Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 199 | Ratings: 388
Reviews by mynie:
Photo of mynie
4.46/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I had no idea Grand Rapids was so big: The CSA has about a million and a half people, making it just a tick small than Indianapolis. Shouldn't they have a sports team or something? I'm sure Western Michigan is a fine institution, but their football team isn't FBS and therefore their school doesn't count as being real.

The downtown area is weird. It is large, it is filled with people and things, but because of arbitrary cultural prejudices, it also feels illegitimate. There's no Wrigley Field moment, where the first time you see a Grand Rapids landmark you go "whoa, there's X!" So even though I'd heard of Hopcat, I nearly walked right past it when I saw it.

Likewise, I was not immediately impressed with the place, even though I should have been. The bar stretched on forever, and there were literally a billion taps (my math might be off here).

We sat down and were handed laminated beer menus. My companion is new to the beer travelin' scene so I explained to her how these menus ain't always the best thing, since they get so quickly out of date. Then she goes "that's probably why they have that," and pointed toward a kickass chalkboard that had two columns on it. One column said "RUNNING OUT." The other "WILL BE REPLACED BY." That's awesome, and it made me start paying attention.

The menu was organized by style, not by brand or in alphabetical order. A pithy description of each beer was given, including style, ABV, IBU, and a line or two listing off its more salient characteristics. A list like that takes time to make.

The taps included a wide range of locals, midwestern/great lakes staples, interesting Belgian and Scandinavian imports, and a hearty selection of rares and one-offs from all around the globe. There was a beer for every mood and all of its was good.

The vibe was friendly, but a little Grand Rapidsy. I don't know how to describe it: we were certainly welcomed, but I couldn't figure out the pulse of the place well enough to really ingratiate myself into it. Still, the crowd was older and polite--there were no undergrads, no people in business suits, and no screaming drunkards. That's pretty good.

A definite must-stop.

 2,175 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.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe