grinding it out
North downtown brewpub rebrands with bar bites, craft beers, and new events to beat the daily grind
The new owners of a Houston brewery have revealed their plans for the recent acquisition. Local Group Brewing will soon be known as Gristworkz, owner Distincture Hospitality announced.
Named for the process of grinding malt and grains that's an essential step in brewing beer, Gristworkz pitches itself as paying homage to Houstonians who have to grind to earn their livings. it's a new direction for Local Group, which was acquired by partners Dave Sorrell, Morgan Green, and Jorge Benitez in May. Together, they bring experience from places like Revelry on Richmond, Hay Merchant, and Holler Brewing Co. to the neighborhood brewpub.
"We want people to come here after a run, a bike ride, a baseball game or just to meet friends after a day at work," Sorrell said in a statement. “As experienced bartenders and hospitality professionals, we’re using our collective knowledge to build something for Houstonians that they’ve never seen before.”
That's a pretty lofty goal. To help achieve it, Gristworkz will serve a wide range of beverages that includes both beer it produces in house along with cocktails and wine. Ultimately, it plans to offer canned cocktails to-go alongside its canned craft beers.
The brewery's menu has received a similar level of improvements courtesy of chef Danny Leal, who earned raves for his creative fare at shuttered cocktail bar Night Shift. As he did in his previous post, Leal draws upon food memories to craft dishes such as a fried chicken sandwich with yucca fries, fried hen of the woods mushrooms with buttermilk poblano ranch, and his fan favorite churros. Weekly specials include a Korean-inspired steak night on Wednesday, carnitas and barbacoa on Saturday and Sunday, and smash burgers on Friday.
Gristworkz aims to draw people in with weekly events for cyclists and runners, trivia on Thursdays, and a monthly silent disco.
“We’re excited to serve Houston a fresh and creative take on what a brewery can be,” Benitez said. “Gristworkz will have something for beer drinkers, cocktail lovers and wine connoisseurs, all while also serving the best damn bar food in town.”