Get a Taste of Small-Town Texas at Hound Song Brewing in Columbus
Hound Song Brewing Co. is a family-owned and -operated craft brewery located at 535 Walnut Street in Columbus, Texas. It’s just over an hour west of Houston, but it is brewing up an experience that makes it well worth visiting.
The brewery is in a stand-alone building adjacent to the historic downtown square and the Colorado County Courthouse, and surrounded by the walkable shopping boutiques of small-town Main Street. The brewery is great for families and large groups thanks to ample space, a full kitchen, and plenty of games, events and activities.
Owner-operators Travis and Raven Kocurek opened Hound Song in the fall of 2020. Travis, who grew up in the nearby city of Weimar, met Raven in Colorado years earlier while he was living there for a time after completing Peace Corps service in Tanzania. It was in the Centennial State that the couple’s relationship grew while Travis also began his career in the brewing industry. He began homebrewing in Fort Collins, a city which is known for its vibrant craft beer scene, and later enrolled in the American Brewers Guild Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering course before finding work as a professional brewer. The couple eventually decided to open a brewery of their own, choosing Columbus in order to be closer to family in the Lone Star State and to share “their creativity and grit for the benefit of their hometown community”. Travis heads up production at Hound Song, while Raven is in charge of the hospitality experience.
In the short time Hound Song has been open, the taproom has doubled in size and a full-service kitchen was added. The taproom has multiple dining areas, including a dog-friendly patio, two bar areas for smaller groups and a large open beer hall in the back, complete with a second tap wall, stage, ample community seating, games and a movie projector. The building, built in 1926, was originally known as Harbert’s Garage, and the Kocureks have given the name to the beer hall, which is now a great venue for large parties and private events. Similarly, Travis has said much of the branding and design of Hound Song “reflects the ruggedness of rural living, which requires grit and determination in order to get by. In addition, we love to blend in components of the local Czech and German cultures in much of our artwork. All of this is bound together by a healthy sense of humor and good-natured fun.” They also give back to the greater Colorado County community often, sponsoring local youth sports, veteran organizations, scholarship fundraisers and more.
As brewmaster, Travis specializes primarily in classic styles focused on balance and drinkability, such as Kölsch, Munich Helles, Czech Pils, Bocks and German Altbier, but he is by no means bound by convention. His “Double Backbone” Czech Dark Lager and “Burning Daylight” American Light Lager have both won bronze medals at the Texas Craft Brewers Festival, and in the spring Hound Song will release a “Smoked Helles” made in collaboration with award-winning No Label Brewing Co. in Katy. Guests who prefer more edgy and contemporary brews also have an array of options to choose from, including Sour India Pale Ales, hazy New England-style IPAs (NEIPAs), New Zealand IPAs, flavored Goses, and West Coast Pilsners.
For non-beer drinkers, Hound Song offers wine, seltzers and locally-made cider from City Orchard, as well as a wide variety of non-alcoholic beverages. Patrons can take beer to-go via growlers and crowlers. Starting this year, the Kocureks will be focusing on outside sales and offer kegs for distribution.
Raven manages the kitchen, serving a wide variety of crowd-pleasing fare utilizing fresh, seasonal ingredients and housemade sauces and dressings. The menu is replete with burgers, sandwiches, salad, quinoa bowls, soft pretzels, hummus, and favorites such as beer-battered cheese curds. Hound Song also offers a kids’ menu with fried chicken fritters, burgers, and grilled cheese.
Planning a day trip to Hound Song Brewing? Here are some of Travis’ and Raven’s top recommendations for nearby businesses and upcoming events at the brewery.
- Visitors to downtown Columbus should check out OST Creamery, an ice cream shop featuring Amy’s Ice Creams, as well as treats from local artisans.
- Kay Klauber Candies is across the street from the brewery and offers locally produced truffles, fudge and other delicious candies.
- Potter’s Western Store is the best place to get a new hat, pair of boots, or other western wear while supporting a local business that has been owned and operated by the same husband and wife couple since 1965. You’re likely to run into Mr. and Mrs. Potter when you visit.
- The weekend of May 19-20 is the annual Magnolia Days Festival. This is Columbus’ largest festival, and it’s held at the courthouse square, which is downtown. Numerous vendors and artisans will be present, as well as a great music lineup including headliner Randy Rogers.
- Hound Song offers live music every weekend, and new for 2023, will celebrate Oktoberfest during the entire duration of the traditional festival in Munich. This will kick off on September 16 and involve several businesses, artisans and vendors along the downtown corridor.
Hound Song Brewing Co. is open Tuesday through Saturday.
Mario-Sebastian Berry is a wine and spirits vendor who has been in the hospitality industry since 2002. Currently, he represents Blanco, Texas-based Andalusia Whiskey Co. and multiple wine labels. Somehow, he also finds time to be Houston Food Finder’s associate editor and social media manager.