HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BEER AVG
3.82/5
Based on:
35 Beers
199 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 323
Reviews: 195
rAvg: 4.59
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:
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: 323 | Reviews: 195 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
4.18/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Visited following dinner at Founders. The end of Day 1 of the Michigan tour.

Atmosphere: The bar is great, long and wooden with multiple tap line-ups. There appeared to be outdoor seating, although we settled down inside.

Quality: Two of the first three beers ordered were either freshly kicked or on yet on tap, a bad start to the night. I didn't leave the table, so I can't comment on anything else.

Service: We had a good time with our waitress. She was especially understanding when both JP beers that we ordered were kicked or still on deck. She recommended replacements and chatted us up.

Selection: Wow. A focus on Michigan but still too much good stuff. I wish that I had been here earlier, as I was just too waterlogged to dig into the taplist.

Food: Didn't eat.

Photo of Gigantis
4.18/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

As a beer enthusiast and Grand Rapids bargoer, it is still surprising to me that I had only been to this bar once (and that was just a quick stop in). Apparently, Hopcat is the #3 beer bar. Well, I had my doubts because, let's face it, we're talking about downtown Grand Rapids; home to such establishments as McFaddens, the Taphouse formerly known as Taps and Gardella's. For those of you who do not know, these places are meatmarkets on a good day.

Well, I'm pleased to say that the Hopcat is head-and-shoulders above those other travesties. It was busy, as is often the case I gather, but my wife and I were able to get a seat at the bar and the other patrons were nice enough to move down so that our friend could sit as well. The service at the bar was a little slow and it took about five minutes for anyone to give us the beer menu. By that point I had already gotten a pretty good idea of the selection by looking at the taps.

The menu is really one big page that divides the beers by "North American", "Michigan", and "International". The first two sections were pretty extensive with about fifteen to twenty offerings each. The latter section wasn't impressive.
The price and serving glass type are listed as well as a brief description of what you're getting (American Strong Ale, IPA, etc.)

I ordered a Hopslam and my wife got a Hairy Eyeball. She did not like the Hairy Eyeball so I traded with her. Both beers tasted great. The place started to get really busy (so much so that there was a line that a friend of mine had to wait in for twenty minutes just to get in!) later on. We found comfy seats in a booth and our waitress was fantastic. I had two more beers (Scotty Karate and and Cereberus 10).

The place is really roomy and beautiful. There is a loft where people can smoke or you could go outside to their patio which offers a lovely view of the side of Van Andel Arena and a parking lot.

While the beer was great throughout my visit, once it got busier, the same cannot be said of the clientele. What's the word I'm searching for here? Oh yeah: deutschy! A lot of drunk meatheads and their bimbettes abounded around the witching hour and they clearly weren't there for the beer because they ordered bottles of Miller Lite. One drunkard sat down at our booth and I had to be rather firm with him in order to make him leave.

I didn't eat the food, but those who did said that it was "OK". Most of the beers ranged from 4 to 6 bucks. Others were more expensive. Most of the rarer beers come in a snifter, so you aren't gonna be getting a pint every time you order. This was fine though, since by the time I finished my third beer I was certainly feeling it. The aforementioned waitress only encouraged my drinking by getting me a fourth beer and bringing me a water with it. Thanks, tootz.

In summary,

Pros:
-Solid selection of tap beers
-nice, fun, knowledgible staff
-beautiful ambiance with high ceilings and lots of woodwork
-non-smoking

Cons:
-Lots of deutschbags came later on
-it gets busy... very busy
-could be too expensive for some
-non-smoking

Photo of blakesell
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Came here on a holiday trip Michigan brewery tour as Founders didn't open until late.

As Grand Rapids isn't that impressive of a city, I was wowed and surprised that there was this place just around the corner of downtown and nearly walking distance of Founders. The place has tons of taps that at my time of going you could make your own sampler at the rate of .50 to $1 a sample!! The samples weren't too skimpy either, so I had one hell of a sampler going on.

There were one off Goose Island beers and TONS of beers I had never seen before.

The food menu was very impressive as well and I'm disappointed to say that I ate at the hotel before I got here. I'm sure the food here would have been better than the breakfast buffet.

One of the most memorable things about the place was the restroom for me. A massive collage of Johnny Cash, Frank Zappa, Bowie, and Tom Waits posters, clippings, things of that sort.

