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Active Beers: 40
Beer Ratings: 229
Beer Avg: 3.83
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
25 Ionia SW
phone: (616) 451-4677
Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine.
Hours 11:30 AM - 2 AM seven days a week.
In-house brewing system up and running as of January 2009.
Large outdoor patio open year-round.
(Place added by: hopcatgr on 01-06-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 184 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
great place and great location. The corner lot with large store front windows makes for a nice atmosphere. Also the patio in the summer is rather nice, a little small, but none-the-less a great asset. The interior is great exposed brick wall, deep rich colors, and great bar set-up. I like the gothic arched mirrors behind the bar!
Always plenty to drink and a variety beyond reckoning. Some of the staff seems to lack in the beer connoisseur department, but for the most part are knowledgeable. You can find anything from domestics, micro-brews, internationals and everything between.
Food is good and falls within the standard pub-like menu with a few nice variation/alterations. I had a hot warm pretzel with a spicy mustard sauce that was banging and complimented my Short's "huma lupa licious."
I believe this to be the best bar in downtown GR! If you are in the area you must go and kick your feet up
11-27-2008 01:31:01 |
More by Magpie14
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
This is definitely one of my favorite places in GR.
Obviously, for selection (especially tap selection) HopCat cannot be beat. However, almost every time I go, at least one of the beers I try to order is no longer available. (Edit: I have noticed that they have been updating the menus more frequently lately, so I raised my ratings). But they always have some incredible, rare beers there. What else is there to say about the beer? The astounding selection has already been thoroughly documented by other reviewers... and really that's the most important thing.
The wait staff is okay; reasonably knowledgeable. One time I tried to order two different beers that they were out of, so they brought me a bunch of free samples to help me decide. Even though I'd already had all of the sample beers they brought me, it's always awesome to get free beer. However, I am told that they no longer give out free samples because they got in trouble for it.
They have an AMAZING happy hour deal which is basically a free meal. $5 for a burger, fries AND a beer!! insane! it only applies to Michigan brews that are normally $4 a pint... which doesn't bother me at all.
However, otherwise the food is good, a little on the pricey side. If you're used to fancy-pants restaurants, then sure. But on my budget, it has to be a special occasion to spend that much money in one evening. However, I recognize that HopCat is much classier than most bars, and you're paying for that as well as the almost ridiculously amazing selection of beers. I guess the beer prices are reasonable, but, because of my being spoiled by Founders, they still seem a little high to me.
HopCat is a fantastic bar, and for beer enthusiasts, its definitely worth a visit or two.
11-11-2008 19:37:15 |
More by sarahspat
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I went hear to relax and blow off some steam during a work trip. It was recommended by a local working at the Amway Grand, thanks buddy.
Really great beer selection from beers all over the world and also craft brews. I think they need to update their menu more frequently. I wanted to try a number of beers that "weren't available" anymore. The bar tender was very knowledgable and was able to make some recommendations. This is where I had my first Flanders Red (Rodenbach) thanks to the recommendation from the bar tender. Went perfectly with my greek salad. The sour and bitter of both mixed perfectly.
The atmosphere is cool. Like half bar and half beer hall. They even had the long tables with benches like at the Hofbrauhaus Munchen. Big HD tv's to watch the local sporting event, in this case the Tigers.
11-07-2008 20:32:19 |
More by MrIncognito
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Been chatting with Garry (Gboyd) here for a while, since I moved to MI and knew no BA's. He welcomed me and encouraged me to stop down and see his place. After 4 months of living here, I finally made the trip, and it was worth it.
A-A beer drinkers bar. Multiple tap stands with some of the greatest beers ever crafted. Nice hippie/yuppie feel (sorry that offends, I think it is a plus!). Wood and art, with a little music in the background.
Q-Beer is top notch, everything as promised. 40+ taps, and the liquor/spirits folks are not left behind.
S-Good service. Met at the bar by a nice guy. I have to say I got all of his attention...not in a flirting way, but in the way like you are the only one at the bar....because I was. HA. Made sure I had everything I needed.
S-What is there to say? They have everything MI and then some. Firkin Fridays, beers that are a little hard to come by, even in MI (Shorts and Kuhnhenn's). Bottles available but I didn't see a list for them, it was all I could see leaning over the bar.
F-Had a good pork sandwich. It was much better than I expected which leads me to believe that they take pride in their food as well.
V-Had a Double Dead Guy, Pork Sandwich with fries, and a growler of Shorts Huma Lupa for about $30. What I expected to pay...but be sure to bring your own growler (or buy one of theirs and reuse it til the amber wears off the glass).
I can't wait to go back, hopefully for one of the Sunday Dinner/Movie nights. Cheers to Garry and his whole staff.
10-22-2008 23:11:08 |
More by TasteTester
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Visited HopCat with my brother on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The place was pretty open, so we found a seat easily. The place has a really nice vibe - lots of wood accents, great old building. Big long only bar with a couple of TVs. There's a patio out front, and at one end of the building are the guest brewing facilities that you can see through the glass.
Service was great - very attentive and patient with us as we selected our beers.
Selection is top-notch. They gave us a huge menu of beers on tap. Big focus on Michigan breweries, plus a good American and import selection. There's also a huge range of bottles, although we didn't see a menu for that. Which was good - it was hard enough to choose from the draft list as it was.
