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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BEER AVG
3.81/5
Based on:
36 Beers
201 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 333
Reviews: 197
rAvg: 4.57
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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 333 | Reviews: 197 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Humble4Now
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of bladesy88
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of PabstBlue
4.83/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

What a breath of fresh air for Grand Rapids. We have so many great breweries here in Michigan but before now there was no great place to buy a good variety of their great brews in one place. The atmosphere there is top notch. With a great bar, interesting decorations, a variety of seating options, tons of beer and a smoke free atmosphere, this place is lacking in little. My only problem with the place is that it was so well done that it is near impossible to get a seat there on a Friday or Saturday night.

Photo of Stonebreaker
4.95/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

In the interest of full disclosure the owner of this joint Mark sent me a beer mail after reading one of my posts saying that I was planning on attending his spot on my birthday and set me up with a free pint. Kudos to you Mark. That said, it seems to be a perfectly fair and smart thing to do and is certainly good business strategy. Let me say first that this place is beer nerd heaven....pause for dramatic effect... period! When we arrived, we were hungry and it did not disappoint, I had a house beer cheese w/applewood smoked bacon burger. I'd have to give my meal an A although the crack fries, were a little heavy on the onion powder for my taste(but my wife loved them), my wife had the macaroni which we had heard people raving about, but hers, all false humility aside, should be paying my rent right now so it didn't impress as much. My server, Emily, humbled this beer nerd in training with her knowledge of the sweet nectar and reccomended me a spiced belgian white that I'll never forget and search out forevermore, it was in some weird display of anti-snobbishness? referred to as mannequin piss? Thank you Emily and Mark for an experience that made the long drive from Chicago more than worthwhile. This is the type of place I aspire to having one day. Beer nerds everywhere should make the hajj to this place, it was made for you. Highly reccomended.

Photo of maltusaurelius
4.86/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I was visiting my home state of Michigan for 4th of July week and absolutely had to try this place out while I was home. It's a comfortable space with high ceilings, exposed brick, and a beautiful bar. The ceiling is decorated with several posters with beer themes that look like prints of early to mid-20th century adverts or artwork. Windows are primarly near the front door and along the wall opposite the bar, and there is an outdoor seating section, which makes it possible to enjoy the great Michigan summer weather while drinking some great beer. I wouldn't recommend sitting out there in January, but the interior is spacious so I doubt they'll run out of room for you. Overall a very pleasant place to have a few brews.

The beer selection is very extensive (I think I counted 48 taps! plus more in bottles!)and the waitstaff seems to know their stuff pretty well. My only disappointment was that there were no taps dedicated to the hometown brewery (Founders) but I guess HopCat figures if you want their beer you can head on down the street to get it from their brew pub.

I have to say that the bathroom at this place is absolutely the coolest bathroom I've ever been in. The wall above the urinals is covered in 40's and 50's pinup art - the illustrations of scantily clad women that used to grace calendars and such during the WWII and postwar era. The other walls are plastered with iconic black and white images from American cinema and music, from Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash to Al Pacino and Clint Eastwood. They seem to have had an eye for detail everywhere in this place.

I didn't have anything to eat so I can't rate the food, but the beer was excellent and served in appropriate glassware. Definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in GR.

Photo of nhudson
4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Man this place... I am so glad I came here today. From the south there are not too many places like this. The Brickstore in Decatur GA is the only better place I have been to this being 2nd. Soon as you walk in you are overwhelmed by the tap selection. I didnt count, but others have said 48 and its 45-50 taps on the bar. They had everything and it took me a minute to figure out what I wanted. I went with the cask they had today which was the New Holland Dragons Milk. Not too many people out on an Easter afternoon so service was awesome. Hamburger and their crack fries. I sure wish I could have gotten more fries they are awesome! Very nice bottle selection, only thing holding them back is a vintage bottle list otherwise I would have given them a 5.0. If you are ever in grand rapids go here. There are no excuses for not hitting this place up.

Photo of hophunter
4.15/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

I usually try to make a point of coming here at least once a year. Stopped by a week ago and figured I should probably review it!

The atmosphere is warm and I am in love with the nouveau decor and style with the brass/heavy wood combo that make it a great place to appreciate a fantastic beer. The selection of beer is extensive and impressive; with beers from all over the world i'm really glad they highlight the local beers made in Michigan. The Local First advocacy is something that is finally starting to gain some headlight in restaurants. I find it commendable.

Because of the widespread beers and styles, the menu was chaos. Some beers were in...some not. It was anyone's guess. However, it's organized now in a way that can be easily updated and most people can understand it.

Service is average. sometimes you can get built a good rapport with the friendly waitstaff where they are happy to help you/ serve you/ talk to you. Other times the service is just...meh.