Always good to have something pleasing to the eye when doing your business.

This is a place I would be sure to return to if I came back to Founders (which I would love to do!)

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.21/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Atmosphere: just a nice bar with cool decorations that are all about beer and pop culture.

Quality: i will have to amend this when i finally try hopcat beer, but their taplist alone is of the best quality as far as bars go

Service: good service while i was there. my waitress made it around enough so i always had beer but never too much

Selection: probably about 6 of their own plus a wonderful and varied taplist. I tried 5 different beers in one night and still missed a few. looks like they have great tap events too

Overall: one of the best multitaps with the best prices for what they have

Photo of Vdubb86
4.22/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I stopped here with my girlfriend for lunch on our way home from a wedding in Michigan because I had heard great things about this place. The atmosphere was really cool looking. Not only did it have a normal high quality old world beer bar going with lots of wood decor and the ever-changing chalkboards above the bar it was cool. The place was decorated in a Bohemian Style and the chairs were covered in what seemed to be some sort of French art and jazz was playing over head. This just came off as a very classy establishment. The quality of this place was pretty good. It seemed that if it wasn't a Sunday afternoon in January they may have had some amazing stuff on tap. As far as Barleywines were, they had a lot of things with some serious age on them that were really tempting, but overall my choice was for a year-old Batch 9000. The service was good, our waitress was attentive, and seemed to know how everything was done. I never really tested her because for the most part I knew of everything on the menu. The food was pretty tasty, I enjoyed a pulled Beef sandwich and my girlfriend went crazy for a veggie wrap that she thought was amazing. The prices of beer are a little on the high side unless you get a HopCat beer, but the food prices are in some instances on the cheap end. Overall an enjoyable experience, I would love to be back with a different tap list.

Photo of italianstallion
4.24/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ssimpson89
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of KevinL
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of beergorrilla
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of SourAddict
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Fargrow
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of BigTuna1066
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Borgs
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of little_star
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of BreakfastStout
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of otto251068
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Atmosphere: Hopcats is right in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids, so its space is fairly limited. The tables are really packed in there, and most of the time, so are the patrons. Always super busy, and I always feel surrounded. If you are claustrophobic, you might have a rough time. In terms of atmosphere, Hopcats doesn't have anything special.

Quality: Huge tap selection, which is always being changed, so I don't worry about the quality too often. They also have a ton of bottles for sale which they keep in storage in refrigerated cabinets. Everything looks to be in order. Big fan of all the glassware, every drink is served in the appropriate glass.

Service: Been here a couple dozen times, and the service is always hit and miss. At the bar, the tenders always make sure you have a drink in front of you. At a table, the waiters and waitresses seem to occasionally make a lap, but they never seem to be around when I need them. On the plus side, they know every beer on the menu, and are very helpful.

Selection: Huge. So many different styles and flavors from all over the world. Tons of locals, tons from all over the US. The menu is sorted by location, big fan. There are just so many beers here, I really can't say enough about it. Lots of great beers from Belgium.

Food: I don't come here for the food, but I have had it, and it is pretty good. Of course, the crack fries are insane, and they have a lot of great munchies that are perfect for snacking on when drinking great beer.

Value: Expensive, but of course it depends on what you buy. The Michigan locals are on the lower end, and some others are way more expensive. I stick to the lower end of the spectrum, but always finish with some higher price stuff.

Photo of Titanic_Ant
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of gradergator
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ygolordned
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of DCdevyl78
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Rons35
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
4.28/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Great vibey place in downtown grand rapids. The selection of beers, especially on tap, is hard to top. Slightly Michigan-centric, but they have a little of anything. Besides a lot of the Michigan breweries are pumping out some great beers so there is nothing wrong with this hometown bias. The service was completely adequate, and the food was in no way insulting. The setting and most importantly, the world-class tap selection, is what would bring me back. If you are in the area, stop by, it will not disappoint.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place is much bigger on the inside then it looks from the street. Pretty good atmoshpere too. The selection is amazing. Only had time for a couple drinks, but the tap list was fantastic, and the bottle list was ridiculous. They look a little on the pricey side though. They have all the michigan breweries covered, and tons of selections from north american and across the ocean. I ended up going with a pint of Brooklyn Cookie Jar Porter and Dark Horses's Double Crooked Tree. Would have loved to try more beer had time allowed it. Every town should have a bar like this. I really hate Canada.

HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.