Didn't try the food, although that menu looked great, too.
Nice addition to the Grand Rapids beer scene. Great building, nice folks, excellent selection. I'll definitely be back.
09-25-2008 15:00:35 |
More by ndekke39
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Since January 12th, the official opening day, I have been a fan of HopCat. Every visit (dozens of them) has yielded the same result- amazing selection, great food, great service. I waited anxiously for them to open and took the huge selection of brews as a personal challenge not taking into account that the list is constantly changing! Something new and wonderful is always being added, such as Angry Planet Organic which might very well be my newest favorite. This is a bar that realizes girls do love real beer and embraces women with a ladies night that isn't light-weight or cheesy. Best of all is the PussyCat Brew Guild, a meeting of women who are interested in homebrewing, work in the beer industry or simply love to talk about which beers currently make them swoon. Yes, you will see me at every meeting! Friends who have accompanied me to HopCat have gushed about what a cool place it is, and they can't wait to go again. It's a classy place without being stuffy. Where else do you hear people remarking on how awesome even the restrooms are? The crowd is a good mix from all walks and it's a blast meeting new people there and bonding over some of the best beers to be had all under one roof. Check it out and I bet you'll be the next one gushing about it.
09-19-2008 02:45:36 |
More by hotglassmama
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
My brother and I tried this on a Sunday afternoon. It wasn't very busy. The building is very cool - old, refurbished, tons of wood. We were given a simple, large, laminated menu - beer on one side, food on the other. The selection of brews on tap is deep and broad, with lots of Michigan beers, American beers, and international beers too. Their website also lists a huge stash of bottles that they have available. It was hard to decide what to get. Everything is high quality, except their one "lawnmowing" offering, which they basically acknowledge is not up to the standards of everything else. The staff was friendly, and knowledgeable enough when we needed them to be. I'd like to try the food someday too. I'll definitely return sometime.
09-15-2008 01:46:57 |
More by MDekker
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is the best bar I have ever been to in my life hands down! And the crazy thing is I went for lunch on a Wednesday!
On a recent trip to MI I thought "what the hell" and emailed HopCat not really expecting a response. I got a reply from the owner with some recommedations and welcoming me and my friends to come by. I arrived with my girl about a half hour or so after they opened and it was already starting to fill. We took a seat at the bar and started looking over the huge beer list. I asked if the owner who I had emailed was there and the bartender pointed out he was sitting right next to me. I introduced myself and he even gave my girl (after she commented on how muhc she liked the ladies room) a personal tour of the mens room as he was particularly proud of it. Very classy guy I must say.
I ordered a Shorts Huma Lupa Licious and my girl got a Shorts Nicie Spicie. We split a buffalo chicken sandwhich which came with some of the "crackfries" and it was great. The fries were so good it wasnt till I was finished that I noticed I didnt even use ketchup and I always have ketchup with fries. My friend got their mac'n'cheese which was also great. The food was very good and reasonable. Then we had another employee introduce himself (I forgot his name though) as he heard we were from Vegas. He told us about this great place to eat out here that we didnt even know about. The staff we encountered were all terriffic. We kinda felt like VIP's.
Either way this place was amazing. They didnt have any of their house brews on tap yet but they didnt need any. The beer menu, both bottles and draft, was amazing. I loved my Shorts and even got a complimentary sample of Great Lakes Blackout Stout (on nitro!). I wish we could have stayed all day but only had time for lunch as we were passing through town. It was a great time and a beautiful place. Good ambience, beer, food, and staff. You CANNOT go wrong with this place!
09-12-2008 22:38:26 |
More by bunnyhustle
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Great looking room, large, high ceilings, huge windows looking out onto the active GR night life scene. Large bar area, all the beers on a large chalk board. 40 or so taps, great selection of multiple Michigan selections and all star choices from around the world. They are starting up their own brewery in the rear of the place and the fermenters were on display. Outside seating area. Beers served in appropriate glassware. Beer obviously being respected here. Pleasurable place for a visit, I'd be here often if I was local. (About 10 minutes drive to Sicicliano market and 3-5 mins from Founders)
08-18-2008 00:17:39 |
More by Billolick
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
This was easily the highlight of a recent Michigan trip.
The place exuded an effortless cool, a combination of the turn of the century exterior, Art Deco & Folies Bergère posters framed on the ceiling, with the imagery incorporated elsewhere in the decor. Some nice paintings of 20th century jazz greats hung on brick walls in between art deco lanterns, hanging above intimate circular booths. Many tables, with a patio containing comfy sofas and furniture too. Brewing equipment was visible in the rear of the space. Multiple tap islands at the bar, maybe 6-8 per. I noticed the brand new Ommegang Rouge barrel-shaped handle, and ordered it first thing.
Once seated we ordered a round and had a couple appetizers. The food was good, "crack fries" were just ok in my opinion. It was busy, so it took a minute for initial service, but we were taken care of afterward.
Selection was really amazing for MI brews, there were 5 taps from Short's (it was a special of the month) and 5 from Kuhnhenn. Several from Arbor, Founders, and a few more obscure brewers too. Prices, style, and ABV were listed on the menu, also a plus. This place was worth the detour off 94.
08-03-2008 20:37:34 |
More by emerge077
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
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