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Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

HopCat

YOUR RATING = None |
BEER AVG
3.87/5
HopCatHopCat
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

25 Ionia SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503
United States

(616) 451-4677 | map
www.hopcatgr.com

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.

Added by hopcatgr on 01-06-2008

Grab a complimentary copy of BeerAdvocate magazine here while supplies last.
BEER STATS
Beers:
54
Reviews:
70
Ratings:
240
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
99
Reviews:
199
Ratings:
388
Avg:
4.51
pDev:
6.21%
 
 
Taps:
48
Bottles/Cans:
150
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 199 | Ratings: 388
Reviews by jampics2:
Photo of jampics2
3.23/5  rDev -28.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Wow. What an overrated place! Not to say that HopCat doesn't have potential, but this place is anything but one of the top beer spots in the world.

We visited on 3-31-12 around 5:00 PM with a group of 10. Upon entering, we saw that this place looked pretty cool - the space is big and open, and it has charm. Cool vintage posters on the ceiling and a cool bar. Not a bad atmosphere at all, aside from the lack of any standing room and the constant seat-hawkers two people deep behind the bar stools.

The beers they make at HopCat are really average at best. We tried a BBL Strong ale that was pretty good, but the IPA (Hoppopotomus?) was a diacetyl bomb and the Irish stout was also very jagged around the edges. They were in the middle of 'cider fest' apparently and had 15 taps of cider. No worries, still had a broad selection, but I found it to be rather boring. Sure 15 more beer taps could have made a difference, but I hope they still had their best stuff on. I really enjoyed a few Paw Paw beers, but the house stuff and the Shorts beers were mediocre at best. Not to mention that the IPA really should not have been poured in a world class bar, let alone at a pub where the butter bombs are made on site. This place can't hang with Belmont in PDX, Brouwers in Seattle, Torornado or a few others I've been fortunate enough to drink in.

The service was also average. The waiter was more of a "runner" than a server. He never asked us what we liked, he just took orders. Not a personable experience at all, and it was pretty crappy turnaround. We started ordering the next beer half-way into the current and that made it work better. BY FAR my biggest complaint about HopCat is the outdated lists. Their website was horribly out of date and the bottle list would take 3-4 tries to actually get something. For a world class beer bar, the tap list on the website should be accurate as of that morning. Not a single beer on the site was there, and there was no mention of cider fest on the site. Now, on to the bottle list. If you're going to offer bottles, have them in stock. Two people in our group had to order 3 times to get a "hit". It's OK if some things are not available in the interest of not printing too many replacement lists, but the server should know what's in stock and what's not. Not only did this server NOT know, he would take 15 minutes to come back empty handed. He never made a suggestion and, I'm sorry, but if I came back empty handed I would go straight back for your next request, I wouldn't put you to the back of the line. Not to mention several misprints, including a $30 bottle that was 1/3 of the size advertised. To me, a world class beer bar has knowledgeable servers and creates a great experience. This was more frustrating than anything.

Selection was pretty good. Like 40 or 50 taps and 100+ bottles *although many of the bottles were not in stock* and the server did not know what was and what wasn't.

The food here is average at best. We started with "crack fries". For $4 a plate, we got maybe 20 seasoned french fries. They were tasty but very skimpy in portion. I ordered a Reuben wrap that was minuscule, my buddy ordered a medium rare burger that was well done. My friend who ordered the bacon red pepper mac and cheese probably choose the most wisely. My food was tasty but this place is very much glorified bar food, not a gastropub by any means.

The price was reasonable, probably $5 a pint - had a nice amount of beer and dinner for around $30 pre-tip. But here's the thing - I'm happy to pay $10 a pint for the experience of being in a world-class place. TO me that means smart, friendly, educated servers. NO BAD BEER at all. And updated lists. After all, we can't enjoy what you don't tell us.

I'm going back this year and will hit HopCat again with my wife, but we ended up leaving and heading back to Founders this particular night. This place was really average at best, and easily the most overrated/dissapointing beer bar I've been to EVER. Hope it redeems itself. I'll update this if it does.

 4,061 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of seanchai
4.19/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of jessewilliamson
4.74/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Bethaz83
4.74/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Photo of AlexFreudenberg
4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of PhilsPils
3.87/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

A very good selection of Michigan beers in addition to worldwide offerings. I had heard so much about it before I came that it was hard to not be a little disappointed but make no mistake, it's a fine beer bar. I had a Shorts beer that underwhelmed me some...probably colored my whole experience a bit. I didn't eat but my family members that did said it was excellent.

 372 characters

Photo of JLW
3.28/5  rDev -27.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Photo of cadaugherty
4.2/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of RobPedicano
3.83/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Great selection and atmosphere. Food was average.

50 characters

Photo of a_beckman25
4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of That_Bearded_Guy
4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of teamwiggum
4/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of BeerOps
4.1/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of Angerhaus
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of petersonmatt22
3.7/5  rDev -18%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 1.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of FaradayUncaged
4.64/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of SMH_NWI
4.36/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.25

Photo of NateDyk47
3.76/5  rDev -16.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Really good food, A TON of good beers both on tap and bottled. Pretty cramped and the service isn't that great. That said, I've never regretted going there.

 156 characters

Photo of Billydoughnuts
4.66/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Photo of MichaelCoyne
3.95/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Good beer selection, Get the crack fries

40 characters

Photo of hopnado
4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of jcMPLS
5/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of tstallion2
4.56/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of Beerenner79
4.69/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of mklisz
4.01/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
99 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.
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