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New brewery coming to San Marcos

A bartender pours a glass of beer Nov. 20 at Hops & Gain Brewing in Austin. The company plans to open up its second facility in San Marcos by July of 2017.
Photo by: Daryl Ontiveros | Staff Photographer

Downtown San Marcos has become a prime destination for many local businesses, and Hops & Grain, an Austin-based craft brewery, recently announced it will join the artistic area.

The company secured its location in the former Hays County Justice Center, located at 110 E. Martin Luther King Drive.

“One of the reasons we are expanding to this new location is that we want to be a part of the awesomeness that is San Marcos,” said Sheila Garcia, Hops & Grain marketing manager.

Garcia graduated from the school of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State in 2007 and is returning to San Marcos with several other former Bobcats to open up the local branch of Hops & Grain.

The company aims to build relationships in the city and support the town. Hops & Grain will bring forth an atmosphere that provides entertainment and relaxation to residents. The company will serve craft beers and coffee, and customers will have Wi-Fi access.

Some San Marcos residents are concerned with the explosive growth of the city, and believe it could potentially cause a clash of interests with local establishments.

Zuleyma Diaz, Spanish senior, expressed mixed emotions about the business and population growth. Diaz is an Austin native who transferred to Texas State from Austin Community College near Round Rock. She is concerned with the city’s growth, but is excited for the Austin business to open.

“I think it’s really great. It opens up the opportunity for other colleges to experience a variety of different restaurants that they wouldn’t have been exposed to if they weren’t from Austin,” Diaz said. “On the other hand, with bigger business moving into town, it’s going to create some competition with smaller business, and they are going to have to compete to stay afloat in this growing competitive city.”

Even though businesses can bring about competition, Diaz said it also provides a great opportunity for jobs.

“I think (business growth) is a good thing though. It opens up the way for different people to try different things and (provides) opportunities for healthy competition and creates jobs for community members and students who are looking to try something more diverse,” Diaz said.

City officials also voiced excitement, noting the increase in businesses will lead to an increase in tax revenue to help pay for improved city services.

“We’re excited, obviously, new businesses downtown bring in income tax,” said San Marcos Communications Director Kristi Wyatt.

Hops & Grain is expected to officially open in October 2017. The company follows a spate of other Austin restaurants that have developed in San Marcos, including Torchy’s, Buzzmill, Chuys, Verts, Pluckers and the new Altmeyer and Lewis Brewing Company which opened Nov. 19.

The city has an optimistic view of the growth in San Marcos and the role that businesses contribute to the area.