Log in or Sign up
Extreme Beer Fest
returns to Boston on March 21 & 22, 2014.
Tickets are on sale now
BeerAdvocate mobile beta: Testers Wanted
. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Android or Google Chrome user? Get a
14 day free trial to BeerAdvocate magazine on Google Play Newsstand
today! (AU, CA, UK, US only).
Extreme Beer Fest
Google Play Newsstand
Active Beers: 40
Beer Ratings: 227
Beer Avg: 3.83
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
25 Ionia SW
phone: (616) 451-4677
Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine.
Hours 11:30 AM - 2 AM seven days a week.
In-house brewing system up and running as of January 2009.
Large outdoor patio open year-round.
(Place added by: hopcatgr on 01-06-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 182 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $
We were heading to Kalamazoo for the weekend but decided to go a bit out of our way to visit Grand Rapids and HopCat. The Kuhnhenn's were brewing the night we were there so I knew we'd have an even better time.
HopCat is situated right next to Van Andel arena and just down the street a block or so from Founders as well as a few other cool pubs and diners.
Inside HopCat they have a beautiful wood bar that goes clear to the ceiling with muchroom style bar taps situated every few feet or so. The crowd is diverse and friendly although I didn't get a chance to really meet anyone as we were busy in our own conversations.
As far as beer selection, I wouldn't go so far as to say they have the largest tap and bottle selection but I would definitely argue that their selection is by far the best in Michigan if not the Midwest. A few notables on draft: Short's Smugglin' Plums, Saison Dupont, Dark Horse Rod, Jolly Pumpkin ESBam, Rodenback Grand Cru..and on and on. They really did a nice job getting a great cross-section of Michigan brews as well as classic styles from Europe.
Their bottle selection is impressive as well. We had a Nogne IPA and an Abbey Trippel that I can't seem to remember the name of...it was good though...it was late.
Food selection is good. I enjoyed the bar cheese and the mac and cheese.
Definitely worth the extra drive if you're anywhere near Michigan!
07-16-2008 20:22:55 |
More by wide3345
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I'll admit that this is my personal hangout in my own hometown, so the review is bound to be favorable. However, that being said this is still the best bar I've ever been to in my entire adult life.
Let's make a list, shall we? Huge selection of top quality brews, amazing atmosphere, beautifully constructed bar area, live bands, personable and knowledgeable staff, non-smoking, and 5 minutes from my house! It's about as close to a drinking nirvana as one gets. Being a local it's nice to see that they embrace the Michigan brewing tradition with things like the beer dinners and Michigan Brews night on Mondays too.
I've been fortunate to be a regular at Hopcat since the day they opened last January and I couldn't be one at a better bar.
12-17-2008 23:33:41 |
More by MexiDutchVedo
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
My favorite beer bar. The place has very nice decor that gives it an old time quality feel. There are a long row of assorted taps from great Michigan brews to Belgians. The bottle list is extensive to say the least. They usually have a very good beer on handpull as well. All the food I have had is good, but a little pricey. Ambiance seems to stay chill along with the laid back staff. I have yet to hear a song playing that I didn't like. I also Met the ringleader and he is great, loves beer and having fun.
04-08-2009 22:56:36 |
More by NealCassady
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
One of the coolest bars I've been in, hands down. If you're a jazz fan, you'll love the murals (e.g. Thelonius Monk, etc.), if you're a beer fan, you'll love the selection and beerphanalia, if you're a fan of comfortable bars with interesting decor, you'll be at home. This is a very nice bar that isn't pretentious. You can comfortably mix crowds. Mark, the owner, was present at our visit and was very friendly and extremely generous to us out-of-towners. We also saw him circulating through the bar chatting with folks, so he proves himself to be a man interested in the experience of his guests. Mark introduced us to Steve, who I believe is either the bar manager or operations manager. Anyway, Steve gave us a tour and made sure we had a chance to try beers we normally wouldn't have had a chance to try or didn't have on our radar screens...and all this during a busy evening. I highly recommend this place!
05-26-2009 00:53:26 |
More by EffinABubba
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Hello, O.K., my copious cat scratch notes were left at the bar, so let's just wing it. Went to H.C. solo during a road trip to Northern Michigan and immediately felt at home. My waiter, "John the Drummer", left me to my own devices as to selecting my brews to quaf, but was very keen when I asked for suggestions. I sat on the Hop Cat patio and enjoyed the "Big Pretzel", and the "Fire Wings" with my bevs. Delicious from top to bottom. While my highlights were the New Holland Oaked Hatter, the Lagunitas 2009 Correction Ale, and a Belgian Sour (I forget the name, sorry), everything Hop Cat had to offer was top shelf and fresh. Timm the "Chancellor" stopped by and greeted me graciously. I got through 10 of the 49 taps, and each one was perfectly presented in the correct glass. Great prices and perfect ambiance. Being first on the patio that evening, I left it completely filled to capacity. I would implore anyone going to Grand Rapids to stop by and enjoy everything Hop Cat has to offer. As I wrote on my bill, this was the best beer bar experience I've ever had. A million thank yous to the great staff. I'm look forward to returning same time next year; I wish this was a bit closer to home! Cheers!, Patrick
07-28-2009 18:39:04 |
More by proseberry
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
My wife and I were recently in MI and we hit several breweries during our stay. Now that Hopcat is a brewery, I can classify it such, however its still just a phenomenal beer bar.
We visited Hopcat twice on our visit and lucked out both times having Kathyrn be our waitress; she was the reason for the high service mark.
The selection at Hopcat is excellent, with several rotating taps and a great selection of MI beers. Plus they will fill growlers of anything from their taps.
This is major plus, cause we stopped at Bell's and they would not fill growlers, stating they have no control over quality once its filled, yada yada. However Hopcat had no problems and that's great cause my wife really likes the Bell's Poolside that they had on tap.
I loved the Shorts Nicey Spicey; it was better than I remembered from the last time I had it up in Bellaire at the brewpub.
Definatley worth their high ranking; you must try if you are ever within the area.
07-29-2009 17:44:52 |
More by rkpsycho
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Had a fantastic time here, stopped in for 1 beer and some wings and ended up staying for 4+ hours. Love the fact that the bar is a mile long allowing plenty of room for everyone to pull on up. Separate up-stairs smoking lounge was a plus to aid my bourbon barrel aged pour. Staff knows what they are doing with management on site ready to fix any problem. Prices for regular pours were $4-6 and sandwiches (which are pretty amazing) $7-9 or so. Proper glassware of course. The super high ceilings make it a very open atmosphere. They are way higher than most high ceiling which helps cut down the chatter a bit.
08-24-2009 20:04:38 |
More by Pipeworks
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
We lucked into HopCat with a recommendation of a local, and then after getting lost we found our way right in front of the door and I'm delighted that we did!
This place really has a charming atmosphere. While vintage French posters, HD TV's, brewery equipment, and elegant wood paneling don't naturally go hand-in-hand, HopCat makes it work. As a resident of Chicago, where beautiful old wood carved bars are the norm, HopCat has done the same, but with a newer and lighter grain.
Their beer selection is phenomenal. They showcase Michigan brewed beers, as well as their own HopCat brews. And if you thought Michigan only included Bells and New Holand, then you're in for a treat. The staff are self proclaimed beer geeks, and they are very knowledgeable. In addition, all pours are placed into appropriate glass where. And if you're not a beer nut, they offer a comprehensive selection of liquor.
However... we were a little surprised on a Monday night. With a football game going on, and a Metallica show across the street, that the kitchen closed promptly at the regular scheduled time. The bar staff does a great job with pours, but fell short working for tips. They didn't have any chips, pretzels or nuts out, so when I pointed to the 'pretzel' on the menu they said no can do. A bit later on, Mr Bartender bragged about their 'beer cellar', and when I asked if I may tour it with the manager, another no can do.
Good atmosphere, nice value, Michigan should be darn proud that someone showcases their goods, but don't expect red carpet treatment.
11-15-2009 00:09:24 |
More by jbrown1
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I happened to be in Grand Rapids from out of town for a weekend, and stumbled onto Hopcat when I was looking for a decent beer. What a fantastic place for a beer lover! Their selection is one of the best that I've ever seen, ranging from local favorites such as Founders, which is brewed only a few blocks away, to breweries from around the world to which I had never been exposed.
In addition to the selection, the staff and service is second to none, and is surely what makes Hopcat truly excellent. After pulling up a chair to the bar and chatting, I came to find out that some of the folks that I was talking to were actually the chef and brewmaster in addition to the regulars. Kim was tending the bar that evening, and after explaining my beer background, made some top notch recommendations for me along with Timm. As far as I'm concerned, Kim is the epitome of a superb bartender.
I can certainly understand how Hopcat came to be one of the top rated beer bars on this little blue orb, and look forward to the next time I'm in Grand Rapids when I'll be able to visit again.
12-03-2009 19:07:31 |
More by ioeth
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Came here on a holiday trip Michigan brewery tour as Founders didn't open until late.
As Grand Rapids isn't that impressive of a city, I was wowed and surprised that there was this place just around the corner of downtown and nearly walking distance of Founders. The place has tons of taps that at my time of going you could make your own sampler at the rate of .50 to $1 a sample!! The samples weren't too skimpy either, so I had one hell of a sampler going on.
There were one off Goose Island beers and TONS of beers I had never seen before.
The food menu was very impressive as well and I'm disappointed to say that I ate at the hotel before I got here. I'm sure the food here would have been better than the breakfast buffet.
One of the most memorable things about the place was the restroom for me. A massive collage of Johnny Cash, Frank Zappa, Bowie, and Tom Waits posters, clippings, things of that sort.
Always good to have something pleasing to the eye when doing your business.
This is a place I would be sure to return to if I came back to Founders (which I would love to do!)
01-07-2010 20:35:41 |
More by blakesell
HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI
Your name or email address:
Do you already have an account?
No, create an account now.
Yes, my password is:
Forgot your password?
Stay logged in
Top 250 Beers
Change of Address