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Active Beers: 38
Beer Ratings: 189
Beer Avg: 3.82
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
25 Ionia SW
phone: (616) 451-4677
Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine.
Hours 11:30 AM - 2 AM seven days a week.
In-house brewing system up and running as of January 2009.
Large outdoor patio open year-round.
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
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
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I feel like a broken record saying awesome things about HopCat just like everyone else, but:
Bottom Line Up Front - If you are anywhere in MI, you MUST visit Hopcat in downtown Grand Rapids, MI!!
I brought my wife, father, and 5 friends to HopCat because I knew they have literally hundreds of beer available either on tap or in bottle and I would like to have dad/wife try things out to fine tune their beer tastes. As you walk in you can immediately feel the warm, professional atmosphere. Without even talking to someone, you know these people know what they're talking about. Which leads to the fact that it seems every single one of their staffers knows, in deep detail, about all of their beers. You ask what examples of any style they have on tap/bottle, they will name them without blinking. Not only that, the courteous service they provide is honestly second to none, that signature midwestern hospitality shows through. The crack fries must be sprinkled with it, and their humus was also the best i've had. The prices are spot on with the quality of beer they have.
If you're a homebrewer as well, they are more than happy to talk about brewing and what they're up to. Talking through brewing with them was another highlight of the night.
Also, to repeat a review before mine, a special shoutout to Steve - he was amazingly gracious, hospitable, and he is the perfect example of how personalized service really makes it no matter where you go.
My wife, dad and friends havent stopped raving about going to HopCat, and next time we are here in the area we will absolutely be going back. I havent been to the #1/2 beer bars in the world, but they really must be fantastic to top this.
12-31-2010 14:57:46 |
More by vtisme
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Luckily, I have the privilege of living just a few miles from this beer Mecca. Once you walk in the door you feel like you have died and awoken in beer heaven. All the taps and different selections from the beer menu can be a bit overwhelming, but if you are lucky enough to have a bar seat the bartenders are more than willing to help you in you quest of beer. The only time when service isn't exceptional is when you would expect: night-time on the weekends. The bar is right night to most of the nightlife in GR. Prices are right around what I would have expected to pay for the variety of beers. I have not ate there but I hear from many people that the "crack fries" are unbelievable.
Also, you can get a growler to go, just in case you need to continue to celebrate at home.
In closing, if you are in the Grand Rapids area and are looking for a place to enjoy a good craft beer, or six, then this is your place.
12-25-2010 02:39:09 |
More by alrhodesjr
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
What can I say? This is my watering hole. This is where I go to celebrate, and to welcome back old friends. The atmosphere is fine, if a little loud at times. I would prefer a quite place, but most people don't so that is fine. The quality of the beer has never been an issue, and is always fresh and ever changing. The service is without par in it's beer knowledge. The standard food is fine, mostly your average bar fare, and would have received a more moderate "3", but the beer dinner food is so good that it kicks it up a point. The price is reasonable for downtown GR. HopCat is everything it is reported to be and more. Worth a trip if you are in the midwest.
12-21-2010 01:56:37 |
More by enfield249
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
This place is amazing. We were driving from Chicago to Bellaire to check out Short's Brewing and decided that we must stop at one of the top BrewPubs in the nation and are glad we did.
Upon entering this place, we noticed a nice ambiance and quickly sat down at the bar. Staff was extremely friendly, large beer selection, love the fact that you can buy a growler of whatever is on draft, and STEVE is the BEST !!!
So let me talk about STEVE... My gf and I have been to many breweries/brewpubs and have had great times at those places, but Steve is by far one of the coolest/most informative/ hospitable person we've met.
Since he asked where we were from (CHICAGO !!!) we began talking shop and then hooked us up with all this information about Michigan Breweries and where we should go. This guy is amazing. Not only did he set us up with a lil' care package, he even let us try some of Short's vintage bottle of WoodMaster.
Thanks for the patches. We will see you later tonight !!!
Ray & Christine
12-16-2010 18:19:50 |
More by ChicagoBlueIce
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Although that should suffice for a review, I suppose i could go into it a little deeper. Firstly, the atmosphere is incredibly warm, inviting and unique. One of the coolest looking bars I've had the pleasure of sitting at, the entire span of which is lined with about 40+ different taps which rotate almost daily. The staff has always been nothing but friendly and knowledgeable (not to mention they poured me and my friends and free bottle of a harder to find Belgian Kriek). The bottle selection is well over 200 bottles, comprised of mostly bombers of harder to find and foreign beers. As far as the food goes: crack fries, plain and simple. I have been to quite a few different brew pubs and beer bars, but none even come close to this place.
