Fort Worth can be a fun place to kick back and relax. And there are plenty of local breweries around to do just that. Without question, there is nothing like the cold taste of beer to your lips after a long hard day of work. That’s exactly what one family was looking forward to. But instead of finding a place to cool their heels, they were met with an angry manager who wasn’t interested in showing any hospitality from the moment they entered Hop Fusion Ale Works.

Story By Carla Espinoza


Of course, any bar has the right to refuse service to anyone, but we all know that practice is reserved for customers who are clearly intoxicated and rowdy. But, for manager Matt at Hop Fusion Ale Works, it was a simple drink order that made him lose his lid. After Mr. Arguello’s son asked the manager which craft beer had the highest alcohol content and requested his first beer of the night, he was promptly refused service. The manager then went on to rant about people “like him” attending his establishment to trash up the place. It was clear the Arguello family were not the kind of patrons they preferred to serve. 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Photo Credit: Facebook

            What happened at Hop Fusion Ale Works in Fort Worth is a stunning example of why many Latinos may still feel discriminated against. And Hop Fusion is not the only Fort Worth establishment to be accused of this sort of racist behavior. Varsity Tavern on 7th St has also been accused of discriminating against black and brown customers, by escorting them out of their bar for absolutely no reason. One bar goer explained how he was even tricked by one of the bartenders and found himself outside of the bar with no way back in. Naturally, we try to find any other explanation for these incidents, but it is hard not to perceive the treatment as discrimination or racism.

Review left by Mr. Arguello about his experience at Hop Fusion Ale Works

Review left by Mr. Arguello about his experience at Hop Fusion Ale Works

            If you are brown or black, then chances are you have experienced some sort of discrimination yourself. Whether it be the convenient store manager watching your every move or maybe the plain clothes security officer following too closely behind you at TARGET. It can sometimes become frustrating. One local shopper described the uneasiness she feels when approaching a prominently white establishment and even fears they will find a reason to turn her away. The fear of being humiliated by business owners you intend on giving your hard-earned money too is far too common for people of color in Fort Worth, Texas. The owners of Hop Fusion Ale Works recently spoke to CNN about Abbott lifting the mask mandates. Our response to them is, “We don’t need businesses like yours representing Texas at any capacity”.

For now, we must focus on shopping at minority owned businesses and support each other the best we can. 

33 Responses

  1. It could also be possible that the establishment doesn’t like assholes looking to get as fucked up as possible as fast as possible.

  2. the problem here is that its technically equally possible that they are racist assholes. if this company has a preference on how their patrons act in their establishment they should put up clear and visible signs that indoctrinate people to the "rules".

  3. As a bartender, I sympathize with Matt. Someone asking for the booziest beer most likely has the sole intention of getting overly inebriated. TABC rules dictate that he, as the server, can determine who to serve. Maybe the customer should have looked on the wall literally behind the bar and seen the abv listed clearly. Don’t call yourself out as someone to watch get drunk.

    1. So many assumptions. Clearly you only want to defend Matt. If the abv is listed on the menu then what is the harm in asking? If this person was there with their whole family then how can you assume they just want to get inebriated? If they have not served him even one drink how can they assume this?

  4. Have you ever actually spoken to Matt, the owner? Do you realize and understand one of his best friends is a Hispanic man who’s family immigrated to America from Mexico? Do you know that Matt travels the world and GREATLY enjoys the culture of middle and South America. No you don’t, you take one persons bad experience and flip it and twist it to make it about race. As a Latina female business owner, this article infuriates me. Please do your research and stop destroying small businesses.

    1. Have you ever actually spoken to the customer that experienced this? Do you know what he felt when he was refused service for no apparent reason? As a fellow latina I would hope you wouldn’t undermine other POC experiences. Please help do your research and try and help our voices be heard instead of just defending your friend. Maybe try and explain microaggressions to him and have him take some accountability.

  5. Knowing Matt personally I can GUARANTEE neither he nor any of his employees or partner are racists or bigots. Several of his closest friends are Hispanic. There is always two sides to the story and I’d be willing to bet there is a lot more to this that the offended patrons aren’t telling. This story is highlighting an unverified story and has not reached out to Matt or his partner or anyone else to verify its legitimacy. Poor journalism that is vilifying an awesome human being for the sake of a story, regardless of the FACTUAL INACCURACIES it’s reporting.

    1. You can’t guarantee anything. Everything you said is an opinion on your friend. Just because other people have had a different experience than you doesn’t make it false.

  6. uh im the guy this happened too and I can empirically verify that this story is completely true. I haven’t called the owner because I was told "the owner will take my side" by Mat. Am I supposed to just say, "well maybe he didn’t mean it?" and call the owner anyways? No thank you.
    AND to SF who is a bartender, for your information the entire reason I was asking was because I did not have my glasses on and could not read the menu from behind the bar (which I stated several times).
    Tammy: Your guarantee doesn’t invalidate my experience and what I felt. I was literally embarrassed in front of my family and my friend. After working a long fucking day I walked into a bar and asked which Golden Ale has the highest ABV and I was turned away because why? What am I supposed to think? I’m supposed to give him the benefit of the doubt? not likely.

