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Not Rated.
Grab a complimentary copy of BeerAdvocate magazine here while supplies last.
Based on:
40 Beers
210 Hads
Place Score: 100
Reviews: 197
Visits: 368
Avg: 4.52
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

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 197 | Visits: 368
Photo of 98green
4.23/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Place was jammed on Thursday at 6. Bartenders are knowledgeable but overworked. Service tends on the slow side, but only because of all the people. The tenders are hustling. The beer selections are solid and the pricing is fair.

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Photo of mgbickel
4.66/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

If you are anywhere near the Grand Rapids area, this is a must stop. Pretty much around the corner from Founders makes it a great piggyback trip.

Hopcat is located inside an old, restored building in the heart of GR. You enter into a skinny room that houses lots of tables and a long bar down the left side. Classic pub decor fills the room. The rear of the building is dedicated to brewing where the equipment can be seen behind glass.

They have a wonderful draft selection which can be found on daily (?) updated menus. They also have a great bottle selection for dine in or take out. I think they have almost everything MI gets...with the locals highlighting the lineup.

The staff seemed to be knowledgeable...I watched many pours and everything seemed to go into correct glassware. My only complaint is that they would not give out a sample (you could PURCHASE a sample). Said it is against MI law...hmmmm

I went in here with high expectations and they were met. Don't miss an opportunity to experience this place!

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Photo of sweemzander
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Been here many times, but never got around to reviewing it on here.
On the outside, its really not much to look at, but once you step in, you know you are in the right place. Not a huge place, but has a cozy and chill atmosphere with scattered tables and a rather nice looking bar.
This day in particular I went for dinner and had their Cheddar Ale Soup which almost made me cry it was so good. I will come back again again just for that soup, but at the same time, this place is really about the beer. Great selection both bottles and on-tap. You can always count on them having something really special on a regular basis.
A superb place that is an absolute necessary visit whenever I am in Grand Rapids.

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Photo of coldriver
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

We visited the night of June 24th after an easy walk over from Founder's. The first thing I noticed about this place was the great Hopcat sign over the door of their "black cat holding a beer" logo - it's really fits the vibe of this place. The Interior has beautiful classy woodwork and the vibe is relaxed and "right". It's classy without being pretentious. Being from Texas and not having much experience with what is considered rare in Michigan I can't honestly say how unique their taplist is, but I can say that after giving my bartender my style preferences that his recommendations hit it perfectly. I did not have any food but it certainly looked good. Prices are reasonable.

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Photo of tpd975
4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Stopped in during my Indiana trip.

Real cool location. Nice bar with tons of tables. The building itself is nice with very nice restrooms. We went after an assortment of appetizers for a snack and all were tasty. Above your normal bar fare for sure.

The online beer list was a bit outdated but the waitress was great. She knew exactly what had been killed and what new offerings were on tap. I ordered a ton of beers and a million more 2 ounce samples (one dollar each). I love an educated waitstaff and our waitress was really on top of things.

The draft list was real nice. They had it broken down by category and the selection was nice with offering from all parts of the US and beyond. The bottle list was nice as well. I went after several of the B. Nektar Meads which I had never heard of before.

Overall a real nice spot. Falls a bit short of Founder's which I thought was an absolute gem. That being said if I am ever within a hundred miles of Grand Rapids I will stop by the hopcat again, and you should as well.

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Photo of Stigs
4.68/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Stopped here during a recent MI trip, after spending some time at Founders and New Holland.

Saturday night, busy, crowd seemed on the young (my age or so) side. Got seats at the bar after talking to a friendly local couple who were heading out soon. Thank you!

To the good stuff - though we had just missed the Barrel Aged event, there was still a good amount of stuff from it on the massive list. Didnt even make it to the bottles, but had: Shorts BA Black Sustenance, GI Imperial Goose, Oak- Aged Widdershins, and something else I cant recall. Everything served in appropriate glassware and good temps.

Food - we were just snacking and got some corn dogs and crack fries. CRACK FRIES. loved them, and the horseradish mustard dipping sauce that came with the corn dogs. ohmygod. I will crave these until my next trip to MI.

Service - I dont recall much but we got served rather quickly, everyone was friendly, and accurate. Nothing more to say but thank you!

