Coffee, New Hours & A Redesigned Tap Room
Something new is brewing at Hops & Grain. The East Austin brewery known for its sustainable brewing methods and award-winning beers is adding coffee to its repertoire. Experimenting and adding to its permanent can lineup has led to fan favorites like PorterCulture and A Pale Mosaic, which were first tested only in the tap room. The innovative beers definitely won’t stop, but Josh Hare, founder of Hops & Grain, felt the next step, creatively speaking, was to try his hand at something completely new—coffee roasting and brewing.
“We are incredibly excited to extend our liquid offerings in our tasting room. Our mission since day one has been to enhance the human experience, all while being a responsible piece of our community. Adding coffee to our tasting room service helps us in our efforts to become a brand that is bigger than our individual products. We want our customers to interact with us as a lifestyle brand, enjoying our products from the time you wake up, until the time you go to sleep!” said Hare on his decision to start serving coffee.
While Hare’s own proprietary roasted beans are on the way to the tap room—more than likely in mid-summer—Hare decided to kick things off with beans from Austin favorites, Flat Track Coffee Co. & Roasting and Tweed Coffee Roasters. Hops & Grain is serving coffee to go or to be enjoyed in the tap room three different ways: standard pour over, full immersion and Aeropress brewing. Each way produces a different flavor, and the staff is excited to walk guests through each one. Pour over is methodical and has approachable characters that lead to a well-balanced cup of coffee. Like a good pilsner, this method is deceptively difficult to execute but incredibly enjoyable when done right. Full immersion is a more artistic method that leads to a thicker, more robust cup. Like a good Baltic Porter, it is rich and velvety but with a clean finish. Aeropress is quick with high extraction. It leads to a strong but pleasurable cup of coffee. Like an IPA, it is beautiful when done right. Guests can adjust this method by telling the barista if they prefer a strong or more approachable cup of coffee. Batch brew drip service will also be available for those who are just looking for a simple cup of joe. Another Austin company represented is Eastside neighbor Zhi Tea. A wide selection of Zhi Tea is now on the menu—some even on tap. In the coming months, there will be a custom-built espresso machine installed, offering an even wider selection of beverages.
Coffee isn’t the only change happening at Hops & Grain. The tap room is now open seven days a week, from 8 a.m.-10 p.m., and regulars will notice the space has undergone quite the facelift. Envisioning the tap room as a place where people come to socialize, collaborate and work together throughout the day was one of Hare’s main goals for the space.
The redesign started with a new paint color to make the space cozier—a hue called web gray. A new, dual level bar was built, opening up plenty of workspace for one’s laptop while enjoying a hot or cold beverage. Numerous electrical outlets were also added to ensure electronics stay alive. To keep guests comfortable during the summer months, a fan from Big Ass Fans was installed. Hare encourages guests to stay a while and has added new, comfortable furniture to make sure they do. The furniture was built by Austin Evers of Woodwork at 17th with the metal fabrication done by Edgeworks. Evers drew his inspiration from the brewery.
“We know how serious Hops & Grain is about sustainability, so we sourced every board from a torn down paper mill in Josh’s home town. It meant a lot to tie in the reclaimed wood, the history, the connection, and values Hops & Grain holds dear to make the furniture,” said Evers on his inspiration for the furniture.
The Hops & Grain team could not be more excited about the changes being made. They are thrilled to welcome new clientele and offer existing fans a whole new experience.