1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat

Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 43
Beer Ratings: 259
Beer Avg: 3.81

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

272 Ratings
Ratings: 272
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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
Photo of hurricanelars
hurricanelars

Indiana

4.86/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

I came to Grand Rapids specificlly for the Short's event at the HopCat and was not disappointed.

We got there around 6 and the place was filled with people enjoying some of tastiest brews around. Lots of seats at the bar and some long wooden tables to satisfy larger groups. Real high ceiling that allow a smoking section to be lofted at the far end of the bar. Very relaxed atmosphere upstairs with a few couches and some comfortable chairs for those who don't mind a little second hand smoke.

It was Joe Short's birthday event so the selection was definitely top notch. Some of my personal favorites from the night were the Turtle Stout, the S'mores Stout, and the Key Lime Pie brew that really nailed the flavor. I stopped back the next morning to try a few others and really enjoyed the Hopapotamus and Bumbles Bounce that were brewed by HopCat. We didn't get a chance to try any food but everything we saw brought out looked amazing.

It was pretty busy during the event so it took a little bit of time to get a beer, but the next morning the service was great. Very knowledgeable staff and friendly. I will definitely be stopping here again the next time I head to Michigan

12-27-2009 10:41:02 | More by hurricanelars
Photo of n0315
n0315

Michigan

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

Amazing. This place transcends what a brewpub should be. A must stop if you like beer. No way around it.

The atmosphere was what you should see out good brewpub. It was lively and everyone seemed to be having a good time. The quality was as good as it gets. Proper glassware for the brews, the place was clean and it looked just amazing inside. Service was good, but it was the worst part about the visit. Took a little too long at the start to get the brews, but got much better after that. Could have just been buys, don't know. Selection speaks for itself. I cannot do it justice with mere words. Food was good, better than what you would usually expect out of a brewpub. Large menu as well.

Great place. a must see.

02-13-2010 19:03:12 | More by n0315
Photo of MarvinTheMarzen
MarvinTheMarzen

Iowa

4.68/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Hop Cat has to be one of my favorite bars - bar none. The place has a great atmosphere and enough room to accommodate crowds. The beer selection is really good and they rotate brews rapidly - and the write updated to the beer menu on chalkboards.

We've eaten there a few times and the selection and quality is good. Once you try the "Crack Fries" you'll understand how they got their name. The staff is also good - we got to sit at the bar during one visit and had a great time chatting with the staff. The owners even stopped by (they had seen us at another bar earlier) and we compared notes on several brews. Overall a great time and a great place.

08-22-2011 03:02:53 | More by MarvinTheMarzen
Photo of DoctorB2B
DoctorB2B

Massachusetts

4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Last stop on my Grand Rapids bonanza. I saved the best for last apparently. Very good looking spot inside ... very high ceilings with some old time framed artwork. The bar is long with taps o'plenty.

I had the pleasure of being taken care of by Mr. Steve Schultz (hope I spelled that right). I ordered the Sage Against the Machine to sip on and the Bar-Zee Burger which was DELICIOUS!!!

I noticed they had a couple bottles I had been looking for in Michigan but couldn't get my hands on. I asked if they sold bottles to go, which they do. So I was able to walk away with a Kuhnhenn 4D and Arcadia Bourbon Barrel Shipwreck.

The service was top notch, so when you do go in, ask for Steve, you'll be well taken care of!

09-19-2011 01:53:12 | More by DoctorB2B
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.