The company has not finalized a lease in San Marcos, but co-owner Josh Hare said he expects a lease to be signed by July. He said he anticipates opening the brewery in spring 2017, with the tasting room to follow shortly after.
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 Green Room, an Indian 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.”
"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."
—Josh Hare, founder and co-owner of Hops & Grain
Hare said the San Marcos facility will be a full production brewery similar to the company’s Austin location. He also anticipates a 3,000- to 4,000-square-foot tasting room at the San Marcos location.
“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.
The company utilized crowdfunding to finance part of the new facility. Hare said he has been curious about new federal regulations regarding crowdfunding, which allows non-accredited or amateur financiers to invest in companies. Allowing Hops & Grain’s fans to partner with the company was a unique opportunity that Hare said he was excited to take.
“What better way to involve the community in growth and impact than to let them have some skin in the game and let their wallets speak beyond just buying a six-pack,” Hare said.
Hops & Grain will pay investors in the project 10 percent of gross receipts from the new facility until 100 percent of the initial investment is returned as well as an additional 100 percent on top of that, according to the company’s WeFunder campaign.