Food is great depending on what you get. It's a bar, so order bar food like burgers and fries which are divine. The mac and cheese is tasty. But don't order a burrito from a place that doesn't specialize in mexican food...I guess that's a given anywhere you go.

Quality of beer is great! never had a dirty glass or a dirty beer! No flatness, no funk, they know how to serve beer and that i respect most of all.

Value? Paying a pretty penny for good beer is something any beer enthusiast has no problem with. However, I feel a few of the beers run a bit steeper than they should. All in all, it's a remarkable place to hang out and have a variety of beers at your fingertips.

#3 beer bar in Michigan? yes!
#3 beer bar in the world...questionable?

I wish I could rate value because it does effect how I feel about a place. It's truly disheartening when I know I can get a beer for half the price somewhere else. so, the rating is higher than what I would actually place it.

Photo of browna71
5/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Wow...

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.

Photo of enfield249
4.68/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

What can I say? This is my watering hole. This is where I go to celebrate, and to welcome back old friends. The atmosphere is fine, if a little loud at times. I would prefer a quite place, but most people don't so that is fine. The quality of the beer has never been an issue, and is always fresh and ever changing. The service is without par in it's beer knowledge. The standard food is fine, mostly your average bar fare, and would have received a more moderate "3", but the beer dinner food is so good that it kicks it up a point. The price is reasonable for downtown GR. HopCat is everything it is reported to be and more. Worth a trip if you are in the midwest.

Photo of lloyd83
4.3/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Visited this place after going to the tapas joint down the street. Wasn't 'in the know' at the time as to how absolutely cool it is, but as soon as I sat down I was literally overwhelmed. The beer menu is friggin' GIGANTIC. Stuff I'd never heard of, never seen before, etc. My sister lives in GR. She's lucky that we stumbled upon this place, as it means that we'll definitely be coming back for another visit! Growler fill seemed a bit expensive though; $43? I haven't bought many, but that's been the highest thus far!

Photo of mrs_bretina
4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

WOW! We are so fortunate to have this bar just a few minutes from our home! We frequent this fairly often, but aren't quite "regulars". This space was originally a grocery store with very high ceilings, tin/wood ceiling, and a beautiful wood bar. Hopcat does brew its own beer, but its real claim to fame, in my opinion, is the amazing beer selection that they constantly rotate through their menu. Some draft, some bottled, always served in the best glass for the style of beer. If you see something on tap that you want - be sure to get it while you can, because the next time you're there - it may not be available.

I love that they have special events to showcase beers that are extremely limited in the United States. The only downside is - you'll never taste that beer again. BUT - what an opportunity to taste the amazing craft brews from around the world as well as the neighborhood.

They have a great bar food menu and if the name doesn't get you - the taste sure will - especially for the crack fries - they're just that addictive!

For anyone who loves craft beer and is in Grand Rapids, be sure to stop in!

Photo of smk8nig
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of T_J
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Cinephile
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of DaveTomke
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of SamT
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of kevinlater
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Jeffrey84
3.6/5  rDev -21.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I Don't like the service. Servers/bartenders have an elitist attitude. It's like they think that if you don't work there you know nothing about beer.

Photo of frampin
4.8/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Extensive bottle selection, although a bit pricey, there are a few rare gems, i.e 6 of the Short's Imperial series. A bit of a mark up at $45.00 a piece, though. Exceptional tap selection with pretty good variety, depending on the month/season. The opportunity to try Rodenbach Grand Cru, La Trappe Quad, and Ola Dubh 30 Year on tap is worth seeking this place out, in my opinion. Food is good, but nothing to write home about. All in all, this place is easily the best beer bar in Michigan, aside from Ashley's, but the atmosphere of HopCat trumps Ashley's easily.

Photo of Frosty80
4/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

For living only a couple of blocks away from this place i should have a chair with my name on it. this is a beer lovers oasis. steve has some terrific beers come through there that you wont find anywhere else. dont bother showing up and expect a cosmo. this is for the beer geek. dont worry though - they still have some monday-night football favorites too. the food is great. for a very reasonable price you can enjoy your sipping with an order of the best fries on the planet - the infamous "crack fries." they have a separate second-level loft dedicated to those who need to compliment their starchy courses with some tobacco gravy. even this area is worth lounging in. its like pulling a couch out on the porch and drinking under the clearest of starry nights. the mens bathroom is nothing like youve ever seen. the ultimate "mens room." this place will be around for a long time. ill make sure of it.

now that ive given the praise, let me give the downside. whats with the staff? they need to get over themselves and focus on service. at times (most of the time) the service, particularly the bartenders, sucks. try acting like its an honor to work there and MOVE YOUR ASS!

