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Active Beers: 35
Beer Ratings: 181
Beer Avg: 3.82
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
25 Ionia SW
phone: (616) 451-4677
Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine.
Hours 11:30 AM - 2 AM seven days a week.
In-house brewing system up and running as of January 2009.
Large outdoor patio open year-round.
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Reviews by slowbie:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I used to go to this place quite a bit when I lived in the area, but after a trip back I decided to finally write a review.
It's a dimly lit place with a good amount of seating, even better during the summer. I like the atmosphere quite a bit on their less busy days but it gets really loud and really packed on weekends and some weeknights.
They carry some of the best quality beer of any bar I've been to. One BMC-ish option and a bunch of craft. They are probably the only place in west Michigan that you will find Kuhnhenn, and they are likely to carry beers from other great Michigan stops such as Dark Horse and Shorts (and of course Founders and Bells).
They also brew their own beers, many of which are, for lack of a better word, weird (e.g. sage pale ale, orange IPA). Whenever I've ordered one that sounds good it's been excellent though and the prices are relatively cheap for the quality of beer. However, about every other time I go all of the Hopcat brewed beers look a little too out there for me. (Though I'm admittedly not a fan of too much spicing in my beer).
I'm ranking the service above average because every server in there is more knowledgeable about beer than at most places. However, from a non-beer knowledge standpoint, the service is average at best. I've never had a great waiter/waitress, and I've had a couple that were not so great.
As far as selection goes, I've been to places with twice the taps and half the selection of Hopcat. This is helped by the fact that they have one rotating BMC tap. The other taps tend to change with the seasons (i.e. I couldn't find a barleywine on tap last summer but when I went recently the menu was mostly barleywines, stouts, and strong ales).
The food is good, the fries are better, although I haven't been overly impressed by their other appetizers. But nobody goes to hopcat for the food anyways.
Hopcat has the best selection in the area, but it doesn't have the best prices or service. Their prices get especially dicey on the more expensive beers. Still a great place that I plan on returning to though.
01-06-2011 15:19:08 |
More by slowbie
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
We visited for drinks & lunch. It's a quick walk from the Ford & public museums. Popular & crowded, it took us 30 minutes or so to grab a table in the early afternoon. Cool space - tall tin ceiling, beautiful long bar, good variety of tables - bar height, bench tables, half circle seating. The space - even though crowded & loud - has a nice intimacy to it. For being voted the #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine, I expected more of a selection. Draught beer choices were featured on a menu - one pager - maybe 25-30. I had two stout choices w. what was already sold out. Service was OK. Food section was standard, but good. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have HopCat down the block from me, but not sure it's deserving of #3 on Planet Earth distinction.
04-06-2013 14:18:48 |
More by craft_shannie
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25 | $$
WOW! We are so fortunate to have this bar just a few minutes from our home! We frequent this fairly often, but aren't quite "regulars". This space was originally a grocery store with very high ceilings, tin/wood ceiling, and a beautiful wood bar. Hopcat does brew its own beer, but its real claim to fame, in my opinion, is the amazing beer selection that they constantly rotate through their menu. Some draft, some bottled, always served in the best glass for the style of beer. If you see something on tap that you want - be sure to get it while you can, because the next time you're there - it may not be available.
I love that they have special events to showcase beers that are extremely limited in the United States. The only downside is - you'll never taste that beer again. BUT - what an opportunity to taste the amazing craft brews from around the world as well as the neighborhood.
They have a great bar food menu and if the name doesn't get you - the taste sure will - especially for the crack fries - they're just that addictive!
For anyone who loves craft beer and is in Grand Rapids, be sure to stop in!
03-20-2013 17:14:07 |
More by mrs_bretina
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75 | $$$
Frankly, it lives up to the hype! Super cool place with an astonishing selection of beers from their in-house brewery, Michigan, across the USA and the world. If you happen to be unimpressed by the 40+ drafts (just joking, that's impossible), there's also an extensive and impressive selection of bottles available (just ask to see the bottle list).
Their own in-house brews are well worth a try, don't overlook them.
Get some appropriately named "crack-fries". At the moment but you can get a 1/2 order free with a foursquare check-in.
