November 13, 2012 by kkeerr
This past Friday, Austin and I spent the evening in Grand Rapids. We were Grand Rapids for the Griffins game. We went to a couple of games last season but now that there is no NHL this season I imagine we will find ourselves at even more Griffins’ games especially on Fridays when they do one dollar beers (not great beers but beers nonetheless). They also do one dollar hot dogs on Fridays but since that doesn’t really bounce either of us (last game we went to I smuggled 4 veggie dogs in my purse) we needed somewhere to eat before the game. As you may have surmised from the title we chose HopCat. For those of you not familiar with this fine establishment (owned by Mark Sellars/BarFly Ventures) they have 48 taps and do awesome things like have an employee appreciation day where all the money brought in by their three downtown bars (HopCat, Stella’s, and McFadden’s) – not the just the profits mind you but all of it – would be split among each of their employees. And when liquor control comes up with the asinine idea that this will lead to bartenders and waitresses overselling and says they can’t do it the Sellars say “fine then we will make it 3 days of just food sales.” Here is a link about it from Mlive. Anyway, we like HopCat and since they brew too we “had” to go there at some point in the near future. The beer list always takes me a bit but we eventually settled on the HopCat brew Son of Hoppo, an IPA, and Brewery Vivant’s Wit Knight. Now I know the point is to drink the beer of the brewery we are visiting but we got one and this Wit Knight was brewed especially for a recent local competition; I didn’t get to attend the competition so I was excited when I saw it on the beer list as this beer might not be around for long. Both beers were very good and I would recommend both of them to anyone. Rarely can one go wrong with going local in west Michigan. Of the two I preferred the Son of Hoppo, but that is only because I typically prefer an American IPA over a Belgium witbier. ‘Murica!
The food was also very good. I’ve never had a bad meal at HopCat. Austin got a burger as they were running a burger/beer special for $6 and I got the Mushroom Black Bean Burrito Wrap. Both came with fries…oh god their fries…we been dieting successfully so fries are not something we eat often anymore – needless to say they didn’t last long.
We got to HopCat around 4:30 and had no trouble getting a table immediately, but when we left a little over an hour later the place was packed and there was a line out the door. Our advice go early and take your time, no matter how busy they are we have never felt like we were being rushed out.
Just the facts ma’am:
Location: 25 Ionia, Grand Rapids, MI
Number of Taps: 48 plus 150 bottles and beer to go
Austin’s Overall Experience Rating: 5 out of 5 Pint Glasses
Beer Rating:Son of Hoppo 84/100