HopCat

HopCatHopCat
BA SCORE
3.86/5
254 Ratings
HopCatHopCat
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

25 Ionia SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503
United States

(616) 451-4677 | map
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

BEER STATS
Beers:
45
Reviews:
73
Ratings:
254
PLACE STATS
BA Score:
4.52/5
Reviews:
200
Ratings:
403
pDev:
9.73%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 403 |  Reviews: 200
Photo of waldoiverson
4.15/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The venue is conveniently placed downtown and the size is substantial compared to most beer bars. The tap selection was well curated but I wish there would have been some more cask pulls on sample. I particularly liked the local selection. Food was pretty standard pub fare but well done. Service was good but not overly attentive or proactive. I would love to try it again on a busy night to see how the vibe stacked up. All in all, highly recommended for the tap selection and thoughtful bottle options.

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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 hophunter
4.15/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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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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Photo of morimech
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

My first stop in Grand Rapids had to be HopCat. It is a good craft beer bar, possibly great craft beer bar, but top 3 in the world? Just do not know about that. No trouble getting a spot at the bar on a weekday evening. Probably half full as the numbers ebbed and flowed as time passed. The atmosphere was good but there were a few drunks and douchebags making noise as well as giving me the evil eye. Service was prompt and friendly. I must of been a friendly face as I kept getting the free mispours. Most of the staff is well inked and pierced. The staff is hard on glassware as I lost count of the number of broken glasses after 90 minutes. The selection is great well weighted for the hop heads, at least during my visit. I did not come close to trying everything I wanted to try during my visit. I did notice with a tap lineup as large as this, many people had a hard time deciding. Maybe too much of a good thing. The food was good but nothing I would go out of my way for.

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Photo of ZHansen25
4.78/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

After hearing so many amazing things about Hopcat, my girlfriend and I thought it would be a perfect place to visit on our weekend trip to Michigan with a couple of friends.

We stopped by for dinner and beers around 7:00 on a Saturday night and I can only imagine that it was because of the holiday that it was almost entirely empty at the time.

The beer menu is one of the best I've ever seen! The option of $1 2.5 oz. samples from the draft list is quite a value and it allowed me to try the Arbor Brewing Chips n Salsa, something I never would have consumed an entire glass of but was actually pretty good to just taste! I thoroughly enjoyed the Short's Holistic Healing and I'm still kicking myself for not getting a growler of it to go. I also got their Mystery Stout in a bottle, which just made me wish even more I had regular access to the brewery. The only beer complaint is that, unlike my experiences in Ohio bars, the bottles-to-go cost the same as they do to drink on-site rather than at a discounted rate.

Food was also amazing: We got the CRACK FRIES, which do sneak up on you. At first bite, I wondered where the name had come from, but eventually we had to restrain ourselves from ordering a third plate. The Porter Braised Beef sandwich is the perfect accompaniment to a bunch of fancy beers!

Viceroy calling to us from across the street (and my need to soberly drive us back to the hotel) is the only thing that kept us from staying all night. If this place was in Chicago, I guarantee it would be so overrun I would never get in. I would drive the three hours again to Grand Rapids just spend a weekend here. I'd probably just set up a little tent outside during closing hours and drag myself back in the next day.

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Photo of DukeKensington
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.68/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

A: HopCat exemplifies the current gentrification of downtown GR, boasting turn-of-the-century architecture that has been renovated to contemporary style. Bar is as beautiful as it is large. The small batch system at the end of the bar is the icing on the cake, letting you know that this place is 100% about beer.

Q: the design of the bar screams quality. The fact that they pair each offering with an appropriate glass does the same. Quality is definitely one of HopCat's main objectives.

S: servers are quick to spot an empty glass, and have an admirable knowledge of craft beer. I don't want to get anyone in trouble, but the staff is constantly sampling what is on tap to ensure their knowledge of the product.

S: simply listing a number doesn't do them justice. Yes, they have a long beer list, but not a single tap is wasted. redundancies are limited to ensure that as many styles are offered as possible. They also try to offer as many local brews as possible. It is obvious that they are proud to be a part of Michigan's beer scene. On a side note, they also have one of the best whiskey selections I have come across.

