HopCat

BEER AVG
3.86/5
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
Ratings:
252
Reviews:
72
PLACE STATS
Score:
99
Ratings:
402
Reviews:
199
Avg:
4.51
pDev:
6.21%
 
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 402 |  Reviews: 199
Photo of snafui
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I had the pleasure of stopping into HopCat last Wednesday on recommendation from some nice Grand Rapids locals I met at Founders (but I wanted to go anyway based on BA reviews). The bar is beautiful, very cozy, lively atmosphere. It was around 11:30 and there was a jazz band playing. The decor was very much eye candy and I loved the oversized bar stool seats.

I had trouble deciding what to get after being let down initially (not their fault). I saw Bells two-hearted on the chalk board and ordered that only to find out the board said it would be on cask tomorrow. Damn. So that threw me off and I decided to get an Oberon while I poured over the menu. Unfortunately my co-workers wanted to leave after that pint so I didn't end up having anything else, which is too bad because I could have spent all night trying beers I can't get back home in MA.

I really hope I have the opportunity to visit the area again and give this place a thorough tap by tap inspection :)

In the mean time it left me with a fantastic memory and a yearning to go back.

PS I found something very inspiring about this place. We talked with several Grand Rapids locals over the next few days. Folks that claimed to not be big beer drinkers even, and everyone recommended the HopCat. I see that has a HUGE boon to the craft beer industry. Here's a place with a drool-worthy tap and bottle selection that is attracting more than just beer geeks. Good job HopCat, this is exactly the kind of positive exposure the beer industry should be proud of! You have a great word-of-mouth following out there, keep up the good work!

 1,601 characters

Photo of karink
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

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

Photo of Avagadro
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
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 enfield249
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

What can I say? This is my watering hole. This is where I go to celebrate, and to welcome back old friends. The atmosphere is fine, if a little loud at times. I would prefer a quite place, but most people don't so that is fine. The quality of the beer has never been an issue, and is always fresh and ever changing. The service is without par in it's beer knowledge. The standard food is fine, mostly your average bar fare, and would have received a more moderate "3", but the beer dinner food is so good that it kicks it up a point. The price is reasonable for downtown GR. HopCat is everything it is reported to be and more. Worth a trip if you are in the midwest.

 666 characters

Photo of Kave_Drenz
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of Brewstu9923
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%

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

Hop Cat has to be one of my favorite bars - bar none. The place has a great atmosphere and enough room to accommodate crowds. The beer selection is really good and they rotate brews rapidly - and the write updated to the beer menu on chalkboards.

We've eaten there a few times and the selection and quality is good. Once you try the "Crack Fries" you'll understand how they got their name. The staff is also good - we got to sit at the bar during one visit and had a great time chatting with the staff. The owners even stopped by (they had seen us at another bar earlier) and we compared notes on several brews. Overall a great time and a great place.

 652 characters

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 Stigs
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

 1,162 characters

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

Photo of mgbickel
4.66/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

 1,024 characters

Photo of ritzkiss
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

HopCat was one of the reasons I stopped in at Grand Rapids and it did not disappoint.

Great tap list - hard to choose but the guys behind the bar steered me in the right direction. Was busy when I stopped by in the afternoon (some event) but was much more subdued when I came in that night - guess Sunday night's not a busy night.

Food was good, standard pub fare. Had the quesedilla and then their flagship burger with jalapenos. Both times sat at the bar.

Great vibe, people who enjoy their beer, friendly feel. Close to the top of my list.

 546 characters

Photo of Snyderama
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of wide3345
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

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!

 1,390 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Nestled in downtown Grand Rapids, this bar is on the corner of the street and looks pretty cool from the outside.

Walking in, the place looks awesome. Bottles everywhere, old church pews with big tables, an outdoor patio, paintings hanging from the ceiling, a huge bar, etc. Very cool atmosphere.

My brother-in-law, father, and myself only had a short time here as it was a quick stop on our way up to Traverse City. There was a great tap list (though I will admit nothing was too crazy on it – was hoping for some legit sours or other crazy stouts but most were just run of the mill (though solid).

The food was damn good and I enjoyed my BBQ chicken sandwich thoroughly with a Short’s Huma. A very enjoyable experience and I can’t wait to go back and enjoy some more of their good food and beers.

 807 characters

Photo of JDizzle
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

What a classy beer bar!

I have had the pleasure of being here around 5 times and I can't say enough. The price is a little on the high side, but the quality of brew is sick. They have a ton of Michigan brews + a wide range of others that make them one of the premier bars on the planet.

The atmosphere is plush with a lot of wood-bar, tables, that make it seam plush without being cold. Great windows in the day time to light up the bar.

