The Hay Merchant

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

26 Reviews
The Hay MerchantThe Hay Merchant
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

1100 Westheimer Rd
Houston, Texas, 77006-2727
United States

(713) 528-9805 | map
www.haymerchant.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by champ103 on 02-16-2012

PLACE STATS
Score:
99
Reviews:
26
Ratings:
104
Avg:
4.64
pDev:
3.02%
 
 
Taps:
76
Bottles/Cans:
25
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 104
Reviews by champ103:
Photo of champ103
4.6/5  rDev -0.9%
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

More User Reviews:
Photo of Sabtos
4/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

I somehow missed rating this after my vacation last month.

This place is putting a lot of effort into building and maintaining a very large beer list. It reminds me of Bier Markt in Cleveland, with a very large amount of taps devoted to European, especially Belgian, beers. They just have an absolutely massive tap list and a beautiful wall of taps to make any beer lover excited. If you've been in the game a while, and you're also from Texas, you might not find a whole lot of new or cutting edge hyped beers on tap, but there is plenty to love regardless.

Food is the soon to be pretty typical, quirky, craft brewpub fare, aka kicked up bar food with a twist.

Atmosphere is sort of a mix between modern hipster, beer geek / gamer basement with some pinball machines and a cheesily large projection screen, and rustic farmhouse. It's a little bit confusing but a lot of the woody/bricky farmhouse feel is where it wins for me. The place can get quite packed and you're better off walking up to the bar and getting the stellar bartender service than waiting for an overworked server.

 1,087 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
4.48/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of mcantu
4.61/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of thatche2
4.8/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of aknalley
4.75/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Anduran90
4.3/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Bung
4.25/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

The best in Houston or Dallas that I visited. Still not quite up to the rating nationally, for Texas, sure.

108 characters

Photo of SomewhereInTheMiddle
4.66/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of BelgianBeerMe
4.24/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of SudsTerkel
4.81/5  rDev +3.7%
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 -8.2%
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 -6%
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 -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of beaulabauve
3.55/5  rDev -23.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Photo of NickyPogs
4.73/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Nazzz
4.29/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of BKotch
4.64/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of dmorgan310
4.64/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of BdM
4.4/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of Kickmeharder
4.66/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Buck89
4.75/5  rDev +2.4%
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 -5.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of Matt141
4.79/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of HopsAholic79
5/5  rDev +7.8%
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

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The Hay Merchant in Houston, TX
4.64 out of 5 based on 104 ratings.
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