F: the food is good, using fresh ingredients and quality craftsmanship. Most of what is offered is pub food, albeit above average pub food.

P: this is a finicky area, depending on how picky you are. Their specials are outstanding, if you are willing to accept their special beer. Their prices on most brews are within the average range, though the belgian offerings are a touch high for draft. This is compensated by the fact that most other places only have these beers in the bottle, and are therefore far more expensive. Overall, I feel that I am getting my money's worth here.

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

My best friend and I did a beer tour that lasted 4 days, starting in Goose Island-Chicago, and continuing to Dark Horse-Marshall, MI; Bells-Kalamazoo, MI; New Holland-Holland, MI; Founders-Grand Rapids, MI; Hopcat-Grand Rapids, MI and ending in Michigan Brewering Company-Lansing, MI.

Needless to say it was a great trip; but there is no doubt in my mind that the biggest surprise of the tour was Hopcat. We knew it had a great beer list (3rd longest in the world), what we didn't know is that we were going to be treated like kings! Brian, the manager, gave us a private tour of the place and really took the time to talk to us about the bar and about beer in general. John, the bartender, could not had been more helpful and attentive. Both Brian and John treated us like old friends and that along was worth the trip. We enjoyed excellent beer among exellent people. The place is beautiful and the food was great. It really was a great visit and we are already planning another one very soon.

If you are in Grand Rapids, near Grand Rapids, or in the US at all, you MUST stop by Hopcat! My review for this place is A+++!!!

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Photo of liquidcraft
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I currently live a 5 minute walk from Hopcat, stop in at least once or twice a month to see whats on the beer list. I really dig the food, the quesadillas and buffalo rolls are weak but just about everything else is great. If you're into comfort food the Killer mac (with chicken, jalepeno and tomato) is awesome and they serve the only sloppy joe I'd pay for. It's not cheap, but its on par with the prices of most downtown bars and better quality.

The beer list offers a great variety, the tap list represents a large selection of both breweries and styles and is only as expensive as any other bar I've been to. The bottle list is marked up and in general I avoid it, but its fun to look at.

The atmosphere is relaxed, staff is knowledgeable and friendly. Has the potential to get really busy before and after events at Van Andel Arena and no reservations just as a heads up. I like the way they do things, definitely worth checking out if you haven't been.

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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 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 malty
4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere is a very open and airy, but still warm & cozy. 20 ft. ceilings with cool old style beer prints staring down upon you from the ceiling. The same prints are found on the backs of various high-sitting stools around the tables throughout the bar - very nice touch of keeping the cool art flowing. Spectacular handmade custom bar that's as nice as I've ever seen - all real wood and very high class. The lighting is very natural during the day (big windows facing the street corner) and adequately (a bit dim) lit at night. Men's bathroom has cool retro rock & film icon prints on the walls: Garcia, Cash, Dylan, Waits, Newman, Pacino, Dirty Harry, etc. War time pin-up prints are fun too. Music is always unique and fresh on the jukebox. The sound system is very full and clear. Not too loud, but still very perceivable. Haven't been there when there's live music or DJ though.

Quality is top-notch. Never had a bad draft or bottle. Always fresh and served in appropriate glass. They even rinse every clean glass with a sprinkler gadget right before the fill it with your beer - just to make sure your glass is perfectly prepared to receive the beer of your liking. 48 taps of fantastic craft beer. Always changing, always fresh. They do have a few certain mainstays, but that's just because demand is so high for these, (ie: Short's Huma Lup IPA, etc.). Their one cask always seems to have something special. I've had so many great cask beers from it, I can't remember them all. There bottle selection is extensive and wide ranging. Many good Belgians, Germans, (Mmmm...Plank) and high gravity special releases. I love their $3 Michigan pint/goblet 2-4pm weekday specials. Just last week I had a (normally $7) chalice of Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout for $3. Makes it hard to just pick one when you have to go back to work. Every once and a while they'll have a highly recognized person from the industry visit and showcase some special brews and events. Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery is coming later this month, I believe April 26th (Monday). I'll definitely be coming to this! Michael Plank even brewed a special beer to initiate their brewing system their first summer!

