HopCat

BEER AVG
3.86/5
HopCatHopCat
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

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:
250
Reviews:
72
PLACE STATS
Score:
99
Ratings:
399
Reviews:
199
Avg:
4.51
pDev:
6.21%
 
 
Taps:
48
Bottles/Cans:
150
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 399 |  Reviews: 199
Photo of rixport
3.45/5  rDev -23.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4

Went in with some friends from Grand Rapids while I was home on vacation. I was very interested in going to the number 3 rated beer bar as I'm a regular customer at the number 1 rated. The selection of beer was very good, but nothing really unusual. A lot of local and regional micros on tap. After fairly good service from our bartender for the first round, we all ordered a 2nd round. My friend Rick and I both got a Weissbier. Mine smelled like a swimming pool, Ricks smelled like a Weissbier. After waiting for our bartender to quit chatting it up with his friends, I finally gave up. By that time, we decided to go over to Founders which we should have done in the first place. My numbers are going to indicate a better score than I would give this pub, but I feel my responses are accurate.

 796 characters

Photo of Fluffheady
3.48/5  rDev -22.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 1.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.25

The bar is BEAUTIFUL. The decor is off the charts. The beer selection is great. The staff and patrons ruin it.

Lots of douchebags. On both sides of the bar. On one particular visit (with a group of people that has a lot of industry experience) we asked for a taste of 2 beers. The girl behind the bar told us ’they are basically the same’. We still asked for the tastes anyway, and they were very, very different. This was after waiting more than 10 minutes for one of the 5 bartenders behind the bar to even acknowledge our presence. It was a moderately busy Friday evening ( I have been here in several times, so I’m not just basing this one visit). The bartenders had their backs to the customers, and they were gathered around a phone. When we finished our first round, we waited another 10 minutes with empty glasses before the bartenders turned around. The guy looked super annoyed that we asked for a beer. Same experience when ordering the second round.

I have 2 words for this place. Over it.

If I were the owner, I would ruffle some serious feathers. This staff sucks. If the bartenders could do their jobs, I could have given this place a near perfect rating.

 1,182 characters

Photo of 2heartedzombie
3.5/5  rDev -22.4%

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.59/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth? Boo, I disagree! The beer selection is pretty good (you can check the website which is a plus) and the layout is good too.

But how did this place become 3rd best in the world? It isn't even in my top 20 in North America. Actually it's not even my top choice in Grand Rapids. My real beef is that you have to pay $1.50 for a small sample to see if you like a beer. On top of that, the server wasn't able to describe the beers (other than "it's an OK IPA"). So I ended up getting a crappy pint. Compared with the best practices of many other establishments regarding samples and information, I find this bar to be lacking in consumer sympathy.

Having said the above, you have a wide selection of beers to choose from, loads of TV's, good pbeer-related posters on the walls and ceiling, very good in most non-service respects. I'd highly recommend Founders over Hopcat (about 4 blocks away), but if you must try something non-Founders this place is close.

 990 characters

Photo of BryanA
3.59/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Lots of Options on tap, one of the best for Grand Rapids, food was decent, but service was pretty slow

102 characters

Photo of Jeffrey84
3.6/5  rDev -20.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I Don't like the service. Servers/bartenders have an elitist attitude. It's like they think that if you don't work there you know nothing about beer.

149 characters

Photo of Gotti311
3.68/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

 734 characters

Photo of bolognasuave
3.68/5  rDev -18.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

horrible service. could drink or dine and dash with ease if you wanted to. not enough bar tenders working to accommodate the amount of people they have in there on the regular. beer selection and food is great and only thing that saves this place.

 251 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.68/5  rDev -18.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

The famous HopCat! This was our first beer stop in Grand Rapids. Located on a nice little street filled with bars and restaurants, two doors down from Grand Rapids Brewing.

We were there on a Friday afternoon at around 4pm and the place was busy but not crazy. HopCat is pretty big, with a long bar, booths right next to it and a lot of tables by the windows looking at Ionia Street, but it fills up quickly.

They had three house beers when the wife and I visited, including a nice Oil Rigger Imperial Stout, and a large draft menu divided in styles from lager to fruit-spice-smoke. Lots of local/Michigan beers, including Night Tripper, The Livery, Arbor, Short's, Vivant... and mainstays like Ommegang, Green Flash, Brooklyn. Some cool Belgians as well, such as Troubadour and Rodenbach.

I wasn't terribly impressed by the draft menu, though, considering how epic HopCat is supposed to be. Nothing super rare, barrel-aged or unique. And same with the bottle menu, which is pretty long but carries no surprises despite a vintage Old Guardian and Festina Peche here and there.

Service is alright but not great and the atmosphere is nice. A cool bar, for sure, but... one of the best in the nation? I beg to differ.

 1,222 characters

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

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 cptbenjamin
3.78/5  rDev -16.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Tjb14
3.79/5  rDev -16%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

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 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 jbrown1
3.88/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

We lucked into HopCat with a recommendation of a local, and then after getting lost we found our way right in front of the door and I'm delighted that we did!

This place really has a charming atmosphere. While vintage French posters, HD TV's, brewery equipment, and elegant wood paneling don't naturally go hand-in-hand, HopCat makes it work. As a resident of Chicago, where beautiful old wood carved bars are the norm, HopCat has done the same, but with a newer and lighter grain.

Their beer selection is phenomenal. They showcase Michigan brewed beers, as well as their own HopCat brews. And if you thought Michigan only included Bells and New Holand, then you're in for a treat. The staff are self proclaimed beer geeks, and they are very knowledgeable. In addition, all pours are placed into appropriate glass where. And if you're not a beer nut, they offer a comprehensive selection of liquor.

However... we were a little surprised on a Monday night. With a football game going on, and a Metallica show across the street, that the kitchen closed promptly at the regular scheduled time. The bar staff does a great job with pours, but fell short working for tips. They didn't have any chips, pretzels or nuts out, so when I pointed to the 'pretzel' on the menu they said no can do. A bit later on, Mr Bartender bragged about their 'beer cellar', and when I asked if I may tour it with the manager, another no can do.

Good atmosphere, nice value, Michigan should be darn proud that someone showcases their goods, but don't expect red carpet treatment.

 1,558 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.89/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

A large number of taps plus an outstanding bottle collection. Knowledgeable and efficient servers. Week day specials. More or less proper glassware is used. Very attractive interior is rather noisy despite the high ceilings. Beautiful wood bar houses 6 sets of taps. All of the food that I ordered or saw was nicely presented and appetizing, but didn't venture from standard pub fare. Tap list emphasizes Michigan brews. Beer menu is nicely organized by style.

 460 characters

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 twelvsies
3.95/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

 1,015 characters

Photo of EnJeiBee
3.95/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is one of my favorite places to go in Grand Rapids. Their selection is smaller than only one bar in GR (Logan's Alley) and the atmosphere is amazing. That being said, they have some of the worst service of any beer bar I have ever been to! It's one of those places that has so many people who want to be there that they don't care if you leave or not. Unless you seek out your server you're probably going to be sitting with an empty beer for some time. I really wish more staffers there were like Katie (she doesn't work there anymore, but she was amazing!).

 564 characters

Photo of mattyrubes
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of Sparky44
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of todd-roy
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of TheGingerbreadMan
4/5  rDev -11.3%

HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
3.86 out of 5 based on 250 ratings.
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