COLUMBUS – Four years ago, when Ronny Daley started the renovations on his Harbert’s Garage on Walnut Street in downtown Columbus, people asked him over and over what plans he had for the building. From Day One, his answer was either a brewery, a microbrewery, a brewpub, a taproom or some other words to describe a place where local people could gather to sip on and sample a variety of craft beers, brewed right there onsite by local folks committed to supporting the local community.
Those local folks turned out to be Weimar native, Travis Kocurek and his wife Raven. They, along with Travis’s dad Dean, and his wife Missy are the owners of Hound Song Brewing Company (HSBC), which will have its long-awaited Grand Opening Saturday, Nov. 28 at Harbert’s Garage at 535 Walnut Street. The brewpub will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. that day.
The Kocureks will be giving away door prizes hourly throughout the day, including HSBC branded merchandise such as hats, visors, T-shirts, bandanas and more. HSBC merchandise can also be purchased at the brewery or online from their website at houndsongbrewing. com. In fact, if you buy merchandise online, and wear it to the brewery’s Grand Opening, you will get a dollar off your tab that day. There will also be live music from 5 to 8 p.m.
Additionally, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce will conduct an official Ribbon Cutting ceremony at 12 noon, welcoming the Kocureks and HSBC into the community and wishing them well in their exciting venture. “Thank you, Ronny Daley, for your vision, and special thanks to the Kocureks for bringing it to fruition,” said Billy Kahn, executive director of the Columbus Chamber.
“November 28 is also Small Business Saturday in Columbus, Colorado County and nationwide. This small business launching on Walnut Street will hopefully attract more entrepreneurs to start their own ventures in town which should contribute to further the economic well-being of our community.”
Going forward, HSBC will be open every day of the week except Monday. Check their website or Facebook page for hours. In addition to beer, some Bohemian “Czechzan” baked goods like klobásníky sausage rolls and soft pretzels will be on sale and Missy Kocurek’s food truck, “The Good Eats Stop,” will be on site and serving downhome, Texas-style good cooking with some standard menu items and rotating specials like barbeque, chicken wings and more.
“Hound Song Brewing Co. is a community-centered establishment that offers something for everyone,” said founder, Travis Kocurek. “We proudly occupy the Harbert’s Garage, which has been a focal point of Columbus for more than a century. We are excited to breathe new life into the space and create opportunities for the important things in life: family, community, and good conversation.”
Travis was born and raised in Weimar. After graduating from Sam Houston State University, he served in the Peace Corps in Tanzania, where he taught secondary school Biology for two years. After returning to the U.S., Travis spent six years in Northern Colorado, during which he attended the American Brewer’s Guild’s Intensive Brewing Science program in preparation to bring his dream of opening a brewery closer to home.
When asked about the Hound Song name, co-founder Raven Kocurek explained that she and Travis are dog lovers, and currently consider two Blue Tick Coonhounds part of their family: “More than the beauty in the hounds’ bay echoing through the woods, the Hound Song conjures the feeling of being in the country and being home,” she said. “It’s relaxing on the front porch after a hard day’s work and watching the kiddos play in the yard. It’s the smell of fresh kolaches being pulled from the oven.”
Raven comes from Northern Colorado and spent most of her career working in parks and recreation administration. She changed careers to take her penchant for helping others to the next level and became an EMT in 2017. She currently works part-time for Colorado County EMS. Raven developed a passion for craft beer while living in Fort Collins, Colorado - home to 20+ craft breweries.
“The beauty of the Hound Song can bring us back to a place where we seemed to have more time for the important things in life: family, community, and good conversation,” added Travis. “Our beer does just the same. In spite of all its nuance and complexity, it’s remarkably simple. It’s easy drinking, and best enjoyed while relaxing together with family and friends. Our brewery aims to create a gathering place for beer drinkers of all kinds, while bringing us all closer to the things we love so much as Texans. From the friendliness in a smile and a handshake, to the beauty of a Texas sunset, the Hound Song takes us back to a simpler place and time.”
In preparation for their grand opening, the Kocureks have been busy brewing for the better part of a month now. They will have nine locally brewed craft beers on tap on opening day. Check their website for information on many of their initial offerings. Keep an eye out for their rotating small-batch and seasonal beer selections, which will change throughout the year. Their current seasonal brew is the Pecan Killah Brown, sourced from Colorado County Pecans!
For health and safety reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is currently requiring Hound Song Brewing to limit admission to 75 percent of their maximum capacity as determined by the Columbus Fire Marshall.