Tastemakers :: Hops & Grain Craft Brewers

By Elizabeth Winslow

Apparently there’s a lot more to making beer than I ever knew. I suppose I never gave it much consideration, opening bottles and cans on hot summer days without a second thought. Feeling there was more to this beer thing, I met up recently with Josh Hare at his Austin-based Hops & Grain Brewery for a little education. The sprawling facility, giant tanks, and gurgling tubes call to mind Willy Wonka’s factory, if Willy Wonka made beer. And indeed, everyone at Hops & Grains seems as hard-working and jolly as an Oompa Loompa—that comes from Josh’s commitment to his craft and his ability to inspire everyone involved. In addition to making two standard varieties of top-quality, easy-drinking beer, Hops & Grains keeps a batch or two going in “The Greenhouse,” tanks where “all new ideas are invited, style guidelines thrown out the window and happiness abounds.” In addition to keeping the happiness flowing, Hops & Grains works on keeping the community greener by giving 1% of annual revenues to local environmental non-profits and supporting local community growers and producers: that’s a triple bottom line we can raise a glass to.

*photography by Thomas Winslow

Tell Hops & Grain’s brand story in five words:  

Craft Beer Sustainability


What inspires you?  

People and all of their quirkiness.

What’s your favorite ingredient?  



What are you cooking this week?  

Beer in all of its majesty.


Who is your culinary idol?  

Barley Swine’s Bryce Gilmore.

What are your favorite food businesses in Austin?

Right now Contigo and Barley Swine are living right in my opinion.


What are your favorite food businesses outside of your community?  

The Mountain Sun in Boulder, CO. This place feels like home every time I’m there. Makes you never want to leave.

What has been your greatest mistake?  

Assuming anything.


Tell us about your lucky break?  

Waking up every day and realizing that I make beer for a living.

Required reading for every food & beverage entrepreneur?  

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard


How do you measure success?  

If the adventure is boring, then you aren’t succeeding.  A bottom line is like gas in a car.  You need it to get to where you are going but you don’t necessarily have to drive 1,000 miles to have a kick-ass adventure.


What is your favorite book about food or spirits?  

Tony Magee’s, So You Want To Start A Brewery?

Is there something food entrepreneurs should keep in mind or understand as they start or grow food businesses?  

Simplicity is something that is often missing, and as any entrepreneur grows a business they should have a firm grasp on their guiding principles and make sure that they reflect you as a person, not just something a book told you.

Words of wisdom:   

Life is simple, settle down with the complications.


What’s your next big idea?  

Well now, that’s a secret.

Kitchen Inspirations by Elizabeth: Beer-Steamed Mussels with Mustard, Créme Fraiche, Parmesan Croutons & Tons of Herbs

click here for the recipe

see more of Elizabeth’s work on Haymakers

Comments (3)

  1. kayleigh says:

    Mmmm… I live in St. Louis where the hops can be smelled for miles from the breweries! It’s such a yummy smell.

  2. Elizabeth Winslow says:

    Isn’t it? It was so much fun learning about the ingredients in beer & the flavors they impart!

  3. Katie Johnson says:

    Yay, Josh!!! So happy you’re realizing your dream!


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