12-12-2010 20:36:12 |
More by browna71
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
I recently went to Hop Cat right before heading to Van Andel for a concert
When walking into the brewpub you're presented with quite a few tables, the bar and in the distance the vats themselves. The place had a really great atmosphere, with the clientele ranging from younger college kids to older groups. Just the overall vibe you felt welcome and that it would be a great place to come and relax with friends.
the overall quality was good, for both the food and the beer. Which it almost had to have been for what you were paying for it which I'll mention at the end. Seemed like everyone was enjoying their meal and was top notched.
The service was pretty good, the girl waiting on us was attentive and friendly. It took a bit a times for her to come back to the table but it was busy so in a ways understandable.
The selection obviously was the high point of the pub and one of the main reasons why we stopped their first...I believe they have 49 beers on tap, with quite a wide selection to choose from. I ended up getting their Winter Warmer which wasn't bad, I choose that as I figured rather get something that they brew when you can get the rest anywhere else, but it definitely gives plenty of opportunities for the future to try and in a ways was overwhelming with so many options.
The food also was pretty good. There was a nice assortment of different items to choose from which ranged in prices and portions. I ended up getting a BBQ Chicken Sandwich which was quite tasty. Also as many others have mentioned the crack fries were pretty good too.
Food wise the place wasn't really that bad price wise, but beer it seemed like the cheapest one was 4.50 and quite a few were over 6. Though some were higher in alcohol, many were that price for a normal beer brewed in Michigan.
Overall an awesome place to go to and defiantly recommend in the Grand Rapids area...pretty much there's something for everyone and the selection is quite amazing. I'll defiantly be stopping in again!
12-10-2010 05:45:22 |
More by beerguru15
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Worldclass place, great selection, all top shelf liquors being poured, great pics all over, cysers, lambics, one offs...who could ask for more? Heard about the place for a couple years, then stopped in while we were in town, Corey even popped a hanssens Ouse kreik with us our first time in...will be back tomorrow and years to follow! This is an oasis on a very long drive, that I would go out of my way for. Good people, nice setting, top shelf beer, good food(italian beef, sloppy joeseph????)and libations. Stop by if you get a chance and if you don't, take some time and drive there!
12-07-2010 04:02:15 |
More by sprinkle
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Stopped by here on my first brewery tour of michigan earlier this month. Hit founders first then walked over to Hopcat. I had read a lot of great things about this place and their amazing beer selection, I couldn't wait to check it out. Probably got there at around 7 on a Friday night and had to wait for a seat at the bar (not too long though). The place was jumping. Really good atmosphere. Good engergy in the place. I like that. I like when I go to a place and it feels like people are having a good time (if that makes any sense). My gf and I get a couple menus and are blown away by the selection of what is on tap. I decided to try short's smores stout and the gf a couple pumpkin ales. I regret to say I did not sample any of hopcats own brews but fully intend to on my next trip up. I also decided to order some crack fries that I have read about in reviews on yelp and such. Pretty good...but cheese and bacon make everything better. We hung out here for a little over an hour and had a great experience. Like I said, the place was jumping...but service was exceptional. Had multiple bartenders ask if everything was good, do we need anything, etc. My only regrets are not trying one of the in house beers and not sample more off of their draftlist. Overall, one of the better brewpubs I have ever visited. Will always go back if in grand rapids.
11-23-2010 14:50:03 |
More by crashdavisinoh
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$$
Atmosphere: Hopcats is right in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids, so its space is fairly limited. The tables are really packed in there, and most of the time, so are the patrons. Always super busy, and I always feel surrounded. If you are claustrophobic, you might have a rough time. In terms of atmosphere, Hopcats doesn't have anything special.
Quality: Huge tap selection, which is always being changed, so I don't worry about the quality too often. They also have a ton of bottles for sale which they keep in storage in refrigerated cabinets. Everything looks to be in order. Big fan of all the glassware, every drink is served in the appropriate glass.
Service: Been here a couple dozen times, and the service is always hit and miss. At the bar, the tenders always make sure you have a drink in front of you. At a table, the waiters and waitresses seem to occasionally make a lap, but they never seem to be around when I need them. On the plus side, they know every beer on the menu, and are very helpful.
Selection: Huge. So many different styles and flavors from all over the world. Tons of locals, tons from all over the US. The menu is sorted by location, big fan. There are just so many beers here, I really can't say enough about it. Lots of great beers from Belgium.
Food: I don't come here for the food, but I have had it, and it is pretty good. Of course, the crack fries are insane, and they have a lot of great munchies that are perfect for snacking on when drinking great beer.
Value: Expensive, but of course it depends on what you buy. The Michigan locals are on the lower end, and some others are way more expensive. I stick to the lower end of the spectrum, but always finish with some higher price stuff.
11-20-2010 04:02:54 |
More by otto251068
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI