Look up a list of the fastest growing industries over the past few years and one that is bound to rank near the top is craft beer. From coast to coast, in cities large and small, craft beer is exploding in popularity and many cities now hold special events relating to craft beer and its significance both as a business and as an expression of artisan creativity. Now, for the first time, the city of Houston is prepared to host a large, weeklong craft beer celebration of its own intended to attract individuals and industry experts from across the globe. The new annual event is named Big Brew Houston and it is scheduled to begin October 20, 2014 with special beer- themed activities around the city followed by events at the George R. Brown Convention Center from October 23 through October 26.
A Weeklong Commemoration
Craft beer has transformed the nation and the Houston metropolitan area is no exception. With approximately a dozen or so breweries/brewpubs and even more in planning stages, Houston has expanded its craft beer reach far and wide, with local breweries producing craft beer of great distinction. Food and Vine Time Productions, along with George R. Brown Convention Center owners Houston First Corporation, know the time is right to move Houston into the forefront of the craft beer movement by sponsoring an event unique to the city. Other large metropolitan areas already have beer- themed celebrations lasting multiple days, so it makes sense that the fourth largest city in America would do the same.
Step up to the Bar
October 20, 2014 is kickoff day for Big Brew. Across the area, craft beer fans can expect to find numerous smaller events such as beer tastings, brewer meetups, beer dinners, and other beer- themed activities. The focus will then shift to the George R. Brown Convention Center October 23 through October 26 for larger happenings. There will be no shortage of craft beer as guests will be treated to more than 1,000 (!) featured malt beverages from across the USA and the world.
One of the partners in this event is Spec’s, a business known for its wide selection of craft beer and its strong support of the local and statewide craft beer industry. “Spec’s is thrilled to be a part of this citywide craft beer event,” said Lisa Rydman, third generation member of theSpec’s family. “We’ve long focused on making available hard-to-find craft beers, especially those produced in Texas, and on providing products and craft beer education for enthusiasts as well as those just joining the craft beer movement. It’s an exciting time for the craft beer industry.” Houston First Corporation president Dawn Ullrich expressed similar sentiments: “Looking at the success that other cities have had with craft beer events, we believe Big Brew will be a home run for Houston, especially in light of the fact that Texas is the third fastest growing state for the number of small, independently owned craft breweries,” Ullrich said.
A Craft Beer Extravaganza
Big Brew is still many months away, but excitement is brewing. Food and Vine Time, responsible for the hugely successful Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival in Galveston, is thrilled to be part of this citywide celebration of fine brew. “We are so excited to be partnering with the GRB to bring Houston and the region a week-long celebration focused on the craft brewing industry,” said Food & Vine Time Productions Co-Founder Clifton McDerby. “We’ve watched the industry grow exponentially since we launched BrewMasters in Galveston five years ago. The demand for craft beer continues to explode across all socioeconomic groups. This event gives beer lovers the opportunity to meet the brewers in person, taste beers they’ve never tasted before, and learn more about their favorite beers. We’ve long admired other world-class beer festivals and felt that Houston, with its incredible craft beer scene, should also have a festival building toward that scale,” McDerby said.
Visit the Web Site and Plan Today
Big Brew Houston is certainly an event of monumental proportions and it will go far in establishing the city of Houston as one of the nation’s premier craft beer cities. Houston already has several day and weekend events centered on beer and it celebrates Houston Beer Week. But Big Brew Houston is different. It aims not just to entertain and educate locals, but to move Houston close to the top of the list as a destination American craft beer city.
Tickets for Big Brew will go on sale February 17, 2014 and will start at $45. For events, tickets, and official information, visit www.bigbrewhouston.com and be sure to follow Big Brew Houston on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bigbrewhouston. It’s a major undertaking for the city and with the support of Houston’s fervent craft beer crowd, Big Brew Houston is destined to push Houston skyward and help it join cities like Denver, San Diego, Portland, and other beer- drenched localities as one of the top destinations for great beer.
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