Downtown bar opens beer on birthday


HopCat in downtown Grand Rapids features 48 craft beers on tap and is a top-rated beer bar in the U.S. Photo via

The downtown bar that helped put Grand Rapids on the beer map is turning six on Saturday.

HopCat will celebrate its sixth birthday on Saturday with the annual release of Oil Rigger Russian Imperial Stout, free Crack Fries and a Crack Fry-eating contest.

Oil Rigger, a limited release birthday beer for HopCat, will be sold in bottles, and six varieties will be released on tap throughout the day. The flavors include Marshmallow Espresso, Orange Brandy, Chocolate Raspberry and Vanilla Bourbon.

Free Crack Fries will be available from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. with the first purchase of a beer, capped by a fry-eating contest at 3 p.m. and a $500 grand prize.

Last summer, HopCat opened an East Lansing bar with a 100-tap takeover from Shorts Brewing Co.

The Grand Rapids beer bar has a slew of awards: Most Popular Bar in Michigan by Foursquare; Draft Magazine’s 100 best beer bars in the country for five years in a row; No. 2 beer bar in the U.S. by; the No. 1 brewpub in the U.S. by; and the No. 3 Beer Bar on Planet Earthy by Beer Advocate Magazine.

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