Photo of Pudge43
5/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

HopCat is one of those places that just makes me want to keep coming back over and over again. I just wish I did not live three hours away. This is the best beer bar I've ever visited. One word...OUTSTANDING!

I was in GR on a business trip on 1/8/09 and made it my mission to find time to make a visit. Fortunately the busines meeting lasted only a couple hours which left me time to make the visit.

This bar is beautiful with seating that says "sit down and stay awhile". 40+ taps and 150 bottles is quite the selection. The decor in this place is really rustic with the exposed brick and lots of wood.

As for the beer, there was definitely no shortage in this department. Since I only had about three hours before having to head for home I didn't even attempt the bottle selection, but it looked quite impressive. Their tap selection featured plenty of MI local brews as well as West Coast and Belgian selections. Pricing was reasonable and service was top notch (Jeremy really knew his beer). Growlers are $6 with prices very reasonable on filling. They will also fill any growler you bring in. I also want to thank the owner, Michelle for the hospitality. She and I had e-mailed back and forth a few times once I knew I was going to make the trip and she made the trip very easy.

The mural in the men's restroom is absolutely remarkable with photos of the Dead, Zappa, Johnny Cash (flipping you off when you turn around from the urinal) and many others.

I will do whatever in my power to make the trek up there again to visit this outstanding establishment. Hopefully the next trip can be a little longer. I would really like to experience the night time operation of this wonderful place.

Photo of Tetano
4.95/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

What can I say, this past Sunday I had the pleasure of ponying up to the bar at HopCat for the first time, and all I can say is wow. Everything I have read on this site, which lead to some extreme expectations, were met and exceeded. The selections of beer was fantastic and varied. Chocolate Wheat, several sours, IPA's, milk stout, Belgians, and various others were there to tempt your palette.

I ordered a German breakfast which was fitting and interesting. The bar tender was incredible, her knowledge of the beers was impressive. Thanks again Katie, you are fantastic! She is a real testament to their establishment and her craft.

The real highlight of the visit was meeting the owners and the beer purchaser. We got to go into the basement and take a look at the keg room and the bottle room. Each stop was a highlight and a real treat. I have never felt more undeserving, they went all out. I am humbled.

If you have ever have the opportunity to visit Grand Rapids, this is the place to stop and check out. You walk into what felt like a neighborhood Brew Pub prior to Prohibition. Large comfortable bar stools await you at the bar where vintage cooper clad tap towers studded with a wide variety of suds call to be sampled. I can sum up my visit with this, I am in love.

Photo of Molly
4.95/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Made the trip across the state to hit the Michigan Winter Beer Fest, needed a place to go for some food and beer. Stopped into Hopcat by suggestion from a friend.

Walked in on Friday to a mess. Place was swamped, there was no host type anywhere, and little direction as to how to get a table. I was lucky enough to poach some stools at the end of the bar. WTF, 49 taps?

Despite the fact the bar was three deep, we were greeted immediately presented with a large menu of the taps, happy to see that most of them were Michigan brews from all over the state. Equally impressive was the bottle list.

Service - impeccable. The bartenders were on top of getting us another pint every time, but not intrusive. Knowledgeable, recommended some great beers we've never had. They all seemed like they truly were enjoying what they were doing, which was a large part of the atmosphere.

Food - very good. We had the "crack fries" with some soft cheese dip. Extra heavily seasoned, plus a touch of something sweet, a great match for the big beers we were having at the time. Followed up with Mac and Cheese that we added Chorizo and Jalapenos to. Yum.

We only had 1 house brew, and it went over well, but with so many really good beers to choose from...

Being Beerfest weekend, the place was full of beer nerds and brewers, which means the atmosphere was great. Jukebox was marked out of order, but we heard a couple of killer songs anyways.

Actually, we liked it so much there we headed back the very next day and did it all over again. No regrets, the experience was just as good.

The owners of this place should be proud.

Photo of DukeKensington
4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

The selection at this place is pretty fantastic, but on the whole I think it's just a bit too small for my liking. It's not a problem if you can hit it up earlier in the day, or avoid weekends entirely, but that's a little tricky. So on most of the occasions I've visited, it's been at capacity, and it's been very loud. I prefer a slightly quieter atmosphere for my drinking.

Still, I have to give them adequate respect for their incredible selection and service. Even when crowded, the waiters/waitresses got around to our table fast, and got us our beer quickly as well. And the beer menu was like a holy text in my eyes. Always great to see that many great options available to me (even if many were a bit too rich for my blood). I've had some great beers everytime I've been there.

I've only ever had some fries here so I can't really speak to the quality of the food.

Photo of bigfurrynutz
5/5  rDev +9.4%
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!!

HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.