Most knowledgeable staff you’ll find anywhere. Incredible selection. Great happy hour food and drink prices. Comfortable surroundings.
My only complaints is how popular it is. Not enough parking in a crowded area. At peak times it’s hard to move. Still worth it though
Smaller then I anticipated, but with a great selection of beer. Worthwile visiting. Food selectin is limited, but quite different, interesting. As I was driving only one beer. Service is OK, indeed music is loud. Interesting place actualy
This is definitely a must visit for beer nerds in the Houston area. Their selection is typically vast, and they are one of the few places that have a decent draft list of lower ABV but important beers (sours, non-blue moon wheats, etc.). They don’t do as well on rare or one-off beers however, so it is unlikely that one would be greatly surprised by anything on the tap list if you are deep into craft beers. Their rotation is not very vigorous either outside of the standard seasonal rotations that take place, so unless you have a favorite beer it can get quite boring after a few trips. They share a kitchen with Underbelly, so the food is much better than average pub fare although the menu is small with a few entree sized plates and a few appetizers and is somewhat stale at this point (when is last time it changed?). During peak hours (as with pretty much any other popular bar), it can get very crowded with standing room only and the noise level is pretty high. They have a small outdoor patio that is pretty good outside of being right on Westheimer w/ traffic noise. The only game they have is darts, and the boards are not used very often and are often blocked by patrons standing/sitting in front of them. They have a pretty good happy hour where most mid-level beers at $3/pint; otherwise, you will be paying premium prices for premium beers. Parking, as with any other place in this area, can be a hassle as you will be looking for street parking deep into the neighborhood during peak times. They do have a small parking lot in the back, but typically full after 5PM.
Best beer selection I’ve found in Houston. Supports Texas breweries to a certain extent. Good, creative bar food. Attractive room. But the volume level can be insane, as in airport-runway insane. I’ve taken three people there on three separate trips and everyone complained about the post-Hay Merchant headache. Also, 1980s Genesis.
Great little spot - probably a must stop if you’re looking for good dining and regionals in Houston. Parking on side streets and parking lots in a quaint neighborhood that reminded me a bit of Key West, actually. Industrial/refurbished warehouse feel, rough-hewn tables. Great service, knowledgable staff. Food is primo - very tasty, good - chef stuff, not just pub grub. Lots of regionals - Lone Pint, Live Oak, Real Ale, etc., and lots of top notch brews otherwise. Great dining experience, good beer selection, good pricing on happy hour and game night. Recommended.
Large selection and variety of beer with several Houston beers available. The food was good, but they could use some vegetarian dishes on their menu. It was a smaller venue than I expected but all-in-all it was an enjoyable experience.
I see lot of people complaining over the service level, and I can sort of understand it, but I don’t see any reason to complain much about it when I visited. No one greeted me velcome when I arrived, so they could’ve had a visible seat yourself sign, but I quickly found a server who told me to get seated wherever I’d like, and got the menu within a minute. Saw almost no smiles among the staff, seemed like everyone was there just because they needed the money. On the other hand, I’ve seen that too many places, so nothing special. The food I got was decent, the beers I chose were nice, and the selection is broad and mostly interesting. Definitely hope I get the chance to visit this place more times during my stay in Houston.
(VIsited 02/2013): Hay Merchant is located on Westheimer Rd off Montrose. Actually didn’t visit on my previous visit to Houston because I couldn’t see the place even though it was right there. Parking is available in the surrounding streets.
The interior is rustic with a lot of wood and brick walls. The doorway opens to the host stand and table/booth seating, with the bar in the rear. Cards on the wall behind the bar list the beers available.
As for the beer there around around 75 taps with Texas breweries like Deep Ellum, Real Ale, (512) St. Arnold and Live Oak. Other domestic craft breweries like Oskar Blues, Victory and Alaskan. Many bottles available too.
Service at Hay Merchant was good on our visit. The server was familiar with the beer and made good recommendations.
Food at Hay Merchant is good and includes some eclectic appetizers like sweet & spicy pig ears.
Overall this is a great spot to visit in Houston. Recommended.
bleeng (164) Seattle still not near Beersel., Washington | December 6, 2012
Great addition to the Houston beer scene. As noted 80+ taps and 5 cask engines-sweet! Nice variety of beers-from Texas to Belgium and everywhere in between. Odd but enjoyable food menu. Too bad this is just a haul from my suburban abode. A must visit if you’re in town.