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Last Saturday, beer lovers from all over flocked to Silver Street Studios for the biggest brew event of the year, Houston Press BrewFest. We were welcomed to the event with the sun shining bright, and made a mental note to thank Mother Nature for giving us a break in the gloomy weather to enjoy the festivities. Once we were equipped with our badge of eight tastings and a glass, it was time. With over 150 ice cold brews to sample, there was a lot of ground to cover – and I was up for the challenge.

Being a proud Houstonian, naturally I flocked toward local favorites first. I started off with St. Arnold’s brewery. They were serving up Santos (a classic!), their current seasonal: the crisp Summer Pils, and what I tried: Icon. St. Arnold’s Icon series is just that, iconic. Every three months, they feature a different “iconic” style brew, with the goal of showcasing originals in their purest form or melding different styles and creating something entirely new. For BrewFest, St. Arnold had their current Icon, Amarillo Hefe, to share. An ice cold Hefeweizen is perfect for summer. With the particular yeast used, Hefes get a distinct banana and clove flavor that I can’t get enough of on a hot Houston day. St. Arnold’s takes that and adds Amarillos to create a nice complement to the already great brew.

8th Wonder was also there to make the local crowd proud. I had a taste of the ever popular, Rocket Fuel, a Vietnamese coffee infused porter – yum! Southern Star Brewing was also there representing our neighbors in Conroe. Over a taste of their Pine Belt Pale Ale, I was able to get the inside scoop on what’s next for them. They were excited to share that they had plans for a fall opening of a new Brewery right here in Houston! With 15 acres, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for Houston’s growing craft beer scene!

Houston Press covered all of the stops in creating the best beer festival yet. There was an abundance of breweries from all over the nation, a photo booth, painting demonstrations, live music, and jumbo sized versions of classic beer friendly games. Left and right, you could see patrons playing games like cornhole, hula hoop, giant pool and of course, oversized beer pong; all of this complete with a beer in hand and a smile on their faces. There were even Pedal Party demonstrations going on, equipped with beer kegs of course! Houston Press made sure we had it all; including the best answer to the inevitable drunk munchie prayers: food trucks. Bernie’s Burger Bus saved our day with their Substitute Burger and the brisket and bacon loaded, Honor Roll Fries.

If eight beers were not enough, Houston Press sold extra tasting cards for only $8! However, by the end of the day, I saw it best to leave the rest of the 145 beers I had left to try for next time. Thank you Houston Press for a great day of fun, food, music, beer, and the best nap ever. See you next year!

Isabel Protomartir

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