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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BA SCORE
100
world-class

306 Ratings
Ratings: 306
Reviews: 194
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.35%
Active Beers: 50
Beer Ratings: 286
Beer Avg: 3.8
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: 306 | Reviews: 194 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of karink
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%

First time visiting grand rapids from california and it was more than we expected!! We heard about Hopcat through everyone who replied on my post about where to go in GR. We ordered the crack fries which were amazing!! Their beer guy Steve was super friendly and gave us some background on the breweries in Michigan. Of all the pubs we stopped at in Michigan (Detroit & Kalamazoo) Hopcat was by far our favorite!!
Hats off to all the breweries in Michigan for their great beer and beautiful facilities!! Down in so.cal our breweries aren't like that, most just tasting rooms( except for stone) . We wish we could have visited longer.

karink, Jul 09, 2012
Photo of gauldk
4.84/5  rDev +5.2%

Frankly, it lives up to the hype! Super cool place with an astonishing selection of beers from their in-house brewery, Michigan, across the USA and the world. If you happen to be unimpressed by the 40+ drafts (just joking, that's impossible), there's also an extensive and impressive selection of bottles available (just ask to see the bottle list).

Their own in-house brews are well worth a try, don't overlook them.

Get some appropriately named "crack-fries". At the moment but you can get a 1/2 order free with a foursquare check-in.

Location, location, location... Center of the downtown nightlife area. A quick walk to Founders or Grand Rapids Brewing Company too.

gauldk, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of ClayOlivier
5/5  rDev +8.7%

ClayOlivier, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of ttaxtell
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%

This is a must stop in Grand Rapids. There is a reason why this place is rated one of the best beer bars in the U.S., it is a great experience. I make the trip from a few hours away to go there. My daughter goes to a nearby University and make any excuse I can to go see her so I can go to Hopcat. Every time I have been there the service and treatment was great, even during very busy times.

ttaxtell, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of canti1pd
5/5  rDev +8.7%

canti1pd, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of brockg
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Beer was amazing...but u havent lived till u try crack fries

brockg, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of kevinlater
5/5  rDev +8.7%

kevinlater, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of dutch05
4.43/5  rDev -3.7%

As the first one in the door for the BA preopening party, We got a table across from the bar.

Great atmosphere, our server was very helpful in making our selections, a couple bugs in the computer system, beers not inputted, but nothing serious, that's what a preopening is for right?

Nice selection of beer, if you can't find one you like here I don't know where the heck you would go! Great variety on tap, but the bottle list was incomplete, should be ready for the Grand Opening on Saturday.

Didn't have the Scotch list available, but from what I saw on the shelf it should be a nice selection also. From the peaty to the smooth, another "something for everyone" selection.
The music was not too loud, nice to have it be in the background and not overwhelming for a change.

Two tv's over the bar, and one giant screen available in front for special occasions.

Really nice that the smoking section is in the loft, it didn't reach the main bar area at all. I am assuming that a outdoor area will be available in nicer weather, there is a covering outside the building that is fenced in.

All in all, a great addition to the downtown area, I am not a downtown type person, but I think this will change now.

dutch05, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of monitorpop
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%

I just went to there first night "soft opening" and I hope this place doesn't change because I have a new favorite place in town.

BEER: WOW, 48 taps lined up down the bar is a sight to be seen! They had beers on tap that I have hard time finding in the bottle. It was very hard to pick a beer with so many favorites like Hennepin and 90min IPA on tap for the first time and tons more that I had never tried. The menu did a great job of describing the beers, I only wish they listed the BA ratings on the menu.

ATMOSPHERE: They spared no expense on this place, the detail on the custom woodwork and bar is amazing for a place this new. Most new places cut corners on the details, but here you can tell the owner took pride in everything. NO SMOKING in the main area, only in the loft. I didn't stink of smoke when I got home and I love it! I'm not sure what the crowd will be like when its open to the public, but this BA member only night had a nice mix of people.

FOOD: The food was actually the biggest surprise. I didn't expect the food to be very good on the opening night of a beer bar, but It was actually quite good. Some of the best casual dinning fare I've had in Grand Rapids.

MOUTH-FEEL: Nice light carbonation with a smooth finish....

monitorpop, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of MtnBikingandBeer
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%

Simply Fantastic! While West Michigan certainly has a fantastic selection of local breweries to choose from, I have not yet been to any pub with this vast of a selection. The atmosphere was great, very relaxing. Service was phenomenal and very knowledgeable. All beers sampled in my group of four were served in appropriate glassware. Forty some odd beers on tap and 100+ bottle options! The beer menu was quite in depth and provided excellent descriptions. As such, I was able to introduce several friends to the "better beer world" and they were quite surprised. Although they were a little confused that no MBC was on tap at first, we were able to find them some good intro beers and hopefully they'll come back for more.

