You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

With crowdfunded investors, Hops & Grain to open San Marcos brewery

In just four days, Hops & Grain raised a quarter of a million dollars to open a new facility in San Marcos — a second location that will allow the East Austin brewery to double the amount of beer produced each year.

But the money hasn’t come from big venture capitalist firms eager to cash in on the booming craft beer movement. Instead, Hops & Grain’s founder, Josh Hare, has taken advantage of a new federal law allowing ordinary people to invest in crowdfunded companies. Previously, only those with a net worth of $1 million or an annual income of $200,000 could make such an investment.

“It enables anyone to invest, so it’s a really neat opportunity not only for companies trying to grow, but also for just general, everyday people wanting to invest in something other than the stock market or their 401(k). They can invest in something a little more tangible,” Hare said.

His campaign, done through a site called, is completely regulated by the federal government, with Wefunder acting as the broker between the investors and the brewery and the voice box through which the brewery can speak. Hops & Grain has to be careful about what it posts on social media, for example, about the crowdfunding.

Nonetheless, “it’s opened us up to a whole new form of transparency,” Hare said, noting he’s had to sign many legal documents and give financial projections “for a building that isn’t opened yet but mirrors what we’ve already done.”

The Hops & Grain crowdfunding campaign went live late on June 8, and by Friday morning the brewery had already met an initial financial goal that Hare had expected would take a week to achieve. He’s hoping Hops & Grain can raise $1 million by November — and at the rate the Wefunder campaign is pulling in investors, that time frame will probably be greatly shortened.

But make no mistake: Hare still has a deep love for East Austin and the original facility at 507 Calles Street, where the brewery got its start in 2011. At the same time, he recognizes that location is at full capacity, with beers like The One They Call Zoe, a pale lager, and A Pale Mosaic, an American-style IPA, in high demand. These two beers make up 85 percent of Hops & Grain’s sales, and while both are beloved to the brewers, they’re ready to expand the boozy offerings.

In the college town of San Marcos, the new brewery and taproom powered 100 percent by wind energy will double the brewery’s total capacity with a 20,000 barrel brew house and bring back some of the beers that its current facility doesn’t have the ability to make, like Hops & Grain’s first release, Pale Dog. Plus, the San Marcos facility — which doesn’t have a location locked down yet — will have a program devoted to lagers.

“We can sell those at all our distribution footprints,” Hare said. “But we’ll also have specific beers at the Austin tasting room and others only in the San Marcos tasting room.”

Hops & Grain will also have a third set of beers only available at yet another space — a 10,000-square-foot building outside the Austin city limits at FM 969 and Texas 130, funded completely by Hare. Although this place had been previously announced, he anticipates that it and the San Marcos spot will open about the same time: within the next 10 to 12 months.

The far east location, Hare said, “will house 100 percent of our sour and wild beer program, the Volumes of Funk Series. It’ll open up a lot of space for us at the Calles Street brewery. It’s going to be a barrel-aging facility, with all beer made here and then inoculated and barreled there. I’m excited about being able to expand the program and get more bottles onto the market, as well as showcasing a side of Hops & Grain that most people don’t get to experience.”

San Marcos is also going to be the site of something special for Hops & Grain fans: a place where the investors can go and see their investment in action. They’ve contributed $100 to $10,000 each and will receive double that amount in the next five to six years, once beer sales kick in.

For Hare, these investors have made the crowdfunding campaign a humbling experience.

“I wouldn’t expect people to know about Hops & Grain, but they don’t just know it; they want to be part of it,” he said. “I think it’s a testament to our team and to everything we’ve been able to accomplish. People want to be a part of our brewery beyond just their six pack or pint at the bar.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Austin360

Mushroom, spinach quesadillas a quick spring treat
Mushroom, spinach quesadillas a quick spring treat

Mushrooms, spinach and cheese fill tortillas for this quick vegetarian dinner. Sliced mushrooms, shredded cheese and washed spinach are supermarket staples that make food preparation for this dinner a breeze. The mushrooms and spinach are cooked in a microwave oven so only one skillet is needed to complete the meal. Frozen corn and canned black beans...
Culinary SOS: A vibrant palette for that citrus palate
Culinary SOS: A vibrant palette for that citrus palate

With the weather warming and spring in full bloom, citrus season is coming to a close. Still, you might find some of the best fruit in the market stands now. “As the season evolves and begins to end, the citrus is just sweeter and juicier,” says Mercedes Rojas, chef de cuisine at Lucques restaurant in Los Angeles. Every year, the restaurant...
Ways to let fresh asparagus shine 
Ways to let fresh asparagus shine 

How much new information can I offer about asparagus, a vegetable with which I am somewhat obsessed? Or what can I find to say that hasn’t been said before, or that bears repeating? Shall I tap into my own collection of asparagus nostalgia? Should I remind people how good asparagus is for health and well-being? I’ll never forget the happy...
Memoir with terroir leaves a flinty aftertaste
Memoir with terroir leaves a flinty aftertaste

The wine world is abuzz over a new book, "Cork Dork," by Bianca Bosker, that is both an exposé and a love affair with wine. It's a memoir of how Bosker quit her job as an editor for the Huffington Post and immersed herself for a year and a half in the world of wine obsession, eventually achieving the certified sommelier rank in the...
5 wines for drinking dreamy, delicious and delightful
5 wines for drinking dreamy, delicious and delightful

This week's wines include a lovely pinot noir from one of my favorite producers, plus refreshing whites and a rosé to get us thinking about escaping to the shores of the Mediterranean. 3 stars Willamette Valley, Oregon, $30 Anyone who thought Adam Lee was selling out when Jackson Family Wines bought his Siduri winery in early 2015 should taste...
More Stories