Stopped by here after Founders. Nice place... kind of an old industrial ambience. Our server was working his ass off, but he also had a habit of fucking up our orders. Watching a bunch of drunk Ratebeerians trying to figure out which beer was which is quite entertaining. I got no food here and I walked so I have no clue how parking is. Thanks to deyholla for getting us here and back to the hotel. Overall a decent stop with a ton of local Michigan brews on tap, including some rarer stuff. A couple of selections were out and a few (like Hopslam) were older than advertised. Iíd like to go back here when its calmer... perhaps I will this weekend. Nice stop though, even if just for the kickass tap list.
Many great regional taps as well as an almost equal number of great belgians on draft. Classy old english bar atmosphere with friendly help. The food is very good and worth the stop itself. a must see in grand rapids.
The beer selection is pretty good and always rotating. the fries and the hummus sandwich were great. The patio and bar area were really cool and clean. The bathroom was really interestingly decorated. Some beer was a little pricey but all and all worth checking out.
Despite their website, this IS NOT one of the Top 3 beer bars in the world. Falling Rock, Toronado, Ashleyís are all places that rank well ahead of this place.
Goods: Competent food, nice beer selection, really good service from 2 of 3 people we dealt with.
Bads: Why so few Michigan beers? And why no Bells? I can see no Founders - after you can walk over there if you want it badly enough. Bartender who was just ornery - insisted he tasted the beer he made (Jamaican Jerk beer) and insisted I pay the $1 tasting fee for it.
And about that fee. Good marketing goes a long way. Ornery bartender says "If you wanna try some it will cost you a $1." Next day friendly waitress says, "Whatever you might have an interest in, weíll pour you a sample size for $1". Much nicer presentation.
If amg800 got the same bartender as me, I see why he mentioned the "Beer Snob" comment. As a beer geek that has been at this for a long, long time, I have probably turned hundreds of folks on to good beer. The first thing in doing so is to not "flaunt" my superior knowledge - but instead help others in finding something they enjoy.
My next trip to GR will avoid Hopcat - in favor of Green Well and Founders.
amg800 (38) Ada, Michigan | May 1, 2010| Updated April 22, 2011
Rerating HopCats - My wife and I made a visit the other night. We had a great time. It was pitcher and wings Wednesday, service has greatly improved since my last rating... Nice people managing LupulinDevil...
Old post -
Iíve got mixed feelings about the place, and I hate to say so, I wish I could say that I loved it. Iíve been there several times and each time the selection has been rotated, and the food was good... All you really need out of a good beer bar, right? Well the problem is the service. Everytime I think of the distinction between beer snobs (assholes who donít give non-beer people the time of day) and beer geeks (people who want to share their love of beer) I think of this place as full of beer snobs. Personally I donít get offended, I order my beer and begin to drink it as itís put in front of me. I frequently go there as part of a group, and group members are easily offended.
Bottom line is if you are visiting this place its better if you go with fellow beer drinkers only, the staff is accomodating, but lets you know they are going out of their way to do so.
HopCat has a welcoming restaurant/bar feel. With an extensive beer menu and knowledgeable waitstaff it is a beer loverís mecca. I liked that they offer $1 2 ounce samples (none free, as clearly stated on the menu). I didnít like that a number of the brews on the menu were not available- but the waitress knew immediately that they did not have it (saved time). For food, I shared two appetizers and both were really good (crack fries and trio dip sampler). The beer was pricier here (than Founders and Bells) but still not really over priced.
Gotta love the mix of excellent house-made brews and hard-to-find (non-bottled) selection from other microbreweries (Shorts, The Livery, etc.). Seem to always have a firkin selection too! More bonus points for making 2-oz samples available of just about anything. Wish I lived near here!
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!
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.
One word for this place: Holyshitthisplacerocks! I have been going here for a couple years, but New Yearís took it to a whole other level. They never have cover on NYE, but it is always packed. We got there early, waited for 15min until we found a booth that fit all 6 of us. The entertainment that evening was wicked good, but it was the service that took it to another level. Our server made sure we were ALWAYS taken care of no matter what the entire night. She got the highest tip I have ever given (about 40%) and has sealed the deal for me going there as many times as possible from here on out.
The quality here is always the best in Michigan. On top of getting a variety of solid brews form around the world, they allow growler filling of anything on tap (it can get pricey though).
Service = see above story.
Selection as everyone else has said in other reviews fín rocks!!!
Food is great at HopCat. It is above standard pub fare but still is unique and damn tasty.
Value is solid because it offers such a wide variety of brews from around the world that they keep the prices at a steady rate.
What a wonderful place the hopcat is, not only do they have amazing beers on tap as well as food. They also have some of the most knowledgeable, friendly servers around. This place rivals some of the best beer bars out there and their food selection might even put them over the top. A great deal and a wonderful time every night of the week. I am glad to call this place home multiple nights of the week.