  7. This is a lazy, dangerous and very unprofessional article. As a POC and a frequent patron – I’ve never been treated less than family at Hop Fusion by every single employee and owner. Please delete this article. It’s embarrassing for Hola Texas.

    1. As a POC I find it very dangerous that you are so quick to invalidate a fellow POC’s experience. YOU may feel welcome and like family but that does not invalidate what the customer felt.

  8. As a Latina myself and a customer of theirs, I have never been discriminated against. Hop Fusion is a wonderful place. They DO NOT discriminate. I am also a bartender. TABC is constantly on establishments that serve alcohol so we have to look after not only ourselves, but the patrons as well to keep it safe for everyone involved.

  9. Not only is this article very poorly and vaguely written, it makes a lot of assumptions and casts aspersions on a reputable business with zero due diligence by the author. It very obviously cashes in on shallow tropes of racism and does a very serious disservice to people with actual problems stemming from racism. Anyone with half a brain knows that bartenders know what type of customer opens them up to liability and the public to danger, and they are legally obligated to deny them service. Asking for the highest ABV beer is a classic sign, and there were very likely other contributing factors that made this customer a risk to the business and other patrons. Hop Fusion is an extremely well run business that puts out a very high quality product in an exceptionally well done environment. The owners and their staff are nothing but professional, welcoming and inclusive.

    1. If this establishment is so concerned for the liability why have a high abv beer? Why risk having one and a customer ordering it not knowing? What difference does it make to ask which one was the highest? Its these “small” cases of instances that need to be called out and rectified before it turns into something like Varsity. Racism needs to be called out at every turn in order to get somewhere. Fort Worth has an under current of racism everyone tries to look away from. Thats why you have TCU students calling the other side of Berry “Scary Berry”, its why we still have ICE in Tarrant County. I’m glad you’ve had a great experience there but please do not invalidate a POC story.

  10. This article needs to be retracted and an apology made to Hopfusion. The person who wrote this needs to leave journalism and find another job. Talk about no facts and not even anything credible in the dang article.

    1. Ok Jeff, give us the facts. Clearly you were there and witnessed it all. Look through the comments, the actual patron gives the facts. They were there with their family, they had not had one drink at all, they could not read the menu. What in all that justifies refusal of service? TABC regulations do not say you must refuse service to anyone who asks for the highest ABV content drink. If that were the case no one would be allowed to take shots.

  11. What would be due diligence to you? everything the author stated is a fact buddy. you’re attempt to discredit her writing by calling it poorly written are nothing but a baby trying to wish something to be true in the face of opposing evidence. I am the person this happened too. I’ve been a bartender for 10+ years. Nowhere in the TABC guidelines does it say to not serve people who ask about ABV content. where you say "there were likely other contributing factors that made this customer a risk", you are unknowingly glossing over the crux of this entire issue. There was absolutely no other contributing factor to him not serving me and he knows it. I wasn’t drunk. I wasn’t tipsy I had not had any alcohol all day. So please? Mr. Martin tell me, what other contributing factors might you be aware of that would suddenly change my memory of what exactly happened. You have no idea what happened yet you assume the customer must’ve done something wrong? real bi-partisan opinion.

  12. Its the “several of his closest friends are hispanic” for me. You cannot discredit or undermine what the person felt. If the only argent you can make is that this journalist cannot write then get a better argument. So many POC feel unwelcome in all of Fort Worth. This isn’t the first or the last case.

  13. This is in my neighborhood. It’s really discouraging seeing discrimination in this area, I’d hate for it to become another West 7th, littered with trash establishments.

  14. This article could easily be used in a Journalism 101 class for a "spot all the issues" sort of exercise.

    Poorly written, no actual comment or quotes from anyone associated with the accused establishment, a single source making the accusation, a supposition of facts in place of actual research, and reads like a hit piece.

    Citizen journalism is an awesome tool, especially in the fight against discrimination, but a piece like this is a disservice, and provides ammunition to those who don’t believe in the cause.

  15. youre comment could easily be used in a Life 101 class for a "spot all the facists" sort of excercise.
    seriously, why do you keep commenting? do you honestly believe that youre comment is going to make any difference whatsoever? "poorly written" – subjective. "no actual comments from anyone associated with the accused establishment" – the manager from the incident indicated the owner would not hear my complaints. "A single source making the accusation" – there are other people who have stated they felt racially profiled at Hop fusion. "a supposition of facts in place of actual research" – please Woodward, tell me, what research have you done? if youre going to go around saying this article is "supposing" facts that arent true, please enlighten me, what specific aspect of this article is untrue? you have none.
    "and reads like a hit piece"-
    hit piece? really? cannot believe you actually just tried to use the term hit piece unironically. or i guess if in your head its still 2002, which makes sense.

  16. Here’s an idea! Put your money where your mouth is! If there was an actual event as you describe then sue them. But instead you’re slamming a upstanding business. If it were my business I’d be suing you for slander. Because it really just sounds like you’re running your mouth because you had an unpleasant experience. Two sides to every story dude and your side smells kinda fishy to me.

    1. Yes that is technically an idea, congrats. good think nobody asked you.
      also, please enlighten me as to what aspect of my side of the story seems fishy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content