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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 webmanspidey
webmanspidey

Michigan

4.85/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$

The receipt came with the message "Review us on beeradvocate.com", so I'm complying..

I had been looking to visit here a while and finally had the chance about a week ago.

One of the best selections of beers I've seen on tap, including several that I had not run into before. Several rarities from Goose Island, small Michigan breweries, and others across the country. They also have a few of their own beers.

Service was great and very knowledgeable. Offered me the remainder of a keg for free when I ordered a beer they had just about exhausted.

Food was very good and had a few out-of-the-ordinary items for a bar beer like this.

Great place all-around.

09-02-2009 03:53:22 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of RockerD
RockerD

Indiana

4.7/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$

What a cool place. Finally got to go last night. Nice location right downtown. Place was jam packed with 20 somethings. I felt a tad old at a meager 34 years old. Very large bar area where there are different tap stations. Amazing local Michigan beer tap selection. No Michigan brewery is snubbed here. It seemed that 60% of their taps were local. The decor is great, lots of stuff to look at.

We had the pretzel as an appetizer which was very good. It came with a white liquid cheese and horseradish mustard. For dinner we had the veggie burrito which was amazing and I highly recommend it!

Got a personal tour from C.B.G.- Steve Smith which made the experience that much greater. This is a must destination for any beer connoisseur!!

11-06-2010 23:07:13 | More by RockerD
Photo of b3shine
b3shine

Ohio

5/5  rDev +9.2%
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!

09-05-2011 17:55:31 | More by b3shine
Photo of Labonix
Labonix

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

This is a must if you're ever in Grand Rapids. They have a huge selection of beers to choose from both bottle and on tap. I liked how they had the beer menu set up. The beers were split up into differnt catagories based on the style of beer. The bartenders do a nice job with the service even though they have a full bar to tend. The food here was really good and it wasn't too pricey. It wasn't a long wait for my food after I placed my order. I would actually say that this place is worth a 30min or so wait for a seat.

10-09-2011 19:19:26 | More by Labonix
Photo of kylelenk
kylelenk

Michigan

2.83/5  rDev -38.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$

Residing in GR I am fortunate to be able to frequent HopCat quite often. Being a regular, I've come to realize there is much needed for the bar to live up to it's reputation.

Atmosphere is decent but is always overcrowded. You're giving a multitude of different seating arrangements which can be either booths, couches (upstairs), picnic tables, or traditional seating. The bar looks quite dusty but my recommendation is to always sit at the bar...no matter what...as the bartenders are the only experienced staff in the establishment.

The service is obviously the Achille's Heel as the waitstaff are undertrained and unbelievably slow. I've walked in at 12:30AM with almost nobody in the bar and it has taken more than 15 minutes for a waitstaff member to come over. Additionally, I've had waitstaff confuse nitro beers with firkins...not something to expect with being named the 3rd best beer bar in the world.

HopCat has an outstanding collection if you're from out of town but often seems to cycle through beers if you're familiar enough with the establishment. Their bottle selection is quite a gem as they don't distribute menus unless you request. I was able to find some Mikeller even though it has sense stopped being distributed in the GR area.

People may rave about the Crack Fries, which are amazing, but the burgers seem to be quite generic (Sysco). Stella's across the street has hand formed burgers that come stuffed at the same price point...which is embarrassing concerning both restaurants share the same ownership.

I will say that HopCat throws some awesome parties. Their Wood and Wild Ale Fest last year brought some true whales to tap. Additionally, they throw parties when breweries enter the distro market and offer a chance to find some rarer beers.

Value is reasonable. Their specials often carry unreasonable stipulations like the $6 burger and beer combo being limited (last time) to a New Holland Kolsch despite the fact it carried the same price point as some of their own pub beers.

All in all I compare HopCat to DisneyWorld...Fun to take people when they're from out of town but you can see right through all of it's shortcomings. If they can't fix the service, at least fix the website as the taplist is sometimes months out of date...something in this day in age should be always synced.

10-15-2013 23:17:41 | More by kylelenk
Photo of boatmich
boatmich

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

12-13-2013 02:51:08 | More by boatmich
Photo of Supergenious
Supergenious

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

05-20-2014 00:10:33 | More by Supergenious
Photo of TravisShaneRedden
TravisShaneRedden

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

07-31-2014 22:17:01 | More by TravisShaneRedden
Photo of snafui
snafui

Massachusetts

4.7/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

I had the pleasure of stopping into HopCat last Wednesday on recommendation from some nice Grand Rapids locals I met at Founders (but I wanted to go anyway based on BA reviews). The bar is beautiful, very cozy, lively atmosphere. It was around 11:30 and there was a jazz band playing. The decor was very much eye candy and I loved the oversized bar stool seats.

I had trouble deciding what to get after being let down initially (not their fault). I saw Bells two-hearted on the chalk board and ordered that only to find out the board said it would be on cask tomorrow. Damn. So that threw me off and I decided to get an Oberon while I poured over the menu. Unfortunately my co-workers wanted to leave after that pint so I didn't end up having anything else, which is too bad because I could have spent all night trying beers I can't get back home in MA.

I really hope I have the opportunity to visit the area again and give this place a thorough tap by tap inspection :)

In the mean time it left me with a fantastic memory and a yearning to go back.

PS I found something very inspiring about this place. We talked with several Grand Rapids locals over the next few days. Folks that claimed to not be big beer drinkers even, and everyone recommended the HopCat. I see that has a HUGE boon to the craft beer industry. Here's a place with a drool-worthy tap and bottle selection that is attracting more than just beer geeks. Good job HopCat, this is exactly the kind of positive exposure the beer industry should be proud of! You have a great word-of-mouth following out there, keep up the good work!

05-07-2008 14:55:43 | More by snafui
Photo of RxforBeer
RxforBeer

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

We visited the Hopcat while in Grand Rapids for the KBS release. The Hopcat is one of the best beer bars and it is exceptional in many ways. It provides a great place to relax and enjoy outstanding brews. Their selection of beers is one of the best I have seen. They offer a wide range of Michigan micros - some of which can not be found in Ohio. So there was some other pleasant suprises we discovered along our journey for KBS. The service was a 5+++, as Garry and his crew went above and beyond to make our visit outrageously wonderful. THey got to know our tastes and recommended beer after beer and never misled us. I can not say enough great things about this place and the people. It is a beer bar that every true beer drinker must visit. Grand Rapids - you are one lucky town.

03-26-2009 17:27:11 | More by RxforBeer
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.