Words: Harrison Civick
Photos: JoMando Cruz
We are in both an unfortunate and fortunate position at SA Beer Magazine. On one hand, we run a niche print publication in a digital age where anything and everything is found online. We have our work cut out in that regard (so take pity on us). On the other hand, we get to work with beer and meet some incredible people. Every so often a brewery will extend us a media invite to a cool festival or toss us a couple of cases of beer so we can sample and review them. These are some of the fun parts of this operation.
Our friends at Hops & Grain Brewing are opening a new facility in San Marcos and are beginning to expand their footprint into the surrounding communities. After a very generous donation from our friends, we gathered at a favorite local spot to sample some of the core beers you can start to see in stores and bars in San Antonio.
Beginning to break into the six packs of cans, River Beer was the obvious first choice. We were escaping the Texas heat and the light, crisp American lager was a perfect antidote. This beautiful lager pours crystal clear with a light, white head, and is meant for liberal consumption while running around outdoors or kicking back on the back porch. A drink this light is imperative to a city like San Antonio where the weather hardly drops below 90 degrees all year.
Next, we cracked open a can of The One They Call Zoe. This has always been a favorite for us as this dry-hopped lager straddles the lines of everything we want in a beer, being both refreshing and sessionable with a pronounced backend of citrus and floral hops. Has there ever been a better beer to please an entire crowd? Hopheads and newcomers to craft alike can find something to love in Zoe.
With no hesitation to show their new home in San Marcos that they are a part of their community and the larger Hays County, Hops & Grain released Haze County—a double IPA. Haze County offers a ton of tropical and stone fruit flavor and does the name justice with a wonderful cloudy appearance. This earthy, dank IPA brings us back to the days when the only thing we ever wanted to drink were beers that were loaded to the brim with hops. The 8.2% ABV hides itself well and only chooses to show itself after you’ve had a few.
You can find Hops & Grain’s core beers around town now and can look forward to specialty releases in the coming months. Make sure to grab some and let us know what your favorite is and be sure to visit their new facility opening in San Marcos very soon!