Service is the best. Jeremy and Ernie command the bar like super-cool malt & hop ninjas. Always eager to please your pallet and offer smart suggestions, leaving no beer without proper representation. it can get a little slower when the bar is fully packed, but that's what happens when the bar is packed two deep. To say they're friendly is without question. To say their knowledgeable is correct.

The food is amazing. Great twists on American standards. Soups, burgers/sandwiches, salads, unique appetizers and their infamous 'Crack Fries'. They also host the most amazing beer dinners (usually on Sundays at 6pm) I've had the pleasure of attending. Their commitment to world class craft beer and fresh, clever and tasty food is the best I've ever had under the same roof.

The overall value is reasonable when you take into account the total package of HopCat. They do have great daily specials to help your wallet. They don't cut corners, so remember this when you look at the prices. There are cheaper prices out there, but we're not comparing apples-to-apples when putting them next to 'pedestrian'- type bars either.

I was lucky enough to make it to the 'BA Grand Opening' on a Thursday night in early January '08. It was the night before their official Grand Opening. Everything was Half-Off. I thought I was in heaven. I've been here many, many times since and every visit is always as good as the last. They've made the blueprint, now I'm spoiled for life.

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

The husband and I had a great night at Hopcat. We were in town for the Founders KBS release the following day. If you are in western Michigan NOT going to Hopcat is cardinal beer sin.
We were lucky to get a booth in the back of the restaurant, better for people watching.
We started with "nachos" that instead of corn chips had fried potato chips. Very tasty. And the "crack fries". This was based on a recommendation from the hotel we stayed at. The fries were tasty but I really liked the nachos.
I can not say enough about the beer list. Pace yourself!!! I was so excited about the beers I did over indulge. I drank a sample of all the IPAs on draft. I don't know what I was thinking. I was completely overwhelmed by the selection available. In NC we get a very limited selection so perusing this menu was a treat.
Back to the food....I had a great sandwich and had a hard time deciding on which one because they all sounded interesting. But my husbands entree was the best thing I have had in awhile. Let me state for the record, I don't like junk food and I am not a big meat eater. My husband got the Mac and Cheese. Trevor, our waiter who was the best waiter we have encountered in awhile, recommended trying it with sloppy Joe's on top. It has been 3 days and I am still thinking about it. OMG!!! this was the best stuff! Creamy with savory meat and some crunch from breadcrumbs perhaps? I helped my husband finish off his entree, I couldn't stop eating the stuff.
We were treated to a tour by Tim, I thought when he opened the doors to show us the beer they store you could angels sing. Then again I had a few IPAs by this time. We had a very memorable evening thanks to Tim and Trevor's excellent service and recommendations.
I am looking forward to returning to MI next year, pacing myself on the beer at Hopcat and eating my own dish of mac and cheese.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place is much bigger on the inside then it looks from the street. Pretty good atmoshpere too. The selection is amazing. Only had time for a couple drinks, but the tap list was fantastic, and the bottle list was ridiculous. They look a little on the pricey side though. They have all the michigan breweries covered, and tons of selections from north american and across the ocean. I ended up going with a pint of Brooklyn Cookie Jar Porter and Dark Horses's Double Crooked Tree. Would have loved to try more beer had time allowed it. Every town should have a bar like this. I really hate Canada.

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Photo of Molly
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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

My girlfriend surprised me with a trip to Grand Rapids based solely on HopCat for Valentines Day.

The place is simply amazing. 48 drafts of some great rare brews, and bottle list that is outstanding! The place was packed, the only available seats were upstairs in the loft, but the bartenders were very attentive and prompt. I was fortunate to get great treatment from Steve their chief beer guy. After introducing myself (as i was told to do by Mark, the owner via a previous beermail conversation) the rest of the night was incredible. I started with a Bells Batch 9000, moving on to a Shorts PB &J and then an 06 Stone Double Bastard. For dinner I had the shredded Pork Sandwich and Crack Fries and an order of the Beer Cheese for an app. Food was simply fantastic. My GF had the chicken salad wrap and was in heaven.