Location, location, location... Center of the downtown nightlife area. A quick walk to Founders or Grand Rapids Brewing Company too.
01-27-2013 00:41:19 |
More by gauldk
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
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.
01-04-2013 14:55:45 |
More by Gotti311
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
HopCat is obviously a beer lover's paradise, but the food is quickly catching up. My wife and I didn't have the best service last night, but the quality of the food and beer was world class. It was surprisingly not too busy and we were able to get one of the booths that are a half circle and face toward the bar. Also, I asked the waitress about the private room upstairs and she told me that it is $300 minimum on the weekdays and $500 minimum on the weekends to get the room. That might not be a bad idea to get a bunch of friends together and do that sometime. I also go here on Tuesday nights from every once in a while as they have a burger and beer (one of Hopcat's beers) special for 6 bucks. It's great to live in a city with such reasonable prices. The one thing I wish they would work on is update us on their events on twitter more often.
11-26-2012 20:56:07 |
More by avalonct
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Hopcat is a must goto stop if you are in Grand Rapids. They have a huge and great beer list. When we were there, they had Kuhnhenn Imperial Creme Brûlée and All Hallows Ale on tap as well as Shorts Black Cherry Porter.
The food was solid bar food. The ice cream sandwich, which changes every so often, was amazing! The cookies are super thick and the ice cream is nice and creamy. They had a mexican hot chocolate one when we were there that had a spicy bite.
Service was good enough but nothing to write home about.
11-22-2012 16:56:13 |
More by jeonseh
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Rock solid bar. Food was spectacular, not your standard fired bar food in the least. Selection was a good 25+ beers on tap as well as a huge to go selection. Staff was very friendly and knowledgable. Steve is the man, hooked it up, that's all I can say.
The atmosphere is very chill with some tvs to watch your sports and plenty of tables and bar space.
Next time I'm in town to hit up Founders, Hopcat will make the must stop list. Check it out, you won't be disappointed! Unless you hate craft beer and a full stomach.
11-20-2012 03:07:37 |
More by Flabbyjandro
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I was there for 30 minutes after the Bolt Cutter release, and all I can say is "oh my fucking god". The place hits all the right notes for a relaxed pub. The barkeeps are friendly, prompt, and know their stuff. Then there is the beer list. Mind blowing in its expansiveness. They are getting ready for a Wood and Wild fest which has a list that will break your heart if you're not going. Being not hungry at all, I did not eat. However, the guy next to me ordered the vaunted crack fries, and based on smell, that name is by no means an exaggeration.
It is a shame I was not able to linger. Best bar I've ever been in.
11-17-2012 18:12:18 |
More by lurpy1
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
When my girl and I decided to visit her family in Michigan (my first time visiting the state), we knew we would find some local breweries/pubs to hit. We love beer and would try to find crazy guys home brewing in their compounds if we were lost in the desert. I did my research and discovered HopCat, but didn't think we'd make it to that side of the state. Then God smiled upon us and gave us a perfect reason (beyond beer) to go to Grand Rapids. I was silly happy like some kid knowing he's going to Disneyland.
Naturally, we started at Founders, but made our way to HopCat for dinner and drinks. The place was exactly what I hoped it would be, a dark-ish joint in an old building with a bunch of random crap on the walls and more tap handles than any beer lover could ever hope to view. The place was pretty much packed, but it didn't seem cramped, and never was conversation with our hosts difficult.
The beer selection was ridiculous. Prices were reasonable. I started with Arcadia's HopMouth Double IPA, then moved to HopCat's own Hoppopotamus. Both were delicious and perfectly complimented the very tasty fish and chips I ordered. The food was great, the beers were great, and the service (Adam) was outstanding. The entire experience was exactly what I had hoped it would be. Had we not planned to visit Brewery Vivant and another local brewery, I easily could have spent the entire evening at HopCat.
Any beer lover who finds themselves with an hour or two of Grand Rapids should make the effort to go to this bar and enjoy everything about it. It is absolutely deserving of every accolade it receives.
11-07-2012 14:29:41 |
More by tat2matt
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HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI