Wednesday, August 9, 2017

#117: Hops and Grain Brewery

The Bar

Hops and Grain Brewery. 507 Calles St #101, Austin, TX 78702

Visited 8/9/17 @ 8:30pm.

The Drink

Hops and Grain Dispensary IPA. $5.

Yup, that's a pretty lousy pour - not exactly the beer I wanted this quest to end on. But you take life as it comes, and even the substandard volume and egregious head (I totally disagree with the "head is good" school of thought) in this pour couldn't ruin a good beer. I had just enjoyed the Dispensary IPA at Hi Hat, and it was much the same here - a hoppy IPA with a solid bite to it, a high-ABV beer that goes down easier than it probably should. And so, as tends to happen, I was less upset with the pour the more I drank. Beer is a powerful vehicle for forgiveness, and I'm a firm believer in the idea that most beer is good beer, and the best beer is the one you're about to have. In that spirit, that the final beer of the journey left me thirsty for more is all too-fitting. Sixth Street may have ended, but I'm still not done!

The Crew

Aaron, Rome, Vince, Travis, Hannah.


Tucked away in a shopping center right where Sixth Street ends, Hops and Grain is a great brewery that has only continued to improve over time. Its origin story involves an amusing anecdote about founder Josh Hare's dog, and indeed six years later you can still buy those very same grain treats today, as befits a brewery that focuses so much on sustainability. I'm well past the brewery tour phase of my drinking career (there's only so many times you can be impressed at the size of a fermentation chamber), so these days when I go to a brewery I'm more interested in their beer consumption setup rather than their beer production setup: Hops and Grain has a decent indoor space, with rows of picnic tables in the air conditioning that seat a few dozen people, and also some more space outside in the sunshine, for those weekend days where you want to drink with friends outdoors and munch on some food trailer snacks. They converted their old "pay $10 for a glass and three beer tokens" model to a more reasonable "pay by the pint" taproom model (which is great, since I have far too many pint glasses already), and they're also planning to move to a brewpub model that allows them to sell beer to go. Anything that helps them distribute their excellent beer more widely is fine by me!

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