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The Hay Merchant

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25 Reviews
Reviews: 25
Visits: 95
Avg: 4.7
pDev: n/a
Taps: 76
Bottles: 25
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1100 Westheimer Rd
Houston, Texas, 77006-2727
United States
phone: (713) 528-9805

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @haymerchant

Place added by: champ103 on 02-16-2012

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 25 | Visits: 95
Reviews by champ103:
Photo of champ103
4.6/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Edit: I have to upgrade the food score to 4. While not everything they do is great. Like the fried pigs ears (just bad IMO), bone marrow is never up to snuff, and the very average burger. The other stuff is very innovative and interesting. Pork Sliders are excellent, and my stand by. Blood Sausage Queso is out of this world good. As are the mussels and any other fish they come up with. Don't dismiss the food, very different than most any other pub grub you will come across. The rest of the bar speaks for itself.

The long awaited arrival of Hay Merchant is finally here. An ultra funky bar that is split into three sections (in one large room). The bar area is directly in back with some high top tables, the metal bar, that looks and feels like slate, goes along the entire back. With the tap handles covering the back wall as well. A sectioned off chalk board that lists all the beers, and the tap handles are all pieces of steal or other objects. Like a can of Cult 45 or Billies Beer. The cask engine handles are custom made as well. A slightly larger dinning area is in front with some custom made low top wood tables and booths. The third area off to the left with some more tables, two dart boards and a TV. A really unique feel, and comfortable. Though when it fills up, it is loud.

The service is incredibly knowledgeable and well trained. Though with the massive amount of people coming to the soft an public opening it can get slow. I can't really hold that against them though.

The food is interesting. Pub grub like burgers and wings. Though other stuff like ox tail, chicken and waffles, lamb ribs. It is certainly good, I just have not been wowed by the food yet.

On to the beer! At first I thought they had only 60 taps, but it is well over that number that always rotates as well. No crap on tap either. Tons of locals that range from Karback, Live Oak, to Jester King. To stuff like the Lagunitas, and even some of the Dogfather lineup. The regular tap wall is impressive enough, but for me the real treat is the cask selection. They will have 5 casks at all time, and that is probably the most ambitious cask programs in the country. Cask for the opening: Dry Hopped Hopsicle, Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet 1.5, Avery Czar, Saint Arnold Whiskey Barrel Stout, Jester King Das Wunderkind. Did I mention they do growler fills, and you can even buy kegs to go.

The quality can't be beat, just like at Anvil, the attention to detail is amazing. Two coolers for the kegs. One for the lagers at a certain temperature, one for the ales at another temperature. Every keg has its own regulator, and the lines are always clean. I have rarely, if ever seen attention to detail like this at a bar.

Just an excellent place to grab a beer. The shear number of beers is not what is most impressive, but the knowledge, drive to being a place just for beer, and the attention to detail is what separates this from the others. The best beer bar in Houston bar none. If not one of the better beer bars anywhere. I will be here a lot.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of SudsTerkel
4.81/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

I hit THM while on a biz trip to Houston and after reading the BA reviews, there was no question about where I was going to discharge my beer dollars. I usually hit The Ginger Man, but their beer list is a mere shadow of THM's.

And what a beer list - I counted 70+taps with another half dozen on cask - from brewers far and wide. Of course from being out of town, I wanted to have as many for the Texas standouts - Karbach, Live Oak, St. Arnold, Jester King and 512, among others. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and beer-centric as well as friendly and accommodating. The kitchen has an eclectic range of fare - BBQ, Texas Chili, Salmon and wraps with varying ingredients - something for everybody.

They've been around for 3 years and upon my visit of a weekday afternoon, there were a cast of the regulars there which would include me if I lived in Houston.

 867 characters

Photo of supie12
4.26/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

This is a really cool local place. They drink local. Support local. And offer great brews from all other places. This is a no frills or thrills place. Almost like you're hanging out in a garage during the good old days. Prefect to watch the game and just hang out with friend while enjoying the highest quality beers. And the food is a keystone too.

 349 characters

Photo of amalahow
4.36/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This place is pretty much perfect. Awesome selection. Nice and knowledgeable staff. Good food. Awesome vibe.

108 characters

Photo of davidanastas
4.63/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of beaulabauve
3.55/5  rDev -24.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Photo of NickyPogs
4.73/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Nazzz
4.29/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of BKotch
4.64/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of dmorgan310
4.64/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of BdM
4.31/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Kickmeharder
4.66/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Buck89
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Visited this place when I was on business last month. A really fun atmosphere, with a good diverse crowd. The beer selection is phenomenal, heavy with local Texas offerings, but also with many great beers from California and the East Coast. Really friendly staff that will help you find you're looking for. The food was good but not great. We will definitely visit this place again.

 387 characters

Photo of Afroman
4.4/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of Matt141
4.79/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of HopsAholic79
5/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Absolutely love this place. We try to hit it up anytime we are in town from California. Go see bartender Luis. Really cool and funny bartender.

143 characters

Photo of KasperAB
4.88/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of rwf08
5/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Love this place. Go often enough to where the bartenders know me. Special events for Mud Turtles are always good. They'll do beer dinners with Underbelly also. Those are amazing as well.

 186 characters

Photo of Kuges
4.84/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of marieli
4.91/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

You can go quietly try a brew or two, you can enjoy with a friend or group, you can take your family to brunch. The selection of beer on tap is very impressive. Not always perfect, but generally there's something for everyone and something new to try if that's what you're looking for. Not sure what a 5 for selection even is. But what makes this a place that stands above others, at least in Houston, is the awesome menu that is accessible to foodies and those more traditional, and the quality of the food itself. Even if the beer selection wasn't as good, this would still be a viable place to eat. If you're into food, I would suggest many other great restaurants before this, including Underbelly right next door, but you have to make time for a stop in The Hay Merchant.

 783 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.34/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of BoljaBoy52
5/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is phenomenal. I came in with a group of 9 on a busy Saturday night, and the manager came right to us and didn't stop helping us until our group was all sitting together. The beer selection seemed endless, and the food was absolutely amazing and cooked perfectly. I wish i didn't live 2 hours away, because I cant wait to go back.

 341 characters

Photo of Jvrdz24
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Pro_Magnon
4.95/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

GROWLER FILLS!! HUGE SELECTION OF DRAFT BEER!! PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY WINGS!! Also, very attentive service. Never had to look around wondering where my server was. Plenty of tv's for games. Nice-ass spot.

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The Hay Merchant in Houston, TX
100 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.