I will certainly make this a regular spot to share good times with good friends and good beer! Thank you HopCat for providing GR exactly what it has been needing!

MtnBikingandBeer, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of cosco
5/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

cosco, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of wide3345
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%

We were heading to Kalamazoo for the weekend but decided to go a bit out of our way to visit Grand Rapids and HopCat. The Kuhnhenn's were brewing the night we were there so I knew we'd have an even better time.

HopCat is situated right next to Van Andel arena and just down the street a block or so from Founders as well as a few other cool pubs and diners.

Inside HopCat they have a beautiful wood bar that goes clear to the ceiling with muchroom style bar taps situated every few feet or so. The crowd is diverse and friendly although I didn't get a chance to really meet anyone as we were busy in our own conversations.

As far as beer selection, I wouldn't go so far as to say they have the largest tap and bottle selection but I would definitely argue that their selection is by far the best in Michigan if not the Midwest. A few notables on draft: Short's Smugglin' Plums, Saison Dupont, Dark Horse Rod, Jolly Pumpkin ESBam, Rodenback Grand Cru..and on and on. They really did a nice job getting a great cross-section of Michigan brews as well as classic styles from Europe.

Their bottle selection is impressive as well. We had a Nogne IPA and an Abbey Trippel that I can't seem to remember the name of...it was good though...it was late.

Food selection is good. I enjoyed the bar cheese and the mac and cheese.

Definitely worth the extra drive if you're anywhere near Michigan!

wide3345, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of MexiDutchVedo
4.88/5  rDev +6.1%

I'll admit that this is my personal hangout in my own hometown, so the review is bound to be favorable. However, that being said this is still the best bar I've ever been to in my entire adult life.

Let's make a list, shall we? Huge selection of top quality brews, amazing atmosphere, beautifully constructed bar area, live bands, personable and knowledgeable staff, non-smoking, and 5 minutes from my house! It's about as close to a drinking nirvana as one gets. Being a local it's nice to see that they embrace the Michigan brewing tradition with things like the beer dinners and Michigan Brews night on Mondays too.

I've been fortunate to be a regular at Hopcat since the day they opened last January and I couldn't be one at a better bar.

MexiDutchVedo, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of NealCassady
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%

My favorite beer bar. The place has very nice decor that gives it an old time quality feel. There are a long row of assorted taps from great Michigan brews to Belgians. The bottle list is extensive to say the least. They usually have a very good beer on handpull as well. All the food I have had is good, but a little pricey. Ambiance seems to stay chill along with the laid back staff. I have yet to hear a song playing that I didn't like. I also Met the ringleader and he is great, loves beer and having fun.

NealCassady, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of EffinABubba
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%

One of the coolest bars I've been in, hands down. If you're a jazz fan, you'll love the murals (e.g. Thelonius Monk, etc.), if you're a beer fan, you'll love the selection and beerphanalia, if you're a fan of comfortable bars with interesting decor, you'll be at home. This is a very nice bar that isn't pretentious. You can comfortably mix crowds. Mark, the owner, was present at our visit and was very friendly and extremely generous to us out-of-towners. We also saw him circulating through the bar chatting with folks, so he proves himself to be a man interested in the experience of his guests. Mark introduced us to Steve, who I believe is either the bar manager or operations manager. Anyway, Steve gave us a tour and made sure we had a chance to try beers we normally wouldn't have had a chance to try or didn't have on our radar screens...and all this during a busy evening. I highly recommend this place!

EffinABubba, May 26, 2009
Photo of proseberry
5/5  rDev +8.7%

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

proseberry, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of rkpsycho
4.38/5  rDev -4.8%

My wife and I were recently in MI and we hit several breweries during our stay. Now that Hopcat is a brewery, I can classify it such, however its still just a phenomenal beer bar.

We visited Hopcat twice on our visit and lucked out both times having Kathyrn be our waitress; she was the reason for the high service mark.

The selection at Hopcat is excellent, with several rotating taps and a great selection of MI beers. Plus they will fill growlers of anything from their taps.

This is major plus, cause we stopped at Bell's and they would not fill growlers, stating they have no control over quality once its filled, yada yada. However Hopcat had no problems and that's great cause my wife really likes the Bell's Poolside that they had on tap.

I loved the Shorts Nicey Spicey; it was better than I remembered from the last time I had it up in Bellaire at the brewpub.

