Nice place just outside downtown. Expansive selection. Good food and frequent events. Lots of seating, but frequently crowded. Sometimes a bit pricey. One of my go to places in Houston. A must see if you’re in town.
Nice spot on the edge of downtown with pinball machines, rustic tables and long iron counters to sit at. They were flaying that football match when I was there and it was busy. Serving can get scant if there are too many people around. Selection is great, they don’t seem to do flights but lots of local and rare stuff on order. Good chill crowd, seems like a pleasant hangout spot.
I visited The Hay Merchant on a busy Saturday, but still managed to get a seat at the bar. It is a pretty large, modern split - level place with a good deal of space. Looks like they spent a decent amount of money on the set-up. As others have mentioned they have a very large selection of taps (80) which covers plenty of Texan breweries, quality US beers and also some International stuff. The range of styles is pretty diverse. On my visit the selection was surprisingly similar to those on at Flying Saucer in downtown, so actually not as much new to me as expected, although I still had some pretty tasty stuff. Food was also delicious - I opted for the Korean chicken (maybe you should to). The Hay merchant should definitely beer on your must - visit list if you visit Houston.
! .. good snacks and food, a bit nose in the air though (too a ridiculous level these days, fuckin snobby as hell actually) .. employees are decent but even though they have screwed up a few orders on me .. 5 casks all the time is crazy and ambitious .. prices are what you would think for a place like this .. great for out of towners but only dickheads treat this as there home bar.
theisti (889) Kansas | December 17, 2015| Updated February 22, 2016
Visited after dinner on a Tuesday. Easy to find along the busy Westheimer strip. Parking in lots around the restaurant, as well as in the surrounding neighborhood. Cool old brick exterior with a wrap around deck. The interior has several levels with table seating on each. The bar is large, and there is a fair amount of standing around space. There are many small design details which really make this a beautiful place. In particular, I loved the unique tap handles designed from antiques and found materials. I sat outside, which was a nice place to chill out. The draft selection is extraordinary - the web site cleanly lays out what is available and was current when I visited. Many interesting and harder to find options from local, national and international craft brewers. The food looked great as well. Service was perfect both at the bar and outside. The best beer place I have been to in Houston.
94 = ★★★★½ (World class)
I only use the total score, not the component parts.
More like a Texas Ice House vibe. Surprisingly Houston doesn’t have a great craft beer scene. The Hay Merchant sorta focuses on Texas and some of the bigger Colorado breweries. For what it is the selection is good. It’s just not San Diego or Portland.