiting here than at Founders for the day. I didn't really know what to expect when I walked in there but I figured this had to be a good place. Good doesn't even begin to really say how I felt. I was blown away when I first walked in and noticed how big the place was. The beer (tap) list was amazing with beers from all over the place. And the bottle list had even more of a stranglehold of beers from all over the world. This is the place to go if you are ever in Grand Rapids. Prices were very reasonable and Mark is very friendly and helpful (thanks for the beer shop advice). And talk about a great host (thanks for cracking open those beers). I have been to a lot of "beer bars" and this one by far is the best I have been to. The staff was friendly and even though I didn't taste the food I saw many plates come out and it did look quite good. I can't wait to swing back up there when I get a chance. Just simply amazing....I don't know what else to say.

Edit: After forgetting to mention this in the original post I must say the bartender Kim was amazing. She was friendly and even took time out to make small talk with us. And take our picture..in the women's bathroom. She rocks....times 10!

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Photo of rvera
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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+++!!!

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Photo of atpben
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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.

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Photo of cosco
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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.

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Photo of simplejj81
5/5  rDev +10.6%

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!

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