HopCat

Your Rating: None
HopCatHopCat
BA SCORE
3.87/5
Very Good
266 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:
53
Reviews:
77
Ratings:
266
PLACE STATS
BA Score:
4.53/5
Reviews:
201
Ratings:
407
pDev:
9.71%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 407 |  Reviews: 201
Photo of elNopalero
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Some times it pays to start your beer drinking in the afternoon. I came here with a friend on a visit to Grand Rapids and this was our first stop. They had so many beers on tap—I was overwhelmed at first by the number of handles at the different stations spanning the length of the bar—until I learned they will provide you with a ‘menu’ of available beers. It just so happened our visit was following a Short’s take over so there were a lot of Joe Short’s tasty beverages on tap.

That many offerings alone would make me a regular. I mean, just when you’ve worked your way through the board there’s always going to be something else you just have to try coming up, right? It’s a tough life, I know.

Even better was our server who endured/enjoyed our beer geek questions, shared recommendations and tasting notes of his own, and—in what has become the stuff of legend—poured us a flight of their house beers that was somewhere more on the side of half-pours than tasters. Truly epic! We left a hearty tip on a tab that should have been tripled anywhere else. Between this and Founders Grand Rapids beer drinkers have it made.

 1,149 characters

Photo of Danielr26
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Being from the U.P. of Michigan, HopCat has been nothing but a mystical beast for me. 460 miles away, there is no way I could travel there to enjoy all it's splendor, and make it home safely, right? Well, I just happened to be passing by, so enjoy I did!

HopCat has a really great corner location right in downtown GR (which is booming with youth, Michigan's light right now). Parking can be a bit tricky, just bite the bullet and park in the nearby parking garage. It's only a short two block walk to your every wish and joy.

The beer menu is vast. I hardly even looked at the bottle list, but most of the premium bottles were in front of my in their large "beer to go" cooler, so I checked it out. Impressive. A good mix of great beers from around the U.S., some really nice Belgian treats, and the who's who of Michigan barley pops.

The tap list is incredible though. I missed the remnants of the Wood and Wild Ale festival a few weeks early, but the tap list was still very impressive. Since this was my first time visiting, I had to try a house brew, the Frontiersmen. It was an interesting American Wild Ale aged in Cedar (which always blows my mind, being a whisky guy, cedar is a huge NO NO). Beer was pretty tasty. Nice funky notes, not too sour, but good depth of flavor, and the cedar really supported what was going on.

Food was good, atmosphere was upbeat with young business people from the local community. Great stop. I will be stopping again next time I pass through. It surely lived up to all the hype I had heard.

 1,539 characters

Photo of Zonian1
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of CraigTravor
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of buschbeer
4.18/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of heddar33
4/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of brewandbbq
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here post-KBS release party. About a five minute walk from Founders.

After Founders, this place was packed also. A decent sized bar with lots of brass tap towers displaying all the tap markers. Plenty of woodwork and the place is spotless. Lots of seating (for a smallish bar), and a small area up stairs has more. A brew house sits out back, and they had a few of thier own brews on tap. I had the Belgian Dubble which was damn tasty.
Selection is regional heavy (almost exclusive). Dark Horse, Shorts, Arcadia, Livery, Atwater, Founders, Arbor, Bells, etc. A great line up with Belgians, IPAs, Stouts, and odd balls thrown in.

Service was decent, as I was able to get a beer at the bar as soon as I was able to catch the eye of a bartender.

I didn't try any food, and I don't know if they even serve it. There was no place to sit so I scooted after one. I could definately see spending some serious time here though.

 933 characters

Photo of FaradayUncaged
4.64/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of cratez
4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

First stop on a recent trip to Grand Rapids with nicktbm and our significant others. This legendary pub is a beer geek’s wet dream. Inside sports a massive old-fashioned bar, 6 towers with 50 craft taps, countless tables throughout the interior, and a bustling, party-like atmosphere with killer background music and lots of college-aged beer drinkers. We grabbed a four-person booth beside the bar.