Definatley worth their high ranking; you must try if you are ever within the area.

rkpsycho, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of Pipeworks
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%

Had a fantastic time here, stopped in for 1 beer and some wings and ended up staying for 4+ hours. Love the fact that the bar is a mile long allowing plenty of room for everyone to pull on up. Separate up-stairs smoking lounge was a plus to aid my bourbon barrel aged pour. Staff knows what they are doing with management on site ready to fix any problem. Prices for regular pours were $4-6 and sandwiches (which are pretty amazing) $7-9 or so. Proper glassware of course. The super high ceilings make it a very open atmosphere. They are way higher than most high ceiling which helps cut down the chatter a bit.

Pipeworks, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of jbrown1
3.88/5  rDev -15.7%

We lucked into HopCat with a recommendation of a local, and then after getting lost we found our way right in front of the door and I'm delighted that we did!

This place really has a charming atmosphere. While vintage French posters, HD TV's, brewery equipment, and elegant wood paneling don't naturally go hand-in-hand, HopCat makes it work. As a resident of Chicago, where beautiful old wood carved bars are the norm, HopCat has done the same, but with a newer and lighter grain.

Their beer selection is phenomenal. They showcase Michigan brewed beers, as well as their own HopCat brews. And if you thought Michigan only included Bells and New Holand, then you're in for a treat. The staff are self proclaimed beer geeks, and they are very knowledgeable. In addition, all pours are placed into appropriate glass where. And if you're not a beer nut, they offer a comprehensive selection of liquor.

However... we were a little surprised on a Monday night. With a football game going on, and a Metallica show across the street, that the kitchen closed promptly at the regular scheduled time. The bar staff does a great job with pours, but fell short working for tips. They didn't have any chips, pretzels or nuts out, so when I pointed to the 'pretzel' on the menu they said no can do. A bit later on, Mr Bartender bragged about their 'beer cellar', and when I asked if I may tour it with the manager, another no can do.

Good atmosphere, nice value, Michigan should be darn proud that someone showcases their goods, but don't expect red carpet treatment.

jbrown1, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of ioeth
5/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

ioeth, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of blakesell
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%

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!)

blakesell, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of HopOverdose
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%

This is by far the best beer bar in Grand Rapids and probably the best in the state of Michigan.

The atmosphere is wonderful, non-smoking and a great crowd. They have a wonderful upstairs lounge with a starry ambience and comfortable furniture. If you are a smoker, you can smoke in this lounge (at least until May due to the Michigan smoking ban) , or out on the deck. The outdoor deck is nice in the summer spring and fall.

This beer venue is set right in the heart of downtown and is within walking distance of every attraction down there.

Parking is somewhat reasonable depending on the time of day you go. Expect a walk if going on a friday or saturday night, as this is to be expected anyway.

The service is wonderful and the choices are excellent.

HopOverdose, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of rvera
5/5  rDev +8.7%

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+++!!!

rvera, May 25, 2010
Photo of ZHansen25
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%

After hearing so many amazing things about Hopcat, my girlfriend and I thought it would be a perfect place to visit on our weekend trip to Michigan with a couple of friends.

We stopped by for dinner and beers around 7:00 on a Saturday night and I can only imagine that it was because of the holiday that it was almost entirely empty at the time.

The beer menu is one of the best I've ever seen! The option of $1 2.5 oz. samples from the draft list is quite a value and it allowed me to try the Arbor Brewing Chips n Salsa, something I never would have consumed an entire glass of but was actually pretty good to just taste! I thoroughly enjoyed the Short's Holistic Healing and I'm still kicking myself for not getting a growler of it to go. I also got their Mystery Stout in a bottle, which just made me wish even more I had regular access to the brewery. The only beer complaint is that, unlike my experiences in Ohio bars, the bottles-to-go cost the same as they do to drink on-site rather than at a discounted rate.

Food was also amazing: We got the CRACK FRIES, which do sneak up on you. At first bite, I wondered where the name had come from, but eventually we had to restrain ourselves from ordering a third plate. The Porter Braised Beef sandwich is the perfect accompaniment to a bunch of fancy beers!

Viceroy calling to us from across the street (and my need to soberly drive us back to the hotel) is the only thing that kept us from staying all night. If this place was in Chicago, I guarantee it would be so overrun I would never get in. I would drive the three hours again to Grand Rapids just spend a weekend here. I'd probably just set up a little tent outside during closing hours and drag myself back in the next day.

ZHansen25, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of wxgod
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

wxgod, Nov 15, 2010
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 306 ratings.