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The Hay Merchant

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

66 Ratings
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.69
pDev: 5.33%
Taps: 76
Bottles: 25
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: 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

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: champ103 on 02-16-2012)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of n2pux
3.96/5  rDev -15.6%

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.

n2pux, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of GumDropButtons
4/5  rDev -14.7%

GumDropButtons, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of de1m0nte
4.25/5  rDev -9.4%

de1m0nte, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of Qdiver
4.25/5  rDev -9.4%

Qdiver, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of BulletWard
4.25/5  rDev -9.4%

BulletWard, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of Premo88
4.31/5  rDev -8.1%

A friend of mine and I had four beers and an appetizer for $25. Totally worth what we got, which include 16 oz. pints on tap of:

Real Ale Phoenix Double ESB
Real Ale Fireman 4
Karbach Sympathy for the Lager
St. Arnold Lawnmower

That's not a who's who list of expensive beers, of course, but we got what we wanted, enjoyed it and will definitely be going back. They had 50+ beers on tap with a fantastic spread throughout the various styles, from simple lagers to imperial stouts.

Premo88, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of jkoogler
4.31/5  rDev -8.1%

The selection of beer is outstanding. They also offer some premium beers in bottles if you're interested in the "cellar collection." Food is good as well. Not the typical bar food. Nice selection of desserts too. The chocolate chip bread pudding is great. Or perhaps you prefer the lemon cream pie with cider.

jkoogler, Jul 26, 2013
Photo of jaymesbawned
4.4/5  rDev -6.2%

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!

jaymesbawned, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of Hopmodium
4.48/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

Hopmodium, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of halo3one
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

halo3one, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of srletend
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Great selection of American crafts (i.e., Jolly Pumpkin on cask). Good food and atmosphere.

srletend, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of truesolution
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

truesolution, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of Gagnonsux
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Gagnonsux, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of DRich1913
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

DRich1913, May 13, 2014
Photo of cfrobrew
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

cfrobrew, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of jenray
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

jenray, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of CDCNAM
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

CDCNAM, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of caffeineTX
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

This is around the corner from me and it is a great bar. It loses points from me because it gets too loud inside for me and the porch is very small and often crowded unless you come in for lunch or something.

The wall has rotating taps of a wide variety of beers ranging from easy drinking session beers to polarizing sours, smoked beers, and IPAs so there is stuff that will appeal to the casual drinker and the craft beer snob/enthusiast.

caffeineTX, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of Rawbeads
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Rawbeads, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of jgbiggs
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

jgbiggs, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

bulldogg915, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of StArnoldFan
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

StArnoldFan, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.51/5  rDev -3.8%

The Hay Merchant is a place every beer lover should pilgrim to at least once in a lifetime. The quality of beer here is beyond belief!

Cool joint, unassuming from the outside but sprawling inside. Plenty of tables and a long funky-shaped bar. Nice decor, lots of hipster wood. They have a food menu, but me thinks it is better to go next door to Underbelly and then have some beers at the Merchant.

Damn busy on a Friday night, late August. Great patio to enjoy the sunset lights and some beautiful faces. We got great service at the patio from a knowledgeable server, even though the place was seriously crowded.

It is all about the beer! 76 taps, 5 casks, beer heaven. Old Stock, Stone Ruination, Karbach Cherries of Fire, Troubadour Imp Stout bourbon-barrel aged (in house, Buffalo Trace!), Brewdog Isle of Arran. Their menu is divided by styles, including one called "Not for the faint of heart".

I would literally move here if I lived in Houston.

DoubleSimcoe, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of champ103
4.6/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

champ103, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of BeerHunter76
4.63/5  rDev -1.3%

If you don't know where the Hay Merchant is you will most likely drive right past it. There is not much in the way of signage at this place, but what it doesn't have on the outside is MORE than made up for on the inside. Hay Merchant has one of the finest tap selections in Houston behind The Flying Saucer in quantity. The deocr on the inside is wood heavy, one big screen and two smaller screens excellent for football or soccer. The bar is big and the staff behind it are knowledgable and friendly. Food at Hay Merchant is an interesting American nouveau cuisine (try the fried pigs ears!). Finally the tap selection is outstanding! They keeps the taps up to date with the latest and greatest in TX and what we can get outside the state as well. Special beer dinners and pint nights. If you are looking for a new favorite craft bar this should be the place. Go in once and you are sure to go back. Do not miss this place!

Nostrovya!

BeerHunter76, Oct 15, 2012
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The Hay Merchant in Houston, TX
100 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.