After Zelick’s, Josh and I were happy to enter the warm, bright, diner-esque atmosphere of Hay’s Co. Bar-B-Que. We heard it made Texas Monthly’s top 50 list and all the beer sloshing around in our bellies needed some meaty tempering.
The smoky sweet smell of BBQ titillated our nostrils as we entered. As tender pork ribs and homemade sauces were sampled, Josh and I admired the pit masters who were passionate about perfection, carefully tending the meat with a close eye on everything. All the meat is cooked on 100% wood burning pits, with a dry rub and mesquite and post oak wood to give the meat the most delicious flavor. My mouth was watering as we got closer and the scent of sizzling brisket filled the air. A beer bus alongside a stage fashioned from a truck, picnic pavilion and playground out back completed the fun, laid-back scene. I could just imagine the fall festival atmosphere that must reign here all summer long.
Classic local brewery
Our last stop of the night was a short jaunt to the outskirts of the city at Middleton Brewing, a well-established and relaxed brewpub that we loved. The bar only has 12 beers on draft, but that’s all they need. Most of them are brewed right there on site and four of them are distributed around Texas. They have beer for beer connoisseurs and those who are just entering the craft beer game. Their Belgian amber ale, Garnet, hit the spot for both of us after a long day.
Josh listened as one of the brewers discussed the brewing process, comparing it to the handful of times he has made his own wine, and we both reveled in the relaxed atmosphere as we munched on sliders from the food truck outside.
I couldn’t have been happier with the end of our evening, especially as one of the two bar cats hopped up in my lap and made himself comfortable, warming my legs as I stroked his head. Filled with incredible barbecue and beer, Josh and I were equally delighted that we had found such a fun culinary destination so close to home. And eagerly plotted when our travels could take us back to San Marcos to revisit these newfound gems.
Learn more about San Marcos’ culinary treasures!