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Active Beers: 40
Beer Ratings: 227
Beer Avg: 3.83
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
25 Ionia SW
phone: (616) 451-4677
Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine.
Hours 11:30 AM - 2 AM seven days a week.
In-house brewing system up and running as of January 2009.
Large outdoor patio open year-round.
(Place added by: hopcatgr on 01-06-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev
| Reviews: 182 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Residing in GR I am fortunate to be able to frequent HopCat quite often. Being a regular, I've come to realize there is much needed for the bar to live up to it's reputation.
Atmosphere is decent but is always overcrowded. You're giving a multitude of different seating arrangements which can be either booths, couches (upstairs), picnic tables, or traditional seating. The bar looks quite dusty but my recommendation is to always sit at the bar...no matter what...as the bartenders are the only experienced staff in the establishment.
The service is obviously the Achille's Heel as the waitstaff are undertrained and unbelievably slow. I've walked in at 12:30AM with almost nobody in the bar and it has taken more than 15 minutes for a waitstaff member to come over. Additionally, I've had waitstaff confuse nitro beers with firkins...not something to expect with being named the 3rd best beer bar in the world.
HopCat has an outstanding collection if you're from out of town but often seems to cycle through beers if you're familiar enough with the establishment. Their bottle selection is quite a gem as they don't distribute menus unless you request. I was able to find some Mikeller even though it has sense stopped being distributed in the GR area.
People may rave about the Crack Fries, which are amazing, but the burgers seem to be quite generic (Sysco). Stella's across the street has hand formed burgers that come stuffed at the same price point...which is embarrassing concerning both restaurants share the same ownership.
I will say that HopCat throws some awesome parties. Their Wood and Wild Ale Fest last year brought some true whales to tap. Additionally, they throw parties when breweries enter the distro market and offer a chance to find some rarer beers.
Value is reasonable. Their specials often carry unreasonable stipulations like the $6 burger and beer combo being limited (last time) to a New Holland Kolsch despite the fact it carried the same price point as some of their own pub beers.
All in all I compare HopCat to DisneyWorld...Fun to take people when they're from out of town but you can see right through all of it's shortcomings. If they can't fix the service, at least fix the website as the taplist is sometimes months out of date...something in this day in age should be always synced.
10-15-2013 23:17:41 |
More by kylelenk
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
Visited during the cold days of early February, 2013.
I had read about the astounding reputation of this craft bar a few weeks before we were set to make our trip up to Grand Rapids. I knew we should probably make it a point to stop in, so we did late on a Friday night. Needless to say, we were waiting outside for a good while before we could even get inside. This place is incredibly, incredibly popular.
The atmosphere is just about perfect. High ceilings, bustling business, and about as much seating as they can cramp into such a constantly packed house are distributed throughout.
The service was about as prompt as it could possibly be for having such a high volume of patrons at one time.
The selection of all sorts of styles of craft beer is truly remarkable and reason enough to go here. I was pleasantly surprised to find Dogfish Head's 120 Minute IPA on the bottle list. I was quick to order one of those, no doubt.
It can be a bit pricey, but some of the rare finds on the menu more than make up for it.
08-15-2013 17:32:32 |
More by neckbracesub
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75 | $$
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.
08-12-2013 23:20:35 |
More by chinchill
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 1.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.25 | $$
The bar is BEAUTIFUL. The decor is off the charts. The beer selection is great. The staff and patrons ruin it.
Lots of douchebags. On both sides of the bar. On one particular visit (with a group of people that has a lot of industry experience) we asked for a taste of 2 beers. The girl behind the bar told us ’they are basically the same’. We still asked for the tastes anyway, and they were very, very different. This was after waiting more than 10 minutes for one of the 5 bartenders behind the bar to even acknowledge our presence. It was a moderately busy Friday evening ( I have been here in several times, so I’m not just basing this one visit). The bartenders had their backs to the customers, and they were gathered around a phone. When we finished our first round, we waited another 10 minutes with empty glasses before the bartenders turned around. The guy looked super annoyed that we asked for a beer. Same experience when ordering the second round.
I have 2 words for this place. Over it.
If I were the owner, I would ruffle some serious feathers. This staff sucks. If the bartenders could do their jobs, I could have given this place a near perfect rating.
08-05-2013 01:55:57 |
More by Fluffheady
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
We visited the night of June 24th after an easy walk over from Founder's. The first thing I noticed about this place was the great Hopcat sign over the door of their "black cat holding a beer" logo - it's really fits the vibe of this place. The Interior has beautiful classy woodwork and the vibe is relaxed and "right". It's classy without being pretentious. Being from Texas and not having much experience with what is considered rare in Michigan I can't honestly say how unique their taplist is, but I can say that after giving my bartender my style preferences that his recommendations hit it perfectly. I did not have any food but it certainly looked good. Prices are reasonable.
07-02-2013 02:44:03 |
More by coldriver
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
We live an hour away, yet find time to get here about a dozen times a year. Grand Rapids is growing and so is its reputation as beer city. This place has a very good selection of beer on tap. The selection changes so never a need to be bored with the same brews if you like adventure and variety. At times the service can be less than stellar, but the beer almost always is served correctly. The crack fries are good and I really like the chicken tacos. Nice place in an old building with character. If in town for Art Prize, I strongly recommend you check it out.
07-02-2013 00:30:28 |
More by Mxsluis
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
I went here on an afternoon while on vacation. The staff was very knowledgeable and gave good recommendations. They could speak at a level for a beer snob and for someone who just wants to try something good or different. We were able to create our own beer flights which was great because they had a huge selection. It appears they have good events since the next day they were going to have a special dogfish head draught night. I recommend vacationing on Lake Michigan and take a trip to HopCat bar, Founders' Taproom, and New Holland brewing Company's pub while you are there.
05-21-2013 02:31:45 |
More by swanson45
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | 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
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HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
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