Our waitress was very friendly and efficient. Drinks and food arrived quickly and she made some helpful beer suggestions to my oenophile girlfriend.

The draught and bottle selections are redonkulous. All of the beers are sorted by style and they have tons of rare and cellared offerings from around the world. As an example of how insane the beer menu is, they had 6 barley wines on tap. That alone is worth a "5." Our group ordered a 2011 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Arcadia Hopmouth DIPA, HopCat Weizen, and Bell’s Oarsman Ale on draught and a Saint Somewhere Saison Athene, BrewDog Mikkeller I Hardcore You, and Baird Red Rose Amber out of the bottle. The Hardcore and Oarsman were my favourites of the night.

Food is pretty good as well. I went for the Applewood Smoked Bacon Grilled Cheese while the lady had a Turkey Bruschetta Burger. Each came with a side of Crack Fries and both dishes tasted fantastic. Prices are incredibly fair as 8 drinks and 2 entrees came to less than $70.

Overall, this place boasts an unmatched beer list at excellent value with a really fun vibe. HopCat is the main reason we came to Grand Rapids and we were not disappointed. An essential stop in Michigan and the best beer bar that I’ve encountered so far.

 1,652 characters

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
4.19/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Agentveba
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of MSandahl23
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Spreetaper
4.14/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Cotton_27
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of morimech
4.35/5  rDev -4%
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.

 980 characters

Photo of 98green
4.23/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Place was jammed on Thursday at 6. Bartenders are knowledgeable but overworked. Service tends on the slow side, but only because of all the people. The tenders are hustling. The beer selections are solid and the pricing is fair.

 228 characters

Photo of Angerhaus
4.68/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of frazbri
4.53/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I stopped at HopCat Saturday after the winter beer festival. The place was packed, and after a little search found a few empty barstools to occupy. The crowd was a mixture of beer geeks and young professionals out on the town. There are HDTVs above the bar, and a good mix of music from old school James Brown to Zepplin played at a volume that allowed for conversation.

The menu is mostly sandwiches and comfort food of high quality. I had a fish sandwich with crack fries and side of mac & cheese. The fish was broiled tillapia with a cajun spice rub served on a tasty fresh roll. The mac is a stove-top mac, but the cheese sauce is much better than the blue box powder. The crack fries are seasoned battered fries, usually not my favorite, but these had a nice garlic kick and were perfectly crisp and golden. The food nearly equalled the beer.

HopCat boosts 48 taps plus 100 plus bottles. Approximately half of the taps are Michigan beers. Bell's, Founders, New Holland, Shorts, Dragonmead, Kuhnhenn, Michigan Brewing and the Livery were represented. The goodness didn't end there. The rest of the drafts were craft brewers too. The only exception I saw on the menu was listed as "lawnmower beer" which is one of the old lager brands at a time; pabst, strohs or something else.

Service wasn't great, but it was forgivable. The bartenders were busy the entire time we were there. They do know beer, and gave lots of good recommendations to those that were intimidated by the beer list.

The management and owners of HopCat understand beer. great beer + great food = great bar

 1,582 characters

Photo of cadaugherty
4.2/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of BUNZILLA
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of CaptainFleeker
4.76/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Long overdue review from one of the best beer bars in the country I've ever been too. Right up there with Churchkey in DC for anyone familiar with that establishment. My first visit was during KBS release 2013. It was such a great experience I remember it that well even to this day. First of all HopCat had one of the best draft beer lineups I've ever seen. Tons and tons of great MI breweries and not just the big boys. Lots of smaller MI breweries which was awesome to sample so many breweries in one place. The service was more than I could've reasonably expected. Emily was our server. My sister and I were there every night of our 4 night visit to GR and Emily was there each night to help us. She went above and beyond in explaining the different offerings with really great information about some of the beers. Very, very impressed and I will stop in every time I am in the area.

 887 characters

Photo of _morandi_
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
Brewery rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 266 ratings