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HopCat

Not Rated.
HopCatHopCat
BA SCORE
100
world-class

315 Ratings
Ratings: 315
Reviews: 194
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.37%
Active Beers: 34
Beer Ratings: 195
Beer Avg: 3.81
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: 315 | Reviews: 194 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SamT
4.5/5  rDev -2%

SamT, May 28, 2014
Photo of frampin
4.8/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

frampin, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of Frosty80
4/5  rDev -12.9%

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!

Frosty80, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of Pudge43
5/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

Pudge43, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of Tetano
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

Tetano, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of Molly
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

Molly, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of DukeKensington
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

DukeKensington, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of bigfurrynutz
5/5  rDev +8.9%

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!!

bigfurrynutz, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of freehafe
4.78/5  rDev +4.1%

One of the nicest bars in Grand Rapids, the vibe is very chill and laid back. Many tables up front with booths towards the back, long wood bar, and outdoor patio.

The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful if you have trouble deciding (which is a good possibility with so many options.)

The beer selection here is epic. 49 on draft, 150 bottles, all served in appropriate glassware. Drafts rotated frequently. Beers range from "lawnmower" beers to locals to imports.

The food here is good, try the crack fries or the mac and cheese, wide selection, several vegetarian options, has the standard pub fare as well as more adventurous options.

Prices are reasonable, food is inline with what you expect for the price. Most beer prices are in the 4-8 $ range. The beer prices may be a bit more for those used to $2 you call its or happy hour tankards, but it is definitely within reason of what you expect for the quality beer you are getting in return.

freehafe, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of karink
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%

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 +5.4%

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 +8.9%

ClayOlivier, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of ttaxtell
4.94/5  rDev +7.6%

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 +8.9%

canti1pd, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of brockg
5/5  rDev +8.9%

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

brockg, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of kevinlater
5/5  rDev +8.9%

kevinlater, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of dutch05
4.43/5  rDev -3.5%

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 +2.4%

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 +7.6%

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 +8.9%

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 +1.3%

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 +6.3%

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 +4.1%

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 +4.1%

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 +8.9%

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
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 315 ratings.