Talk about a beer lover’s dream week – more than 1,000 featured craft beers, pub crawls, craft beer dinners, home brewing demonstrations, talks with the best and brightest brewers in the craft beer industry and more are in store during Houston’s inaugural Big Brew, a week-long celebration of all things craft beer. Event organizers will also reveal who made the cut for the Big Brew Best Beard after a city-wide, month-long search at 10 area breweries.
Big Brew, the nation’s second-largest craft beer festival, kicks off October 20, 2014 with events all over Houston followed by larger events, October 23-25, at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Highlights of the week-long beer fest include “The Great Match” where Houston’s top culinary talents present cuisine paired with perfectly paired featured brews Thursday October 23 from 6 – 9 p.m. 36 restaurants including Cordua, The Grove, Liberty Kitchen, Radical Eats, Hubbell & Hudson, BRC Gastropub, Carmelo’s and more have paired up with brewers to craft delicious fare. Chef Randy Evans is presenting roasted Lamb Street Tacos paired with a Rogue Ale. Matt Marcus of Eatsie Boys toys with the sweet-tooth serving an ice cream cookie cake paired with 8th Wonder Rocket Fuel Vietnamese Coffee Porter. Chris Spradley, a Finalist in 2010 on Master Chef with Gordon Ramsay and the Host of Destination Beer, a new travel, food and beer show, will also be in attendance at The Great Match and will be teaching attendees the basics of beer and food pairing.
Feeling Texas proud? And who wouldn’t be with all the brew-ha-ha surrounding the industry’s craft beer growth, then be sure to check out Texas Brewed—a Texas Brewery Showcase taking place Friday night October 24 from 6 – 9 p.m. at the George R. Brown Convention Center. 40 Texas breweries will show why the nation looks to Texas for innovation. Rather chill with friends at the local pub? Hop on one of the Greenlink buses and join friends for “Suds in the City” pub crawl from 8 p.m. – 12 midnight with four pub stops.
Rest up for not one, but two Big Brew Grand Tasting sessions, featuring more than 1,000 craft beers, brews brains and 5 educational stages. Kevin Floyd, owner of Hay Merchant is featured on the Big Brew Spec’s University Seminar Stage October 25 at 1:30 p.m. providing a guided tasting of craft beer, progressing historically through malt, hops and yeast. He’ll lead an interactive discussion to help attendees identify the particular flavor components in different styles of beer. A host of other speakers and seminar topics ranging from “The History of Beer,” “Home Brewing,” “State of Affairs”—crafting legislation, and “What’s your Type?” will give guests a chance to broaden their craft beer knowledge with some of the industry’s most well respected beer geeks, nerds and beer aficionados like Saint Arnold’s Brock Wagner; Southern Star’s President, Dave Fougeron; 8th Wonder head brewer and U of H Beer Professor, Aaron Corsi; Revolver Brewing’s Brewer and Cicerone, Grant Wood and more.
Plenty of new brews like Southern Star Hopped & Screwed, Shipyard The Gingerbreadhead and limited releases of New Belgium La Folie and Le Terroir, Southern Star Black Crack and fan favorites Franconia Kolsch, Wheat, Dunkel, and Fallen Bock as well as Goliad Golden Ale, Redfish IPA; Presidio La Bahia Black Hefeweizen and Revolver Blood & Honey, Bock, and High Brass just to name a few will all be on tap. For a complete list of the more than 200 breweries and beers visit www.bigbrewhouston.com/breweries.
Fans of the Big Brew Best Beard contest will finally see who makes the cut as the 10 area Best Beard finalists from Saint Arnold, No Label, Fort Bend Brewing, Karbach Brewing, Beerfoot Brewery, Brazos Valley Brewing, 8th Wonder, Buffalo Bayou, Lone Pint and Southern Star Brewing vie for the Big Brew Best Beard. The winner will be announced during the first Grand Tasting session. A photo gallery of the Best Beards can be viewed on Facebook.
For the ultimate Grand Tasting experience, the Big Brew Beer Snobs VIP Zone secures guests early entry into the George R. Brown Convention Center, as well as access to surprise tastings and samplings from the industry’s top brewers.
Hotels near the Big Brew activities include downtown’s Hyatt Regency Houston, just minutes from the George R. Brown Convention Center, where its popular LobbiBar will feature Texas craft beers throughout the week. October 26 it’s Good Morning Brewston – wake up to a 3-course brunch with beers from 8th Wonder including French Toast, Rocket Fuel and Mimosa. Reserve brunch tickets by calling 713 375-4709. Hotel rates for Big Brew week start at $139. For reservations, go to www.hyattregencyhouston.com or call 713-654-1234.
Tickets to Big Brew events start at $45. To purchase tickets and view a complete schedule of events, go to www.bigbrewhouston.com. Big Brew benefits the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, a leader in hospitality education. Big Brew is sponsored by Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods, presented by Silver Eagle Distributing and produced by Food & Vine Time Productions, Inc. in conjunction with Houston First Corporation and the George R. Brown Convention Center. Next Level Urgent Care is the first-aid sponsor.
Information provided by Ford and Company.