New Houston craft beer bar keeps it local in Midtown
With the arrival of both Holman Draft Hall, Beer Market Co, and Jack & Ginger’s, Midtown has more places than ever that cater to craft beer fans. This week brought another new arrival to the bustling Mid-Main development.
The Brass Tap comes to Houston from Florida, but the craft beer concept concept already has four Texas locations in Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth. Only opening since Monday, December 3, the Houston location offers about 60 taps of craft beer, as well as a number of bottles. Inside, the bar features both individual and community tables with enough TVs that a patron could follow a game.
Local franchisee Mike Daley tells CultureMap that he and his partners, Carey Seay and Omar Maalouf, spent two years selecting and building this location. A self-described craft beer fan who cites 8th Wonder, Eureka Heights, and Platypus as some of his favorites, Daley says he was looking for a new opportunity after a career in the oil and gas business. Since he and his partners are first time bar owners, partnering with a proven franchise held a lot of appeal; the Brass Tap's focus on education and training helped it stand out.
“You go to a lot of bars and ask them about what beers they have, and they can’t tell you a lot,” Daley says. “These guys pride themselves on weeks of training on the the styles of beer, the proper pouring technique, the varieties we offer. Plus, they have contacts with breweries to get beers that other bars may not have access to.”
Currently, the tap walls offers selections from a number of local favorites, including Saint Arnold, Brash, Southern Star, Eureka Heights, and Buffalo Bayou. Texas options like Real Ale, Live Oak, and Deep Ellum join national breweries like Ballast Point, Cigar City, and Brooklyn.
“What sets up apart from a lot of people is our wall will always be rotating with local beers,” Brass Tap consultant Michael Smith says. “You’ll have a couple of things that are easy to identify like Ballast Point as an example of something that’s not local but people know what it is. We try to cater to the local scene. We want to support local.”
In addition to beer, the Brass Tap serves a selection of cocktails. In particular, they offer two barrel-aged options made with Four Roses bourbon.
The bar has plenty of food options to pair with all those beverages. Generally, it’s elevated pub grub, such as a couple of decadent burger options — for example, the pub burger comes with jalapeño cream cheese, smoked Gouda, bacon, cowboy sauce, lettuce, and tomato — as well as tempura-battered fish or chicken that uses local beer in the batter. Shareable items include Korean BBQ pulled pork nachos and crispy shrimp in a sweet and spicy sauce that’s inspired by the Nobu classic.
As for the location’s proximity to so many other bars, Daley doesn’t see it as a problem. “The more the merrier, that’s an awesome venue next door,” he says.
“A lot of people like to bar hop. They have a great outdoor venue. We have a great indoor venue. I think everyone has a little something to offer.”
The Brass Tap Mid-Main; 922 Holman St.; 281-501-0319; Sunday through Thursday 11 am to 12 am; Friday and Saturday 11 am to 2 am