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: 229
Beer Avg: 3.83
Taps: 48 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
25 Ionia SW
phone: (616) 451-4677
Rated #3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate magazine.
Hours 11:30 AM - 2 AM seven days a week.
In-house brewing system up and running as of January 2009.
Large outdoor patio open year-round.
(Place added by: hopcatgr on 01-06-2008)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 182 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
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: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
The downtown location and building are great. It's within walking distance of GR's entertainment or any pubcrawl you may want to complete in the area. It had a nice crowd, but enough space for everybody.
It has the biggest taplist I know of in West Michigan as well as a huge selection of bottled beers. It's a nice mix local, regional, and imports. Everything was served in the proper glass.
Service was friendly and helpful. After ordering my first, my waitress offered other selections that were similar or may be of interest.
The food was good and decently priced.
I would definitely suggest the HopCat to any beer lover than finds his/herself in GR.
01-11-2008 02:10:53 |
More by GRPunk
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
This place was very cool and I was very happy I made the stop here. The atmosphere was great, especialy since the main area is non-smoking, really allows you to enjoy your beer. The place was packed when I was there. Service was pretty good, and their selection was awesome, at least compared to what I'm used to. I believe they have around 50 drafts and 150 bottles if I remember right. Food wasn't bad, a little pricey however. There beer though was a lot cheaper than I thougth it would be. Overall, an excellent establishment and a definite recommendation to anyone.
03-15-2009 14:07:35 |
More by kbeals
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
HopCat was one of the reasons I stopped in at Grand Rapids and it did not disappoint.
Great tap list - hard to choose but the guys behind the bar steered me in the right direction. Was busy when I stopped by in the afternoon (some event) but was much more subdued when I came in that night - guess Sunday night's not a busy night.
Food was good, standard pub fare. Had the quesedilla and then their flagship burger with jalapenos. Both times sat at the bar.
Great vibe, people who enjoy their beer, friendly feel. Close to the top of my list.
06-08-2009 14:16:43 |
More by ritzkiss
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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 | 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: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
My girlfriend surprised me with a trip to Grand Rapids based solely on HopCat for Valentines Day.
The place is simply amazing. 48 drafts of some great rare brews, and bottle list that is outstanding! The place was packed, the only available seats were upstairs in the loft, but the bartenders were very attentive and prompt. I was fortunate to get great treatment from Steve their chief beer guy. After introducing myself (as i was told to do by Mark, the owner via a previous beermail conversation) the rest of the night was incredible. I started with a Bells Batch 9000, moving on to a Shorts PB &J and then an 06 Stone Double Bastard. For dinner I had the shredded Pork Sandwich and Crack Fries and an order of the Beer Cheese for an app. Food was simply fantastic. My GF had the chicken salad wrap and was in heaven.
Steve took care of us all night, then gave us a private tour of the inner workings of the HopCat. Got to see the bottle cooler, and the three of us broke open a bottle of the Old Rasputin 12.
Ive never had this good of an experience at a bar in my life. It's so nice to have a place so passionate and knowledgeable about great beer. The food was great and the prices were very reasonable. Many thanks to Mark and Steve and the rest of the HopCat crew.
I am proudly wearing my HopCat tshirt! Thanks Steve
02-15-2010 15:35:51 |
More by JToad
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
This place is much bigger on the inside then it looks from the street. Pretty good atmoshpere too. The selection is amazing. Only had time for a couple drinks, but the tap list was fantastic, and the bottle list was ridiculous. They look a little on the pricey side though. They have all the michigan breweries covered, and tons of selections from north american and across the ocean. I ended up going with a pint of Brooklyn Cookie Jar Porter and Dark Horses's Double Crooked Tree. Would have loved to try more beer had time allowed it. Every town should have a bar like this. I really hate Canada.
03-14-2010 03:21:39 |
More by WeedKing4
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Came here last August with my wife for our anniversary trip to a brewery. Stopped here for lunch before heading to Founders for dinner. Very nice looking place, it was very nice out, so we sat outside. Sat at a comfortable couch and sipped some top notch brew. There were so many beers to choose from that we just had a couple of samplers. The staff was very knowledgable about the beers. It seems like they had drank most of them. The food was decent, nothing special. I was able have a nice cigar out there too. Great experience and will be back there for the Winter Beer Fest.
02-17-2009 18:13:57 |
More by MasonBeerMan
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Clearly lots of people love this place and I am no exception. Been there three times. The last time I sat inside even though it was a beautiful summer night--the bar atmosphere is just that comfortable. Two of the three times our server was a terrific gal from New Zealand (Katie?) who knows her beer and is great at engaging with drinkers on their level to recommend a good choice--from expert to beginner. I really want to try the Founders brewpub but every time I'm in town I gravitate to HopCat. Can't miss.
06-20-2011 19:03:03 |
More by fulcrum
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