Hops & Grain, an Austin-based brewery, plans to open a new brewing facility and tasting room at 110 E. MLK Drive, San Marcos by late 2017.
Hops & Grain, the Austin-based brewery that announced in June plans to open a taproom and brewing facility in San Marcos, has signed a lease at 110 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, the site of the former county justice center.
The company plans to have its brewing operation running by August or September, said Sheila Garcia, Hops & Grain marketing manager. The opening of a tasting room in the same complex will follow in October, she said.
Owner Josh Hare said the company’s employees have always felt “a really deep tie and connection” to San Marcos. Many employees attended Texas State University or lived in the city.
The San Marcos/New Braunfels area is the first market outside of Austin the company entered. Hare said the demand for the company’s beers—which include Zoe, a pale lager; Porter Culture, a porter; and Greenhouse, an India pale ale—caught his attention when Hops & Grain began distribution in the area in 2015.
“It’s been overwhelming,” Hare said. “We definitely can’t make enough beer to keep up.”
Hare said the San Marcos facility will be a full production brewery similar to the company’s Austin location. He anticipates the tasting room to occupy 3,000- to 4,000-square feet.
“Both production and floor space is going to mirror what we have in Austin, which is 10,000 square feet, and production capacity of about 20,000 barrels total,” he said. “We’ll be building a much bigger tasting room at the San Marcos facility.”
Growing demand for the company’s product necessitated an expansion, and Hare said he had no desire to build a “gigantic brewery” at the company’s current east Austin location, at 507 Calles St., Ste. 101, Austin.
“I was much more interested in the tap room focus and servicing your local 50-mile radius market out of that brewery,” he said. “We kept looking at where do we want to build a brewery next? Where would be a city that we feel relevant in, but also feel like we could contribute something pretty cool to? San Marcos just kept popping up as a place that we all really enjoy hanging out in.”
In addition to beer, Hare said the company has been focusing on building a coffee program. He said the ultimate goal is to begin roasting coffee beans in-house. The Austin brewery has begun opening its tasting room in the mornings, serving pour-over coffee as well as espresso drinks.
Hare said the San Marcos location will feature a similar coffee program, and the facility will have Wi-Fi access.
A distillery planning to open at the former justice center in downtown San Marcos has also applied for a permit with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, according to a sign posted on the building.
Want more from CI? Becoming a CI Patron grants you access to an exclusive weekend newsletter and CI Swag. Your one-time or monthly donation catapults our mission to hire high-quality journalists and provide trusted news in Texas communities.