Long story short, I got pretty tipsy (had a DD). Drank some fantastic beers, talked to many friendly patrons. Hands down one of if not the best beer bar I've ever been to. Will stop again for sure.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Now this should be the model by which all beer bars are built from. Wow, what a place! Very classy and clean interior. A bar that is probably fifty feet long with taps lining it's entirety. And these are not just filler taps. They have a couple Short's, and everything else you could imagine that's available in Michigan. Plenty of space and relaxing. I ordered the Burger with beer cheese and it could have possibly been the best burger that I have ever eaten. Paired it with a Short's Huma Lupa and I'm in heaven. I can imagine this place would get crowded during the weekends, but this is a must stop. I could spend a long time in here just working my way through some taps. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Great place that is only a few blocks from Founders. This place is a must stop.

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Photo of jale
4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

What more can you say about this place. Great tap selections and great bottle list. The staff here are friendly and if you have a question they don't know they will ask someone who does. The food here is just amazing. Everyone knows the crack fries are awesome. The burgers are just as great, the best burgers around. They have a cheese ale soup which must be tried. I can easily see why this is one of the best beer bars in the country. On the weekends during the busy hours the service can be slow, but that is to be expected. Mark has done a fantastic job making this place shine. This is a must stop place when you come to Michigan.

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Photo of Flabbyjandro
4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Rock solid bar. Food was spectacular, not your standard fired bar food in the least. Selection was a good 25+ beers on tap as well as a huge to go selection. Staff was very friendly and knowledgable. Steve is the man, hooked it up, that's all I can say.

The atmosphere is very chill with some tvs to watch your sports and plenty of tables and bar space.

Next time I'm in town to hit up Founders, Hopcat will make the must stop list. Check it out, you won't be disappointed! Unless you hate craft beer and a full stomach.

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Photo of Gotti311
3.68/5  rDev -18.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

We made this place a "must stop" when we were passing through Grand Rapids since it was so highly rated and everyone seemed to endorse the place. We made the mistake of going on a hockey night so the place was jam packed. We only have a very short wait before getting a table which was very nice.

I was excited before getting to this place about hearing so much about the beer selection. When I ended up getting there, I really had a hard time choosing a beer that I had not had before and one that actually sounded good to me.

I do give credit because they carry a bunch of local stuff. Had a Greenbush sour before trying the Hopcat Wild Shitake Sour, I encourage you to skip past this one.

Solid place definitely not a must stop.

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Photo of craft_shannie
4.08/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We visited for drinks & lunch. It's a quick walk from the Ford & public museums. Popular & crowded, it took us 30 minutes or so to grab a table in the early afternoon. Cool space - tall tin ceiling, beautiful long bar, good variety of tables - bar height, bench tables, half circle seating. The space - even though crowded & loud - has a nice intimacy to it. For being voted the #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine, I expected more of a selection. Draught beer choices were featured on a menu - one pager - maybe 25-30. I had two stout choices w. what was already sold out. Service was OK. Food section was standard, but good. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have HopCat down the block from me, but not sure it's deserving of #3 on Planet Earth distinction.

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Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.64/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Came here on Mother's Day. It was very accommodating.

Our server was excellent and very good.

Beer selection was fantastic.

Food was a little salty for my taste, but nonetheless very well.

This place is worth every penny.

Great times at HopCat I can't wait to return!

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Photo of ffejherb
4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

HopCat is simply one of those beer bars that just makes me want to pack my bags and relocate to Grand Rapids, MI. This may quite possibly be THE absolute best beer bar I've ever visited. simply put... YES, it is that awesome!

I was really fortunate to visit HopCat on 11/29/08 with fellow BA's brewslut, Deuane and SierraGS. After literally getting shut out the night before (they were at capacity due to a band performance), I was skeptical that we would even get to vist. Thankfully, the Beer Gods were smiling on us, because we were able to stop in the next morning, and let me tell you... I didn't want to leave!

This place boasts an absolutely gorgeous bar with seating that just invites you to stay all day and drink from their 40+ taps. The decor in this place must have set the owner back quite a bit, but it was indeed worth the extra effort.

As for the beer, there was definitely no shortage in this department. I didn't even peruse their bottle selection, though I'm sure it was equally impressive. Their extensive tap selection featured plenty of MI local brews as well as West Coast and Belgian selections. Pricing was reasonable and service was top notch. Not only was the waitress sporting a BA T-shirt, she was also extremely knowledgeable (a self-professed beer geek) and easy on the eyes to boot!

Another big plus was the FREE juke box, which was a nice touch, albeit rather difficult to navigate and figure out. It was nice to see some Zappa in a juke box (the owner is a huge fan, apparently, as evidenced by the mural in the men's restroom). We got to meet the owner and also the manager of the place, and both were extremely friendly and jovial.

