Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

The Hay Merchant

Not Rated.
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.

24 Reviews
Reviews: 24
Visits: 94
Avg: 4.69
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

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 24 | Visits: 94
Photo of Hopmodium
4.48/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Better than the rating can possibly give considering that I have visited many places like this across the country. This IS THE BEST TEXAS can offer, no doubt. Growler refills! I drive 40 miles to find this and will not complain. My lady and I celebrated my 33rd birthday here without mentioning it and were treated like I did. Refilled my growler with (512)2 for $24.95 and purchased a 1/2 growler of their Pecan Porter(for $4.50 without refill but w/ HM logo, beer only $12-) for reasonable price anywhere S of Mason-Dixon. Multiple, awesome cask selections which made me quite happy. Nitro for those of you as well. Food was not the best but that is what I read ahead of time and expected and did not mind considering I went during off-peak hours on a Thursday evening. Parking could be troublesome most times when mating occurs. GO TO THIS PLACE during off hours if you want to avoid stereotypical Houston douchbags. Lived here for 66% of life and can honestly say that finding a place like this is rare and worth any true beer drinkers time. On par with rest of country as far as options are concerned.

 1,106 characters

Photo of n2pux
3.96/5  rDev -15.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Hit this place before the Kasabian show at Fitz. It really is a good addition to the Houston beer scene. Crazy busy & loud for a Thursday night. But no worse in that regard than say, the Flying Saucer downtown. That doesn't really bother me. But some may prefer the cozier & quieter ambience of the Ginger Man or the Petrol Station. Seats at the bar were pretty uncomfortable ...almost like they were designed to get you to drink up & make room for the next party. Service was a little slow but no worse than most places when they're that busy ...and it was knowledgeable.

Where the HM shines is in the large tap selection. While Texas distribution laws really limit what beer lovers here have access to, HM does the best it can within those limits. There seems to be a real emphasis on the growing Texas brewery scene as well as a good selection of out-of-state faves. My party had Brouwerij Bockor Jacobins Rouge, Alaskan IPA, Karbach Pontificator, & BrewDog Tokyo* ...all served in the proper glassware & at the right temp. I saw no evidence of anything resembling a bottle list. I'm probably in the minority who would be disappointed in that.

So, while HM won't change your mind if one of the aforementioned local pubs is your favorite, it is a nice addition in a part of town that really needed it. Look forward to trying them again next time I'm in the area.

 1,367 characters

Photo of jaymesbawned
4.4/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Finally made it in after a couple weeks of bugging my wife about this place. IT was pretty busy, but it WAS St. Patrick's Day, so I can't blame them for that. Sat in the main dining area up front. Also have a bar in the back up some steps, and a patio outside. Of course awesome beer selection, rotating all of the time. Had a Karback Pontificator Smoked Doppelbock and the brand new Buffalo Bayou Chai Porter. Both beers were great. The Chai porter(Also called Sessionist #2) was crazy, I cannot believe they got those flavors into the beer! I had the Blood Sausage Queso and it was kind of meh. too much sausage, not enough queso and the tortiallas were a little slimy. My wife got the Carolina BBQ sandwich and it was amazing, though. the potato chips were also very good. Light with a touch of lime to them. I will be definitely coming back to this place. hopefully they iron out the queso, but otherwise everything was great!

 930 characters

Photo of champ103
4.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 3,036 characters

The Hay Merchant in Houston, TX
100 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.