Steve took care of us all night, then gave us a private tour of the inner workings of the HopCat. Got to see the bottle cooler, and the three of us broke open a bottle of the Old Rasputin 12.

Ive never had this good of an experience at a bar in my life. It's so nice to have a place so passionate and knowledgeable about great beer. The food was great and the prices were very reasonable. Many thanks to Mark and Steve and the rest of the HopCat crew.

I am proudly wearing my HopCat tshirt! Thanks Steve

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Photo of sullenbee
4.01/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I honestly don't understand the hype. Don't get me wrong, HopCat is an exceptional bar. Great beer selection, great decor, and a great alternative to other downtown Grand Rapids bars.

My experiences have been fairly mediocre when it comes to atmosphere. Service however, has been attentive on slow nights, but somewhat non-existent on busy nights. (Which is understandable, sometimes places just get busy) Perhaps I'm choosing the wrong nights to check HopCat out. In reality, I'm probably just an odd duck.

Things I do enjoy: No smoking, other than the smoking lounge.

Beer selection is phenomenal, and doesn't disappoint. I really need to make it out to some of their special beer events/dinners.

In all, I'm going to keep trying to talk friends into accompanying me there. I really think I just need to find the right crowd to make me comfortable, and it could easily become a regular stop for me to try out new beers.

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Photo of eMcBeerson
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ah, The Hopcat. So I saw the #3 status and read the hype so I had to make a road trip. This was the centerpiece of my tour, but I also made stops at Sicilianos, International Beverages, GB Russo, and Founders. The Hopcat is a great brewpub. Nice handsome dark woods, hardwood floor on the ceiling, vintage beer artwork, nice old brick,great woodwork and heavy metals on the bar - exactly what a kick ass brewpub should look like. Awesome selection of beers. 48 on tap. Now I've been to places with 50+ taps but there is no crap on their drafts here - lots of great beers. Great selection plus a ton of bottled beers too. Lots of talk about the bathroom so I had to check out both (whoops, too many beers and I accidentally found my way into the women's room). Came here Friday night at 5 ish and amazingly there were open tables (Founder's was packed by 4). Came back for lunch the next day - had a great Pork sandwich (ask for some BBQ sauce) and the crack fries live up to their namesake. Not sure if this is #3 in the world but definitely one of the best in the midwest. I will be back.

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Photo of n0315
4.7/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Amazing. This place transcends what a brewpub should be. A must stop if you like beer. No way around it.

The atmosphere was what you should see out good brewpub. It was lively and everyone seemed to be having a good time. The quality was as good as it gets. Proper glassware for the brews, the place was clean and it looked just amazing inside. Service was good, but it was the worst part about the visit. Took a little too long at the start to get the brews, but got much better after that. Could have just been buys, don't know. Selection speaks for itself. I cannot do it justice with mere words. Food was good, better than what you would usually expect out of a brewpub. Large menu as well.

Great place. a must see.

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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 steebo777
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

One word for this place: Holyshitthisplacerocks! I have been going here for a couple years, but New Year's took it to a whole other level. They never have cover on NYE, but it is always packed. We got there early, waited for 15min until we found a booth that fit all 6 of us. The entertainment that evening was wicked good, but it was the service that took it to another level. Our server made sure we were ALWAYS taken care of no matter what the entire night. She got the highest tip I have ever given (about 40%) and has sealed the deal for me going there as many times as possible from here on out.

The quality here is always the best in Michigan. On top of getting a variety of solid brews form around the world, they allow growler filling of anything on tap (it can get pricey though).

Service = see above story.

Selection as everyone else has said in other reviews f'n rocks!!!

Food is great at HopCat. It is above standard pub fare but still is unique and damn tasty.

Value is solid because it offers such a wide variety of brews from around the world that they keep the prices at a steady rate.