If there ever was a beer destination, this place is certainly it. I can't see myself ever visiting Grand Rapids, MI without stopping here... and hopefully for a longer time than I was permitted with this visit!

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Photo of crashdavisinoh
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Stopped by here on my first brewery tour of michigan earlier this month. Hit founders first then walked over to Hopcat. I had read a lot of great things about this place and their amazing beer selection, I couldn't wait to check it out. Probably got there at around 7 on a Friday night and had to wait for a seat at the bar (not too long though). The place was jumping. Really good atmosphere. Good engergy in the place. I like that. I like when I go to a place and it feels like people are having a good time (if that makes any sense). My gf and I get a couple menus and are blown away by the selection of what is on tap. I decided to try short's smores stout and the gf a couple pumpkin ales. I regret to say I did not sample any of hopcats own brews but fully intend to on my next trip up. I also decided to order some crack fries that I have read about in reviews on yelp and such. Pretty good...but cheese and bacon make everything better. We hung out here for a little over an hour and had a great experience. Like I said, the place was jumping...but service was exceptional. Had multiple bartenders ask if everything was good, do we need anything, etc. My only regrets are not trying one of the in house beers and not sample more off of their draftlist. Overall, one of the better brewpubs I have ever visited. Will always go back if in grand rapids.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.21/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Atmosphere: just a nice bar with cool decorations that are all about beer and pop culture.

Quality: i will have to amend this when i finally try hopcat beer, but their taplist alone is of the best quality as far as bars go

Service: good service while i was there. my waitress made it around enough so i always had beer but never too much

Selection: probably about 6 of their own plus a wonderful and varied taplist. I tried 5 different beers in one night and still missed a few. looks like they have great tap events too

Overall: one of the best multitaps with the best prices for what they have

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Photo of ndekke39
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Visited HopCat with my brother on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The place was pretty open, so we found a seat easily. The place has a really nice vibe - lots of wood accents, great old building. Big long only bar with a couple of TVs. There's a patio out front, and at one end of the building are the guest brewing facilities that you can see through the glass.

Service was great - very attentive and patient with us as we selected our beers.

Selection is top-notch. They gave us a huge menu of beers on tap. Big focus on Michigan breweries, plus a good American and import selection. There's also a huge range of bottles, although we didn't see a menu for that. Which was good - it was hard enough to choose from the draft list as it was.

Didn't try the food, although that menu looked great, too.

Nice addition to the Grand Rapids beer scene. Great building, nice folks, excellent selection. I'll definitely be back.

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Photo of Mxsluis
4.51/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

We live an hour away, yet find time to get here about a dozen times a year. Grand Rapids is growing and so is its reputation as beer city. This place has a very good selection of beer on tap. The selection changes so never a need to be bored with the same brews if you like adventure and variety. At times the service can be less than stellar, but the beer almost always is served correctly. The crack fries are good and I really like the chicken tacos. Nice place in an old building with character. If in town for Art Prize, I strongly recommend you check it out.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.95/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Apparently this place is a relatively new beer bar, but I'd never been to Grand Rapids before so it was brand new to me. Been doing some beer travels the past few months and now finally getting around to recording them. This place is big - giant room, very brassy and polished looking, almost like a big old dining room or something. Lots of giant paintings of musicians on the walls and great music playing as well. I think the owners must be into jazz or something. Service was fine and the bartenders seem to know what they're doing, even got a nice recommendation for something new. The points for the selection at HopCat come from their wide array of local stuff. Lots of Michigan breweries featured here with a nice big menu with plenty of explanations and reading material about the beers. Local cask beer too, always a bonus. They had some nice Belgians but I wasn't wowed by that part of the menu. Still, HopCat is a pretty great place where you'll find something unusual and get into the local beer scene.

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Photo of alleykatking
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

First off just let me say I had a better time visiting here than at Founders for the day. I didn't really know what to expect when I walked in there but I figured this had to be a good place. Good doesn't even begin to really say how I felt. I was blown away when I first walked in and noticed how big the place was. The beer (tap) list was amazing with beers from all over the place. And the bottle list had even more of a stranglehold of beers from all over the world. This is the place to go if you are ever in Grand Rapids. Prices were very reasonable and Mark is very friendly and helpful (thanks for the beer shop advice). And talk about a great host (thanks for cracking open those beers). I have been to a lot of "beer bars" and this one by far is the best I have been to. The staff was friendly and even though I didn't taste the food I saw many plates come out and it did look quite good. I can't wait to swing back up there when I get a chance. Just simply amazing....I don't know what else to say.

