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Active Beers: 40
Beer Ratings: 229
Beer Avg: 3.83
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
25 Ionia SW
phone: (616) 451-4677
Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine.
Hours 11:30 AM - 2 AM seven days a week.
In-house brewing system up and running as of January 2009.
Large outdoor patio open year-round.
(Place added by: hopcatgr on 01-06-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 182 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
This is one of my favorite places to go in Grand Rapids. Their selection is smaller than only one bar in GR (Logan's Alley) and the atmosphere is amazing. That being said, they have some of the worst service of any beer bar I have ever been to! It's one of those places that has so many people who want to be there that they don't care if you leave or not. Unless you seek out your server you're probably going to be sitting with an empty beer for some time. I really wish more staffers there were like Katie (she doesn't work there anymore, but she was amazing!).
06-01-2011 02:20:05 |
More by EnJeiBee
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
For living only a couple of blocks away from this place i should have a chair with my name on it. this is a beer lovers oasis. steve has some terrific beers come through there that you wont find anywhere else. dont bother showing up and expect a cosmo. this is for the beer geek. dont worry though - they still have some monday-night football favorites too. the food is great. for a very reasonable price you can enjoy your sipping with an order of the best fries on the planet - the infamous "crack fries." they have a separate second-level loft dedicated to those who need to compliment their starchy courses with some tobacco gravy. even this area is worth lounging in. its like pulling a couch out on the porch and drinking under the clearest of starry nights. the mens bathroom is nothing like youve ever seen. the ultimate "mens room." this place will be around for a long time. ill make sure of it.
now that ive given the praise, let me give the downside. whats with the staff? they need to get over themselves and focus on service. at times (most of the time) the service, particularly the bartenders, sucks. try acting like its an honor to work there and MOVE YOUR ASS!
01-09-2009 18:51:29 |
More by Frosty80
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I honestly don't understand the hype. Don't get me wrong, HopCat is an exceptional bar. Great beer selection, great decor, and a great alternative to other downtown Grand Rapids bars.
My experiences have been fairly mediocre when it comes to atmosphere. Service however, has been attentive on slow nights, but somewhat non-existent on busy nights. (Which is understandable, sometimes places just get busy) Perhaps I'm choosing the wrong nights to check HopCat out. In reality, I'm probably just an odd duck.
Things I do enjoy: No smoking, other than the smoking lounge.
Beer selection is phenomenal, and doesn't disappoint. I really need to make it out to some of their special beer events/dinners.
In all, I'm going to keep trying to talk friends into accompanying me there. I really think I just need to find the right crowd to make me comfortable, and it could easily become a regular stop for me to try out new beers.
02-15-2010 06:11:44 |
More by sullenbee
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped by Grand Rapids overnight and the BA Forum seemed to have a resounding "HopCat is a Must!". I whole heartedly agree with them.
I stopped in right around 6:00pm on a Tuesday. Busy, but not standing room only. Being solo, I grabbed a seat at the bar, and was given a menu right away. The bar is a graceful old school curvy wood bar, elegant and classy. This place isn't a dive bar by any means. Tigers game on the tube. Tables were all full, so you might have to wait a while.
Excellent selection of beers on tap, all styles except the Wild/Sour ales represented. There were a few Jolly Pumpkins, but not the sour stuff. Oh well. Bartender offered a few tasters, and they were friendly. However, they got to be chatty with certain people so several people seated near me (and including me) went with empty glasses several times. They also forgot what I ordered for beer, and for food. Same with the guy next to me.
Perused the bottle list, good set of Michigan and East Coast beers. Still no love for the sours.
Got a cheese sandwich with came with the Crack Fries. No descriptor of the crack fries, so I figured they would be doused in gravy and covered with bacon and chili haha. Not so much, just an interesting seasoning on them. Food arrived fairly quick.
If you are in Grand Rapids, this is only a short walk from Founders, so be sure to stop by both.
08-19-2009 21:12:55 |
More by mrkrispy
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This place rocks. It is very buzy, and the many small bar tables are conducive to relaxing and trying many beers. Glasses are hand washed, so the aroma is appreciated of the beers. Six new beers out of seventy something taps were changing on the fly! To talk to the brewer (there are 4 or more taps for their own) and get continued service, best to come well after the lunch crowd. Speedy service, despite not having many staff. Was here with one of the owners of Founders, otherwise I found it only average friendliness from other patrons. Founders was better in that regard. With this bar, and Founders down the street, its a wicked double play for Grand Rapids.
08-07-2009 00:04:50 |
More by Sammy
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
On a recent trip to visit my niece in Grand Rapids, I put this at the very top of my destinations. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, the festive bar/brewpub was large enough to handle a very large crowd on a late Saturday afternoon. The extensive beer list comes on a laminated sheet arranged by styles. All Michigan breweries are prominently displayed. The waitress seemed to have a good knowledge of the beers. Despite the crowd we received our drinks and food in a respectable time. The food offerings were largely sandwiches, i.e. reuben, french dip, chicago style, and addictive, seasoned "crack fries". I also purchased a hopcat tee shirt. My beer drinking and eating experience was marred a bit by the extremely hot peppers on my sandwich. The menu only referred to these peppers as spicy.
By the way, the music played was very diverse and eclectic. I even heard an obscure Grateful Dead song. Because this location is downtown, parking is a premium. There were parking lots charging 7-9 dollars; street parking was difficult to find. However, it was well worth the visit.
04-25-2011 21:00:52 |
More by jkrich
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
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 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I went hear to relax and blow off some steam during a work trip. It was recommended by a local working at the Amway Grand, thanks buddy.
Really great beer selection from beers all over the world and also craft brews. I think they need to update their menu more frequently. I wanted to try a number of beers that "weren't available" anymore. The bar tender was very knowledgable and was able to make some recommendations. This is where I had my first Flanders Red (Rodenbach) thanks to the recommendation from the bar tender. Went perfectly with my greek salad. The sour and bitter of both mixed perfectly.
The atmosphere is cool. Like half bar and half beer hall. They even had the long tables with benches like at the Hofbrauhaus Munchen. Big HD tv's to watch the local sporting event, in this case the Tigers.
11-07-2008 20:32:19 |
More by MrIncognito
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
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: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
The venue is conveniently placed downtown and the size is substantial compared to most beer bars. The tap selection was well curated but I wish there would have been some more cask pulls on sample. I particularly liked the local selection. Food was pretty standard pub fare but well done. Service was good but not overly attentive or proactive. I would love to try it again on a busy night to see how the vibe stacked up. All in all, highly recommended for the tap selection and thoughtful bottle options.
10-27-2010 03:05:00 |
More by waldoiverson
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
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