The taps go on foreva! Such great selection of beer that ranges to every style, and not the normal ones you usually see. Price is up there, but worth the experience IMO.

Food is solid, especially when you get it on special + one of their own beers they brew(which are solid).

Can't wait to come back!

 745 characters

Photo of avalonct
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

HopCat is obviously a beer lover's paradise, but the food is quickly catching up. My wife and I didn't have the best service last night, but the quality of the food and beer was world class. It was surprisingly not too busy and we were able to get one of the booths that are a half circle and face toward the bar. Also, I asked the waitress about the private room upstairs and she told me that it is $300 minimum on the weekdays and $500 minimum on the weekends to get the room. That might not be a bad idea to get a bunch of friends together and do that sometime. I also go here on Tuesday nights from every once in a while as they have a burger and beer (one of Hopcat's beers) special for 6 bucks. It's great to live in a city with such reasonable prices. The one thing I wish they would work on is update us on their events on twitter more often.

 850 characters

Photo of regeimbk
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Had an odd run-in here with a homeless man who asked me and my girlfriend if we wanted to be in his movie and sat on top of our stuff so he could sit in our booth. However, as soon as customers complained, the man was kicked out.

The food here really is good. I've never had any complaints about it. The fish and chips is delish. Burgers are awesome. Steak is yummy. They have "crack fries" which I wouldn't call addictive, but they are good, especially when dipped in their cheese sauce. Whoever is cooking back there is doing their job.

Beer selection is awesome--duh.

Can be hard to find a table in there some nights, especially in the winter when their outdoor patio isn't open. When we were there, there wasn't a bike rack (not sure if there is one now), so we chained our bikes to a street sign. When we were getting ready to leave, a cop car pulled up beside our bikes and sat there for what felt like fifteen minutes. We had heard stories of cops ticketing bikers for locking their bikes to signs so we had to wait it out. Then we crunk road it.

 1,056 characters

Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.64/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

 277 characters

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 dorianmarley
4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

There is a reason Beer Advocate rates this place the #3 beer bar in the world: it is a blast. Hopcat makes being a beer nerd a cool and exciting experience. They have pages of available beers to choose from, including tons from Michigan and their own stuff, which is typically experimental. The place is always packed on weekends, letting the nerds depart from their basements and sample alongside real people. The food is good and American. And the people are as happy to show you new stuff as you are to try it.

 513 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Wow...I read about how good this place is and had a friend of a friend tell us how great this place is...after I told them to tell her to go here. Could it live up to the hype...well, in short, Hell Yeah!

What a place inside..certainly one of the classiest beer bars I have ever seen. Beautiful wooden accents with a gorgeous bar and table area.

With 48 taps, half devoted to MI micros, and 2 engines what more could you ask for...oh well, like a few hundred bottles too! If you come here and leave unsatisfied you are jaded and picky indeed! Plus they get brewery exclusives, like the Arcadia west coast rye IPA that was AWESOME! Like if that weren't enough they will soon have their very own in house microbrewery up and running with Hopcat created brews flowing too! Geesh!

Not only did we have solid service from Cheryl, who was sporting a BA T-shirt, we got to chat with Garry, a.k.a. The ring leader but also had a breif intro to Mark Sellers, the owner of this fine establishment.

Not much food consumed, we got real smart at breakfast at our Holiday Inn express, but we had to have the Crack Fries after being told how damn good they are. Well, they are good, especially with the cheese dipping sauce! I am looking forward to coming back here and enjoying a full meal.

The Hopcat...if you EVER find yourself in GR you would be making a HUGE mistake by not visiting this place. This is place is the bomb-diggity! Plus, Founders is but a stones throw away...one of the best one-two beer combos around!

Edit:One day after my review I get a personal beermail from Mark Sellers thanking me for my review and to make sure I get in touch with him the next time we make the trip to GR. Nice touch! Thank you Mark, keep up the good work!

 1,743 characters

Photo of ROBSTARR
4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Being from GR I'm here a lot !!! Don't know why I've never given them a review but here ya go .... The atmosphere is classic laid back artsy beer geek heaven. Soon as you walk in you get that feeling of "yep this is a great place" just by the smell. The servers are all very knowledgeable about beer and are always friendly. All though sometimes a lil slow, but they do get busy and stuck at tables of "newbies asking questions about beer". The beer selection is so substantial that one visit will never do. The food is great classic twists on general bar food. DON'T LEAVE WITHOUT TRYING THE CRACK FRIES !!! OR THE BAR CHEESE SOUP !! Over all probably the best bar to visit in Grand Rapids.

 691 characters

Photo of KurtE
4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

this was my kind of bar!!!

26 characters

HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
3.86 out of 5 based on 252 ratings.
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