Hopfields, a new beer pub, will be opening just north of the University of Texas campus on November 22nd. Owners Bay and Lindsay Anthon say the concept was based on building off what is missing at places like Gingerman and The Draught House. They will balance masculine and feminine, creating a place where male (and female) beer fans will go, but will juxtapose the "male/pub atmosphere" with their design, mocktails, and menu.
Bay tells Eater Austin, "First and foremost it will be beer-centric. I am a huge hophead. I know my beer, but we're going to offer something more." Both Bay and Lindsay know that the Austin market is getting bigger. "There are a lot of dive bars, but we know Austin will like something better. A higher end beer place, similar to pubs throughout the neighborhoods in New York City," Lindsay says.
This "neighborhood pub" concept seems to be a growing trend in Austin. Certain areas of Austin already have long-established bars, but new owners are not just importing ideas from larger cities like NYC. More they are finding opportunities to fit a growing need in Austin.
"We want the neighborhood to be the foundation of the place. They will be our return customers. We want to be events driven - we have a projector and a screen, so if anyone ever gives us a good excuse we'll use it to show movies. We're both big UT fans, so of course we'll show games when we can." Having a four year old child, Bay and Lindsay also know the importance of making the space kid friendly.
The decor is turn of the century, taking inspiration from HG Wells and The World's Fair in Paris. With a long oak bar, wood benches and pews, and a copper-walled beer cooler, they have incorporated raw metals and raw wood. The design represents their aim to be what Bay says is "real Austin. Classic not trendy. Simple. Raw. Real. And not contrived."
In the back, Lindsay fought for her more feminine touch. In the photos you can see the little lounge area, what she calls "The Snug Room" based on the history of the concept - an area at bars curtained off so that ladies, priests, or other patrons could drink so they wouldn't be seen.
Besides beer, they will serve cocktails made from ingredients like sherry and vermouth (they don't have a full bar). They will also serve food based on recipes passed down over 150 years by Lindsay's family. Her mother will direct the kitchen, with the menu reflecting comfort and street-style French food. A sneak peek at the menu includes charcuterie, ratatouille, steak frites, salades, merguez sausage, and savory tartes.
Hopfields will feature 40 taps. On the selection Bay says, "I can't sell what I don't love, but certain things sell themselves." Already on tap he has the Real Ale 15th Anniversary Ale, Racer 5 IPA, and the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. Bay will also incorporate a beer exchange program. Many beers are illegal to sell in Texas, but enthusiasts will be able to bring in their own bottles, trade them in, and drink something of similar quality or rarity deposited by another drinker.
Hopfields will open in about two weeks, a soft period without much hype. Their hours will be 11am to midnight, Tuesday through Sunday.