The Hay Merchant
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Taps: 76 / Bottles: 25
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
3.96/5 rDev -15.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Hit this place before the Kasabian show at Fitz. It really is a good addition to the Houston beer scene. Crazy busy & loud for a Thursday night. But no worse in that regard than say, the Flying Saucer downtown. That doesn't really bother me. But some may prefer the cozier & quieter ambience of the Ginger Man or the Petrol Station. Seats at the bar were pretty uncomfortable ...almost like they were designed to get you to drink up & make room for the next party. Service was a little slow but no worse than most places when they're that busy ...and it was knowledgeable.
Where the HM shines is in the large tap selection. While Texas distribution laws really limit what beer lovers here have access to, HM does the best it can within those limits. There seems to be a real emphasis on the growing Texas brewery scene as well as a good selection of out-of-state faves. My party had Brouwerij Bockor Jacobins Rouge, Alaskan IPA, Karbach Pontificator, & BrewDog Tokyo* ...all served in the proper glassware & at the right temp. I saw no evidence of anything resembling a bottle list. I'm probably in the minority who would be disappointed in that.
So, while HM won't change your mind if one of the aforementioned local pubs is your favorite, it is a nice addition in a part of town that really needed it. Look forward to trying them again next time I'm in the area.
03-20-2012 18:04:48 | More by n2pux
4.31/5 rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
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.
02-12-2013 21:54:10 | More by Premo88
4.31/5 rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25 | $$$
The selection of beer is outstanding. They also offer some premium beers in bottles if you're interested in the "cellar collection." Food is good as well. Not the typical bar food. Nice selection of desserts too. The chocolate chip bread pudding is great. Or perhaps you prefer the lemon cream pie with cider.
07-26-2013 04:05:19 | More by jkoogler
4.4/5 rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
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!
03-19-2012 15:38:19 | More by jaymesbawned
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.
08-26-2012 03:40:13 | More by Hopmodium
The Hay Merchant in Houston, TX
100 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.