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Active Beers: 40
Beer Ratings: 229
Beer Avg: 3.83
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
25 Ionia SW
phone: (616) 451-4677
Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine.
Hours 11:30 AM - 2 AM seven days a week.
In-house brewing system up and running as of January 2009.
Large outdoor patio open year-round.
(Place added by: hopcatgr on 01-06-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 182 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Been here many times, but never got around to reviewing it on here.
On the outside, its really not much to look at, but once you step in, you know you are in the right place. Not a huge place, but has a cozy and chill atmosphere with scattered tables and a rather nice looking bar.
This day in particular I went for dinner and had their Cheddar Ale Soup which almost made me cry it was so good. I will come back again again just for that soup, but at the same time, this place is really about the beer. Great selection both bottles and on-tap. You can always count on them having something really special on a regular basis.
A superb place that is an absolute necessary visit whenever I am in Grand Rapids.
09-22-2010 18:30:24 |
More by sweemzander
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I usually try to make a point of coming here at least once a year. Stopped by a week ago and figured I should probably review it!
The atmosphere is warm and I am in love with the nouveau decor and style with the brass/heavy wood combo that make it a great place to appreciate a fantastic beer. The selection of beer is extensive and impressive; with beers from all over the world i'm really glad they highlight the local beers made in Michigan. The Local First advocacy is something that is finally starting to gain some headlight in restaurants. I find it commendable.
Because of the widespread beers and styles, the menu was chaos. Some beers were in...some not. It was anyone's guess. However, it's organized now in a way that can be easily updated and most people can understand it.
Service is average. sometimes you can get built a good rapport with the friendly waitstaff where they are happy to help you/ serve you/ talk to you. Other times the service is just...meh.
Food is great depending on what you get. It's a bar, so order bar food like burgers and fries which are divine. The mac and cheese is tasty. But don't order a burrito from a place that doesn't specialize in mexican food...I guess that's a given anywhere you go.
Quality of beer is great! never had a dirty glass or a dirty beer! No flatness, no funk, they know how to serve beer and that i respect most of all.
Value? Paying a pretty penny for good beer is something any beer enthusiast has no problem with. However, I feel a few of the beers run a bit steeper than they should. All in all, it's a remarkable place to hang out and have a variety of beers at your fingertips.
#3 beer bar in Michigan? yes!
#3 beer bar in the world...questionable?
I wish I could rate value because it does effect how I feel about a place. It's truly disheartening when I know I can get a beer for half the price somewhere else. so, the rating is higher than what I would actually place it.
09-18-2010 01:16:22 |
More by hophunter
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Been here a couple times while in Grand Rapids. Just an outstanding bar to stop in and grab a beer and food at. Huge selection of beers on tap and bottle. The bar is very expansive and the bartenders were more than friendly. The food was pretty good as well (the crack fries are truly exceptional). The staff was friendly. Busy place though so be prepared to wait for a table or hang out at the bar. At night this place really gets packed both on the main level and the upstairs balcony. Truly a destination if you are in the area. Nice that it is within walking distance to or from Founders as well.
08-23-2010 19:12:56 |
More by kbutler1
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
My first stop in Grand Rapids had to be HopCat. It is a good craft beer bar, possibly great craft beer bar, but top 3 in the world? Just do not know about that. No trouble getting a spot at the bar on a weekday evening. Probably half full as the numbers ebbed and flowed as time passed. The atmosphere was good but there were a few drunks and douchebags making noise as well as giving me the evil eye. Service was prompt and friendly. I must of been a friendly face as I kept getting the free mispours. Most of the staff is well inked and pierced. The staff is hard on glassware as I lost count of the number of broken glasses after 90 minutes. The selection is great well weighted for the hop heads, at least during my visit. I did not come close to trying everything I wanted to try during my visit. I did notice with a tap lineup as large as this, many people had a hard time deciding. Maybe too much of a good thing. The food was good but nothing I would go out of my way for.
07-17-2010 04:01:26 |
More by morimech
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
After hearing so many amazing things about Hopcat, my girlfriend and I thought it would be a perfect place to visit on our weekend trip to Michigan with a couple of friends.
We stopped by for dinner and beers around 7:00 on a Saturday night and I can only imagine that it was because of the holiday that it was almost entirely empty at the time.
The beer menu is one of the best I've ever seen! The option of $1 2.5 oz. samples from the draft list is quite a value and it allowed me to try the Arbor Brewing Chips n Salsa, something I never would have consumed an entire glass of but was actually pretty good to just taste! I thoroughly enjoyed the Short's Holistic Healing and I'm still kicking myself for not getting a growler of it to go. I also got their Mystery Stout in a bottle, which just made me wish even more I had regular access to the brewery. The only beer complaint is that, unlike my experiences in Ohio bars, the bottles-to-go cost the same as they do to drink on-site rather than at a discounted rate.
Food was also amazing: We got the CRACK FRIES, which do sneak up on you. At first bite, I wondered where the name had come from, but eventually we had to restrain ourselves from ordering a third plate. The Porter Braised Beef sandwich is the perfect accompaniment to a bunch of fancy beers!
