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Active Beers: 38
Beer Ratings: 189
Beer Avg: 3.82
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
25 Ionia SW
phone: (616) 451-4677
Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine.
Hours 11:30 AM - 2 AM seven days a week.
In-house brewing system up and running as of January 2009.
Large outdoor patio open year-round.
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Interesting place, I finally stopped by here the other week...it's been open for quite some time and I'm not infrequently in GR, but it's hard to pry myself away from Founders.
Hopcat is located downtown in a spacious corner building with high ceilings, a long bar, and a great tap list. With 48 taps, a hand pull, and scads of bottles anyone should be able to find something they like here. I rate it 4.5 only because of the superior Ashley's selection in Ann Arbor, but given the city the selection is bar none the best, easily.
Prices are quite reasonable in comparison to many of these places, and the staff were absolutely on the ball, great service, friendly, they clearly care. Coming during non-peak time probably impacted this, but still.
They have a large food menu, and the snibblets that I've had of of it are good and also reasonable.
Really, I can only nitpick and say that the only reason why I'm not a huge, huge converted fan is the overall feel of the high ceilings and large space. This is the same beef I have with New Founders, I just like my bars to be a bit smaller and more intimate than this one, so my opinion of the atmosphere takes a ding there.
This is a nice stop off place if you're in GR and looking for a brew and perhaps some food. I doubt I'll go here often in lieu of New Founders, but it's a good option for the locals, and I can see the charm.
06-26-2008 16:04:50 |
More by CortexBomb
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
what a great looking corner bar. it's only two minute drive from Founder's. i was impressed with the decor, upon entering the door. my friends and i bellied right up to the bar and looked over the impressive beer list. what a great collection of Michigan brews, including Short's, which was fantastic. i was in town to hit a few spots and catch a Mustard Plug concert. as i sat and enjoyed a couple pints, the guys from Mustard Plug (local ska-punk heroes) came in and went to a private drinking area. if local celebrities hang here, it must be good, right? ;) (of all the places in town to hit, i managed a second visit after the show.) i met and spoke with one of the owners, Michele. we had a great chat about FFF (as i was sporting one of their shirts) and she recommended The Hideout to me. she was awesome! service was fine, if a bit inattentive. i can overlook that being that it was a Friday and business was booming. i will definitely be back and plan on trying the food, as what i saw others eating looked fantastic. i will also be prepared with a cooler so i can take a few growlers to go. if you are anywhere near Grand Rapids you owe it to yourself to visit this place!
05-20-2008 16:47:33 |
More by FURIOGUINTA
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
I had the pleasure of stopping into HopCat last Wednesday on recommendation from some nice Grand Rapids locals I met at Founders (but I wanted to go anyway based on BA reviews). The bar is beautiful, very cozy, lively atmosphere. It was around 11:30 and there was a jazz band playing. The decor was very much eye candy and I loved the oversized bar stool seats.
I had trouble deciding what to get after being let down initially (not their fault). I saw Bells two-hearted on the chalk board and ordered that only to find out the board said it would be on cask tomorrow. Damn. So that threw me off and I decided to get an Oberon while I poured over the menu. Unfortunately my co-workers wanted to leave after that pint so I didn't end up having anything else, which is too bad because I could have spent all night trying beers I can't get back home in MA.
I really hope I have the opportunity to visit the area again and give this place a thorough tap by tap inspection :)
In the mean time it left me with a fantastic memory and a yearning to go back.
PS I found something very inspiring about this place. We talked with several Grand Rapids locals over the next few days. Folks that claimed to not be big beer drinkers even, and everyone recommended the HopCat. I see that has a HUGE boon to the craft beer industry. Here's a place with a drool-worthy tap and bottle selection that is attracting more than just beer geeks. Good job HopCat, this is exactly the kind of positive exposure the beer industry should be proud of! You have a great word-of-mouth following out there, keep up the good work!
05-07-2008 14:55:43 |
More by snafui
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $
The hopcat is easily one of the best beer bars i've been to in michigan, with a huge selection and great atmosphere.
Went today for the first time with my girlfriend and we enjoyed the environment very much. She ordered a veggie wrap (which was fantastic) and i got a burger and beer deal, which was also very tasty - the food is above average and well worth it (the fries!!), prices are really good, walked out of there with a 18$ bill for 2 beers, the food, and a pop. Our server was amazing as well, i haven't had such a good experience with speed and mannerisms in a while and she seemed completely comfortable and knowledgeable.
With the expanding options of brewing gear and other love put into the hopcat, i wish i lived closer to frequent often :D
definitely a must in GR!!
05-01-2008 04:14:46 |
More by drxandy
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I had my first experience here last night and could not have been more impressed. The atmosphere was great; very hip but not contrived. Nice long bar and plenty of space. I had the pleasure of sitting next to the owner (which I didn't even know until I was cashing out). The crowd was pleasant. It was a nice mix of a younger and a middle-aged crowd. The bartenders were extremely knowledgeable. The bar was at capacity but there was still plenty of room to hang out and it was very easy to get drinks.
It was tough to even decide what to order because there were so many outstanding choices. They definitely cater to Michigan beers, which is great. I had Short's Huma Luma, Oaked Arrogant Bastard and Livery Double Paw on tap. My wife had Celis White and GLBC Holy Moses on tap. Everything was was very fresh and tasted great. The best part was the tab was only $21!!!
In my opinion, one could not ask for more from a beer bar.
I will be stopping by this place whenever I am in Gr Rapids. Very impressive.
04-06-2008 23:22:36 |
More by cosco
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Just down the street from my apartment and thank GOD. Great service, great beer, great place to sit and enjoy a pint or four. If you are not sure what you want just ask a server or bartender, they will find something that you will love.
The only place around with a hand-pull tap, and it changes every Friday, which are mostly Michigan Brews
A hugh selection of local and national brews. With a good selection of International Brews.
The only place other then Founders stop at on a visit to Downtown GR for a true beer lover.
04-05-2008 22:13:34 |
More by Roeters
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
What a breath of fresh air for Grand Rapids. We have so many great breweries here in Michigan but before now there was no great place to buy a good variety of their great brews in one place. The atmosphere there is top notch. With a great bar, interesting decorations, a variety of seating options, tons of beer and a smoke free atmosphere, this place is lacking in little. My only problem with the place is that it was so well done that it is near impossible to get a seat there on a Friday or Saturday night.
03-31-2008 01:14:34 |
More by PabstBlue
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This bar, in the shadow of the sports arena was a godsend to a Chicagoan on a road trip.
Their tap selection of craft beers is phenomenal, and the best part is, you can take home growlers of anything on tap. I took home Short's Huma Lupa Licious and SoftParade.
I ordered the cheeseburger with bacon and jalapenos which was quite tasty but their fries are definitely addictive with a tangy seasoning and i think, some subtle garlic lime salt. Yum.
If I didn't live in Chicago, I'd be coming to this place quite often.
03-28-2008 19:06:10 |
More by bgramer
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
I stopped in at Hopcat prior to heading over to Founders for their KBS release party. The beer selection was phenomenal.
My only complaint was that their beer menu was missing some of their taps. I discovered a table tent with additional beers on it and then found out they still had beers on tap that were missing. How do you find out what these mystery beers are? They really need a system that makes it easy to read what all of their taps are.
This place is unbelievable. I had a dogfish 60 minute and a harpoon ipa, both really good and my first time on draft. Also tried a Hobgoblin (good English bitter) a great session beer.
The place was packed and the bartenders were still very attentive; the service was fast and friendly. I tried an appetizer and it is just average--typical Gordon Food Service or Sysco stuff.
03-17-2008 23:40:07 |
More by willygreen
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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
02-24-2008 23:54:07 |
More by frazbri
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI