I canít say enough about this place. Itís a cozy neighborhood local. Itís a place for paired food and beer dinners. Itís a jazz bar. Itís a place to discover new and interesting brews from the region and around the world. And, of course, a place to make new friends. The vegetarian chili was shockingly good. Taster sizes of the beer were free for the first three, then a dollar each. But I think they didnít charge me for half of them, chalking it up to "beer R&D.". I had 3 different servers, each better tahn the next, but Steve in the plaid short stands out as a real star. An unbelievable place. Donít miss it.
Hands down the best beer bar Iíve ever been to. Place is clean and cool, with a good mixed crowd. The song playing when I walked in was a Pinback song(!) Selection was fantastic with a ton of taps and bottles (local, American craft, import) and the option to sample any draft beer for $1. Beer highlights were Life & Limb, Hopwork Orange, Brooklyn Intensified and Bellís Oracle (bottle). Place was packed, but our bartender Ernie was outstanding. He was very friendly and attentive and knew his beer. Food was also very good (the Bar Zee and crack fries). Wouldnít have changed a thing about the visit. Perfect.
When I think of a brewpub, this is what I want it to be. They have a friendly knowledgeable staff. They have a large variety of beers on draft and they brew some of their own. They have amazing food. If you can get to HopCat then I would highly recommend that you do.
First stop on a recent trip to Grand Rapids with nicktbm and our significant others.
This legendary pub is a beer geekís wet dream. Inside sports a massive old-fashioned bar, 6 towers with 50 craft taps, countless tables throughout the interior, and a bustling, party-like atmosphere with killer background music and lots of college-aged beer drinkers. We grabbed a four-person booth beside the bar.
Our waitress was very friendly and efficient. Drinks and food arrived quickly and she made some helpful beer suggestions to my oenophile girlfriend.
The draught and bottle selections are redonkulous. All of the beers are sorted by style and they have tons of rare and cellared offerings from around the world. As an example of how insane the beer menu is, they had 6 barley wines on tap. That alone is worth a "15." Our group ordered a 2011 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Arcadia Hopmouth DIPA, Hop Cat Weizen, and Bellís Oarsman Ale on draught and a Saint Somewhere Saison Athene, BrewDog Mikkeller I Hardcore You, and Baird Red Rose Amber out of the bottle. The Hardcore and Oarsman were my favourites of the night.
Food is pretty good as well. I went for the Applewood Smoked Bacon Grilled Cheese while the lady had a Turkey Bruschetta Burger. Each came with a side of Crack Fries and both dishes tasted fantastic. Prices are incredibly fair as 8 drinks and 2 entrees came to less than $70.
Overall, this place boasts an unmatched beer list at excellent value with a really fun vibe. Hop Cat is the main reason we came to Grand Rapids and we were not disappointed. An essential stop in Michigan and the best beer bar that Iíve encountered so far.
I can understand why this place has such a high rating. I can hardly say a bad thing about it, other than that itís too popular (and therefore crowded). Good value for beer on tap, though the bottle collection is a little pricey. Very cool that you can get any of the bottles to go (though theyíd be very overpriced compared to a bottle store). Extremely friendly staff - top notch! Food was pretty good, though not the absolute best. Wonderful atmosphere - a big collection of trophy beer bottles all over. And then thereís the selection: 49 beers on tap, 150 bottles, just great.
Oh goodness. Certainly on the very short list of best craft beer bars in America. Terrific draft list with a strong regional emphasis. Lots of rarities. Loaded with character. Helpful staff. Feels like home. The food could use a wee bit of an upgrade (itís typical bar foody bar food), but... meh. Still great.
HopCat is the best beer bar Iíve been to overall. Everything here is top notch...from the atmosphere, service, food, and definitely the beer. This was my second trip (would go ALOT more if it wasnít 2.5 hours away) and both times they had crazy events. The first was a Goose Island event w/ 20+ Goose Island beers on tap. This trip was the Shortís event w/ 25 Shortís beers on tap. Pretty much had a sample of all the beers (quite a good deal and great way to try lots of stuff at $1.00 per sample). Other beers ranged from $4.00 to $6.50 for pint of all the Shortís offerings w/ a few pricier (but worth it options on the regular menu) They had Samiclaus on tap which Iíve never seen before. Had the mac-n-cheese w/ sloopy joe and herbed tomatos....it was damn good. Hung out with Mark the owner and some buddies from Rate and BA which made the experience that much better. Definitely deserving of its high rating and it truely is a world class beer bar!
Really cool place! Tried one of their house brews, and then various MI brews. Love the look and feel inside, and will def. go back in the future. Didnít eat, but enjoyed friendly conversation with our waitress.