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Hops and Grain Brewing – Sort of a Mundane Name, but How’s the Beer?

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Hops and Grain Brewing

Good beer, decent spot, but unfortunately forgettable.

507 Calles St #101,
Austin, TX 78702

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What You Need to Know Before You Visit Hops and Grain Brewing

Price: $5+ per pour with coffee, water, and guest beers all on tap

Food: Rotating food trucks

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Family Friendliness: Nothing about this place was even slightly offensive

Doggos: Dogs welcome on outdoor patio

Parking:Lots of parking all around the building

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What’s the Atmosphere like at Hops and Grain Brewing?

I was there for the lunch hour on a Saturday, so maybe that’s why it was so busy. Or maybe this place is super badass, and I’m missing something.

It was super packed. It was hot AF inside because of all the bodies. It was super loud. Service was meh, and the whole experience had me wanting to slam my flight and bail as quickly as possible.

The atmosphere at Hops and Grain Brewing felt much more like a lively bar than a craft brewery that Saturday afternoon. This place is complete with retro-typographic wall murals like so many other breweries, so it definitely had the curb appeal and interior that’d attract a hip, young crowd.

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Hops and Grain Brewing inhabits part of a big, shared building. We came around the back by the loading docks, which feels more like the front than the actual front. Being a part of this big building means you’ll have to exit the brewery into shared space to use the bathrooms, and there’s a code to open the doors. It’s posted everywhere as you’re walking out, but if you’ve had one too many, you’ll end up looking like a dork.

The area around the brewery is a unique mix of gentrification and industrial, all with charming local murals throughout the neighborhood. Blue Owl Brewing is right around the corner, and I had intentions to stop there, but I was starving after my flight and opted to head to lunch instead!

Is there food at Hops and Grain Brewing?

There was a local food truck that boasted farm to table ingredients, but we didn’t stick around long enough to partake. It looked good. It smelled good. But that’s all I got!

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Is it Family Friendly?

Aside from the high-brow weed puns in some of the beer names, there’s absolutely nothing here that would run off beer drinkers that are toting toddlers around. If your kids know what this stuff means, then the brewery’s kid-friendliness is the least of your concerns.

Is Hops and Grain Brewing Worthy of Traidbait Travels?

I’m a solid maybe for this one, and I’ve got a laundry list of tiny, seemingly nitpicky reasons, but they added up.

To begin with, we can get a handful of their beers here in Houston on draft and in cans.

Aside from not really needing to mule anything home, the beer didn’t blow me away. It wasn’t bad by any stretch, but there was nothing that knocked my socks off. On our scale from meh to good to man hold up, it was good. Despite that, I grabbed some cans just because that’s what I do, and I was shocked when I had a few of them – the beers weren’t as good on draft as they were in cans!

Lupulin Rodeo in cans was actually really dang good, but all the beers seemed sort of bland or muddled on draft. I doubt they were stale with that many people there, though, and the appearance of the beer didn’t line up with oxidization. Who knows?

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All of those are small offenses that added up to a meh experience. One other very minor thing that struck me as kind of weak was how they had 3x as many products as they had beer. I’m all for sustainability, and I think it’s pretty cool when folks use and reuse stuff, but mannn. These guys had a tonnn of merch.

All in all, they’ve got to be doing something right because the place was packed. I’d like to check it out again on a less busy day to see if the experience is better since the beer was good.

 

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Anthony Gorrity
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Anthony's a Houston native, a graphic designer, and a UH Coog that loves good beer almost as much as he does his city. He's an ex-oilfield guy that spends his days doing graphic design and marketing projects for one of Houston's fastest growing companies as well as some of the coolest breweries in town. Fueled by sessionable IPAs and gangster rap, he's ticked his way through H-Town, rocking the most unusual Nikes he can find. When he's not writing for us, he's with his family or rooting for the Rockets.

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