Viceroy calling to us from across the street (and my need to soberly drive us back to the hotel) is the only thing that kept us from staying all night. If this place was in Chicago, I guarantee it would be so overrun I would never get in. I would drive the three hours again to Grand Rapids just spend a weekend here. I'd probably just set up a little tent outside during closing hours and drag myself back in the next day.
07-08-2010 14:34:36 |
More by ZHansen25
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
The selection at this place is pretty fantastic, but on the whole I think it's just a bit too small for my liking. It's not a problem if you can hit it up earlier in the day, or avoid weekends entirely, but that's a little tricky. So on most of the occasions I've visited, it's been at capacity, and it's been very loud. I prefer a slightly quieter atmosphere for my drinking.
Still, I have to give them adequate respect for their incredible selection and service. Even when crowded, the waiters/waitresses got around to our table fast, and got us our beer quickly as well. And the beer menu was like a holy text in my eyes. Always great to see that many great options available to me (even if many were a bit too rich for my blood). I've had some great beers everytime I've been there.
I've only ever had some fries here so I can't really speak to the quality of the food.
07-04-2010 03:20:55 |
More by DukeKensington
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
A: HopCat exemplifies the current gentrification of downtown GR, boasting turn-of-the-century architecture that has been renovated to contemporary style. Bar is as beautiful as it is large. The small batch system at the end of the bar is the icing on the cake, letting you know that this place is 100% about beer.
Q: the design of the bar screams quality. The fact that they pair each offering with an appropriate glass does the same. Quality is definitely one of HopCat's main objectives.
S: servers are quick to spot an empty glass, and have an admirable knowledge of craft beer. I don't want to get anyone in trouble, but the staff is constantly sampling what is on tap to ensure their knowledge of the product.
S: simply listing a number doesn't do them justice. Yes, they have a long beer list, but not a single tap is wasted. redundancies are limited to ensure that as many styles are offered as possible. They also try to offer as many local brews as possible. It is obvious that they are proud to be a part of Michigan's beer scene. On a side note, they also have one of the best whiskey selections I have come across.
F: the food is good, using fresh ingredients and quality craftsmanship. Most of what is offered is pub food, albeit above average pub food.
P: this is a finicky area, depending on how picky you are. Their specials are outstanding, if you are willing to accept their special beer. Their prices on most brews are within the average range, though the belgian offerings are a touch high for draft. This is compensated by the fact that most other places only have these beers in the bottle, and are therefore far more expensive. Overall, I feel that I am getting my money's worth here.
06-07-2010 20:41:36 |
More by Avagadro
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
My best friend and I did a beer tour that lasted 4 days, starting in Goose Island-Chicago, and continuing to Dark Horse-Marshall, MI; Bells-Kalamazoo, MI; New Holland-Holland, MI; Founders-Grand Rapids, MI; Hopcat-Grand Rapids, MI and ending in Michigan Brewering Company-Lansing, MI.
Needless to say it was a great trip; but there is no doubt in my mind that the biggest surprise of the tour was Hopcat. We knew it had a great beer list (3rd longest in the world), what we didn't know is that we were going to be treated like kings! Brian, the manager, gave us a private tour of the place and really took the time to talk to us about the bar and about beer in general. John, the bartender, could not had been more helpful and attentive. Both Brian and John treated us like old friends and that along was worth the trip. We enjoyed excellent beer among exellent people. The place is beautiful and the food was great. It really was a great visit and we are already planning another one very soon.
If you are in Grand Rapids, near Grand Rapids, or in the US at all, you MUST stop by Hopcat! My review for this place is A+++!!!
05-24-2010 23:59:12 |
More by rvera
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I currently live a 5 minute walk from Hopcat, stop in at least once or twice a month to see whats on the beer list. I really dig the food, the quesadillas and buffalo rolls are weak but just about everything else is great. If you're into comfort food the Killer mac (with chicken, jalepeno and tomato) is awesome and they serve the only sloppy joe I'd pay for. It's not cheap, but its on par with the prices of most downtown bars and better quality.
The beer list offers a great variety, the tap list represents a large selection of both breweries and styles and is only as expensive as any other bar I've been to. The bottle list is marked up and in general I avoid it, but its fun to look at.
The atmosphere is relaxed, staff is knowledgeable and friendly. Has the potential to get really busy before and after events at Van Andel Arena and no reservations just as a heads up. I like the way they do things, definitely worth checking out if you haven't been.
05-23-2010 22:27:03 |
More by liquidcraft
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
If you are anywhere near the Grand Rapids area, this is a must stop. Pretty much around the corner from Founders makes it a great piggyback trip.
Hopcat is located inside an old, restored building in the heart of GR. You enter into a skinny room that houses lots of tables and a long bar down the left side. Classic pub decor fills the room. The rear of the building is dedicated to brewing where the equipment can be seen behind glass.
They have a wonderful draft selection which can be found on daily (?) updated menus. They also have a great bottle selection for dine in or take out. I think they have almost everything MI gets...with the locals highlighting the lineup.
The staff seemed to be knowledgeable...I watched many pours and everything seemed to go into correct glassware. My only complaint is that they would not give out a sample (you could PURCHASE a sample). Said it is against MI law...hmmmm
I went in here with high expectations and they were met. Don't miss an opportunity to experience this place!
05-19-2010 16:32:58 |
More by mgbickel
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
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