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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 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 Jason
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

Jason, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of greenspointexas
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

greenspointexas, Apr 30, 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 bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

bulldogg915, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of Todd
5/5  rDev +6.6%

Todd, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of cfrobrew
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

cfrobrew, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of LittleDon
4.69/5  rDev 0%

Escape the Houston heat and have a beer or two, or three, or more. Cool inviting atmosphere and plenty of fine beers from which to choose.

Thursday afternoon and I just happened to be in the Montrose area of Houston. It's late July and it's Houston hot, upper 90s and plenty of humidity. Walk into the Hay Merchant and I've been transported into a different world. Dimly light, cool, lots of concrete, iron, and wood. The front windows facing Westheimer are large and let in enough light to avoid giving the place a cave like atmosphere. Plenty of beer to consider. Four hand pumps and about 12 to 15 Texas brews. The pours are generous and the bartender knowledgeable and quick with a healthy sample when asked. Wound up with a pint of Karbach Hopadillo (3/pint happy hour) and an 8 oz. snifter of Real Ale Kraken (8/not on happy hour list). Alas, it's back into the Houston sun for the 45 minute drive in traffic back to the hotel. Looking forward to my next opportunity.

Liked the best: Cool atmosphere. Lots of top notch beer. Parking in back. Happy hour prices are great.

Liked the least: Close-ish to downtown so it's a hassle to get there and back if you're coming from outside the loop. Small, I'm curious how crowded it gets Wednesday night on.

Would I return: I'd make a special effort to do so.

LittleDon, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of markgugs
5/5  rDev +6.6%

markgugs, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of Dicers
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

Dicers, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

Texasfan549, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of halo3one
4.5/5  rDev -4.1%

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

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

jenray, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

kjkinsey, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

SmellsofMahagony, May 20, 2014
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
Photo of Dogleg
5/5  rDev +6.6%

Dogleg, Sep 02, 2014
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 emergency_beef
5/5  rDev +6.6%

emergency_beef, Nov 06, 2013
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 Kappakoosh
4.78/5  rDev +1.9%

I recommend everyone stop by, try the food and enjoy the beer selection. The food isn't your typical pub fair..it is exceptional and I have yet to find something I didn't like. Ask how to start the "mud turtle" program. If you are serious about beer, you might enjoy taking part in it.

Kappakoosh, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of Ben7773
5/5  rDev +6.6%

Ben7773, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of Dinkel
4.75/5  rDev +1.3%

Dinkel, Apr 24, 2014
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The Hay Merchant in Houston, TX
100 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.