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Photo of grub
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

you enter hopcat through a door in the corner of an L shaped room. along the short side are a bunch of tables with seating for approximately 40 people. there's also a small slightly raised area that can be used as a stage and has a portion of the tables the rest of the time. the other bonus in this section is the bank of windows giving you a view of downtown grand rapids. along the longer side of the room is a giant bar with about 25 bar stools, a center isle with a bunch of tall tables, and long tables/booths along the outer wall. breweriana decorates the walls and ceilings. there's no mistaking that this is a beer bar, and that they haven't tried to be some sort of faux-pub.

the quality of everything i've had - from the lighter snacks to full meals and all the assoicated beverages - is top notch. even the music is pretty damn good and not projected at ear-shattering volumes.

the service is one of the things that keeps you coming back. the staff know their beer, and if you happen to have a question that they can't answer, they're quick to go find one rather than waving you off or making something up. they seem happy to be there too and often share their own passion for the food and drink on the menu. on the rare occasions that your chosen beer is no longer available, they seem good at providing alternate suggestions to help you make your decision.

selection... wow, if everything else didn't keep you coming back, it'll certainly be this. i don't think i've ever ordered a bottle at hopcat simply because i don't think it's possible to run out of tap options. 48 taps, approximately half from michigan breweries, with the rest a mix of midwest, north american, and worldwide favourites. there's often something rare or hard to find pouring and very little chance you'll ever be disappointed. and if you happen to be looking for something a little more obscure, just ask! their "beer guy" (hi steve!) has stockpiles of all sorts of great beer hidden away. but don't get talking to him - you'll find a bunch more beer in your glass and probably spend the rest of the night talking away. wait, i think those are both reasons to talk to him...

the food is great. a good variety of interesting and tasty snack food (if you're just looking for a little nip to accompany your beverage of choice) and entrees (if you'd like something more substantial). possibly the best pretzel i've ever had (especially with the cheese dipping sauce), and i have to say i'm hooked on their crack fries. they really are that good.

when you finally decide it's time to crawl away from hopcat (since walking is often no longer an option), you'll probably be pleasantly surprised at the bill. i thought the food and drink were quite reasonably priced, and i always expect it to have been a more expensive night than it is.

hopcat is a wonderful place, and definitely one that i'd consider to be at the top of its class. i think hopcat is a good chunk of the reason that i've currently made 3 trips from toronto to grand rapids, and i always look forward to the next. heck, each visit seems to have me considering whether i could relocate to the area and visit all the time. now when can i plan my next trip?

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Photo of HopOverdose
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is by far the best beer bar in Grand Rapids and probably the best in the state of Michigan.

The atmosphere is wonderful, non-smoking and a great crowd. They have a wonderful upstairs lounge with a starry ambience and comfortable furniture. If you are a smoker, you can smoke in this lounge (at least until May due to the Michigan smoking ban) , or out on the deck. The outdoor deck is nice in the summer spring and fall.

This beer venue is set right in the heart of downtown and is within walking distance of every attraction down there.

Parking is somewhat reasonable depending on the time of day you go. Expect a walk if going on a friday or saturday night, as this is to be expected anyway.

The service is wonderful and the choices are excellent.

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Photo of blakesell
4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Came here on a holiday trip Michigan brewery tour as Founders didn't open until late.

As Grand Rapids isn't that impressive of a city, I was wowed and surprised that there was this place just around the corner of downtown and nearly walking distance of Founders. The place has tons of taps that at my time of going you could make your own sampler at the rate of .50 to $1 a sample!! The samples weren't too skimpy either, so I had one hell of a sampler going on.

There were one off Goose Island beers and TONS of beers I had never seen before.

The food menu was very impressive as well and I'm disappointed to say that I ate at the hotel before I got here. I'm sure the food here would have been better than the breakfast buffet.

One of the most memorable things about the place was the restroom for me. A massive collage of Johnny Cash, Frank Zappa, Bowie, and Tom Waits posters, clippings, things of that sort.

Always good to have something pleasing to the eye when doing your business.

This is a place I would be sure to return to if I came back to Founders (which I would love to do!)

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HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
Brewery rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 254 ratings
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