Beers Breweries

Huggy Bear Continues Brewing Up Excellence at Holler Brewing

Nestled in the middle of the Sawyer Yards area, just northwest of Downtown, resides Holler Brewing.  Founded by Kathryn and John Holler in 2016, the brewery has become a popular Houston hangout ever since.  Well known for their award-winning beers Dollar Pils Y’all and their namesake Extra Special Bitter (ESB), John decided to sell the brewery in early 2022.  Shortly after the sale, industry veteran and much beloved local brewer James “Huggy Bear” Wolfe was brought in to take over as Head Brewer of Holler, and he has continued the Holler tradition of putting out high quality beer while maintaining the integrity of John Holler’s original recipes. 

The taproom lit by hop lamps at night.

After coming across Wolfe in a recent Houston beer related online discussion thread, he extended an invitation to stop by the brewery and try some of Holler’s recent releases.  The first beer I tired was the recently Black Friday release, Dark Artifact.  This barrel aged Imperial Stout pours a dark black, and at 9% ABV.  It is very smooth for a barrel aged beer, with distinct notes of bourbon and a light, roasty flavor.  According to Wolfe, this year’s release of Dark Artifact was aged for seven months in William Price Rye Whiskey barrels.  Wolfe did mention to me that next year’s drop has already been brewed and barreled, and will get just over a full year of barrel aging in before being ready for release next year.   

The second beer I tried during my visit was one of Holler’s Seventh Anniversary releases, an Imperial West Coast IPA named Lucky 7’s.  The name goes along with the brewery’s casino anniversary theme, with the other themed beers released for the Anniversary including Poker Face Pucker (a mixed berry fruited sour), Jackpot Juice (a hazy IPA) and In the Money (a west coast pilsner).  Lucky 7’s was brewed with a collection of ten different hops that resulted in a smooth and dangerous 9.5% ABV brew.  Lucky 7’s went down a little bit too easy, but by the time I got to the bottom of the pint it had made its presence felt.  

A tall pour of Lucky 7’s

In talking with Wolfe more, the conversation led to his journey to Holler.  Having gotten his start in home brewing many years ago, his interest in the industry eventually led to him joining on as an unpaid volunteer at No Label back in 2011.  After a year plus as a volunteer, Wolfe decided to leave his long-time aerospace engineering career behind and go full time into brewing.  He spent a little over six years at No Label as a volunteer, brewer, and eventually Head Brewer.  Wolfe additionally spent time at Southern Star Brewing in Conroe before moving on to become a Co-Founder and Head Brewer at Local Group Brewing.  After almost four years at Local Group, Wolfe made his jump to Holler and says he is enjoying his newest role tremendously. 

When asked what Holler has coming up for 2024, Wolfe replied “More events and more beer.”  It is obvious Wolfe doesn’t want to give too much away with the new year weeks away. He did mention that Holler will continue to innovate heading into the new year, including more barrel aged beers and creative uses of hops in future releases (and not just IPA’s), but will also continue to stay true to the history of the brewery and its historically popular beers.  When asked if Holler will be expanding further to take over more footprint in their current location, as has been suggested by internet rumors, Wolfe added “Nothing concrete for now, but we’re always keeping an eye out for opportunities and planning how to grow smartly.”

Entrance View at Holler Brewing

Holler Brewing is open normally seven days a week, and is always cycling though new releases, along with its house classics.  There is amble outdoor patio space available along with indoor seating.  There is also always to go options in the cold case by the bar in case you want to take a little bit of Holler home with you.

Holler Brewing is located at 2206 Edwards St. Suite A, 77007. Follow their socials at @hollerbeer (on Instagram)or visit them on the web at



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