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A toast to Grand Rapids


Patrick Center
March 4, 2013 | WGVU  

Counting the number of corner bars and pubs in the United States is like counting evening stars…its never ending.
So when Grand Rapids HopCat was named America’s number one brew pub by Ratebeer-dot-com, it’s kind of a big deal.

“When we opened people told us we were crazy.”

Could a bar - with a beer menu excluding American standards like Budweiser, Miller and Coors - make money? Garry Boyd and the team at BarFly Ventures were convinced HopCat could be a beer connoisseur’s paradise.

“Forty eight beers on tap once a month we have a 49th beer, we have a ferken which is a hand pull and then 200 bottles.”

“We’ve always stuck to the vision of presenting a Michigan focused craft beer with a little bit of focus on North America and a little bit of focus on what the rest of the world’s doing.”

“One thing about HopCat is it’s a brewpub but it offers other beers to round out their offerings.”

And that, says Ratebeer’s Joseph Tucker is what makes it number one.
I asked how he manages to figure out who’s the best in a particular area?

“We get a lot of help. One thing we have over 200,000 ratebeerians we call them, so people who are members of Ratebeer who are reviewing places and beers we have them around the world.”

“This is the big show when it comes to brewing in all of the Midwest really.”

“Josh Barnhart I am 23.”

“We love it here. It’s a great environment and obviously the beer you can’t beat.”

“Most people are just really excited because whether or not they’ve been craft beer enthusiasts before or not they’re always very enthusiastic when they see all the beers that we have. We kind of blow people minds with that.”

“Amanda Moore I’m the lead server I really love having new people in here I love people visiting.”

Toasting the #3 brew pub in all of America as determined by Beer Advocate Magazine and now the No. #1 brew pub by Ratebeer-dot-com.



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