Edit: After forgetting to mention this in the original post I must say the bartender Kim was amazing. She was friendly and even took time out to make small talk with us. And take our picture..in the women's bathroom. She rocks....times 10!

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Photo of nrbw23
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Stopped in at Hopcat on Sunday and low and behold they had a beer pairing from Arcadia. It was pretty awesome. Good food and good beer.

The atmosphere was pretty awesome. Huge list of taps and bottles. Top notch and very classly looking. They had around 50 taps and 150 bottles available. The service was outstanding, they had a great knowledge of the beer and let us sample several other brews.

They had so many beers that I had a hard time deciding which ones I wanted to try. This place is great by far one of the coolest bars I've been to.

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Photo of BertSugar
4.86/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Took a very cold several block walk over from Founders. Very convenient location and boy was it worth it. On a Thursday night it was absolutely packed with hipster doofusses trying to score to a semi-lame jazz combo. Be that as it may, sitting at the bar we were focused on one of the best tap and bottle lists I've seen. Won't bore with the details of exact beers; but suffice it to say we were certainly not bored by any sort of usual suspects. The bartender despite being swamped was extremely couteous and attentive. He was nonplussed at having to send someone down to the cellar to retreive a special request from the bottle list. The place was done up in Chistmas finery and looked great. Very classy and I will certainly go back during, say, a Saturday afternoon when it's not a meat market.

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Photo of nflmvp
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I've only had the pleasure of stopping into Hop Cat, once. But it was quite a pleasure.

The atmosphere is fairly typical of this kind of place. It's nice but not much different than most other top notch beer bars. I can't deduct any points here but I can't hardly add them either. I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining, I'm not. I've scored it accordingly.

Quality is top notch. They do a great job of making sure there are plenty of great beers for everyone's taste. High marks, here!

Service was good but the place was pretty busy. If I could experience this place with a lighter crowd, I might up the score on service. All things considered, I think the bartenders and wait staff did a good job taking care of us.

Selection was awesome. I don't hand out fives for almost anything but if anything deserves a 5, it's the selection of brews at Hop Cat.

I just had a sandwich but it was good. However, I need more than a sandwich to really tell what I think of their food. I'll try to order something a little more substantial the next time, to see if I can upgrade that score a bit.

Value is about what you'd expect.

I look forward to stopping into Hop Cat again, very soon.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I went here a couple of times during a weekend stay in Grand Rapids.

Atmosphere is nice and tasteful. I was here during the lunch hour and had ample seats available. I was also here at night where I couldn't find a seat to save my life. I read previous posts about this. I would agree it can be annoying, it is only if I can't get a beer. This wasn't the case. I got one right away by going up to the bar and immediately a bar tender took notice and served me. Issue resolved.

The beer selection is very good. While I respect a bottle selection and tap selection, I respect bars that showcase the local. This does that.

I had several of the house beers, all range from so so to excellent. The food here is the hidden gem. Maybe one of the better food and beer places here. Crack fries and mac and cheese are great as well as the burgers.

We didn't drive but there is ample parking in GR. Staff was polite and accommodating to my 1year old.

One suggestion, with such an extensive list of foods and beers, suggest some pairings. Only my opinion.

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Photo of moshea
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

What else can you say about HopCat that has not already been said? The place looks great as you walk in. The bar area is dominated by a great ornate bar back the rest of the bar looks as good with some fun twists thrown in.

Service was top notch. Marc the owner and his wife stopped by introduced themselves and shared some beer knowledge. Steve was great, steering me through some selections from Shorts and the Livery I could not get at home. I mentioned to Steve that a friend was through last June. Steve immediately remembered that my friend had bought a bottle of beer but left it at the bar and asked me to take it to him.

The selection is great with 48 taps and over 150 bottles. All the Michigan heavies are present and the rest of the country and world are well represented. Be sure to ask to see the reserve list. They also recently began brewing their own beer. The Barley Wine I had was fantastic and a great example of its style.

I cannot recommend this place enough. HopCat and Founders have taken a small corner of Grand Rapids and turned it into a top notch beer destination.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Been here a couple times while in Grand Rapids. Just an outstanding bar to stop in and grab a beer and food at. Huge selection of beers on tap and bottle. The bar is very expansive and the bartenders were more than friendly. The food was pretty good as well (the crack fries are truly exceptional). The staff was friendly. Busy place though so be prepared to wait for a table or hang out at the bar. At night this place really gets packed both on the main level and the upstairs balcony. Truly a destination if you are in the area. Nice that it is within walking distance to or from Founders as well.

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HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.