I like the sound of this.
For three days in October, the [George R. Brown] convention center will host Big Brew, a major new festival that aims to tap into the region’s burgeoning craft-beer scene by putting 1,000 beers out for public sampling, along with seminars on what you’re drinking and where it comes from.
To satisfy Houstonians’ growing passion for pairing food with beer, some of the biggest chefs in town are lining up 40 local restaurants for an evening of culinary improvisation.
“We really do think we can make this a beer-tourist destination,” said Big Brew organizer Clifton McDerby of Food & Vine Time Productions.
McDerby said the sampling hall during Big Brew will feature 1,000 craft beers. A selection that large would rank among the larger ones in beer festivals nationally, said Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association industry group.
“It’s a goal, but it’s a goal that we will reach,” McDerby said.
The main tastings will be preceded by two smaller events, a food-and-beer pairing and an exclusively Texas tasting, on the evenings of Oct. 23 and 24, respectively. All will be inside the Brown Convention Center.
McDerby said there also will be a downtown pub crawl, and additional events in the vicinity are likely to be added.
The pairing event will feature food selections from 40 Houston restaurants, 29 of which have signed up.
McDerby said a culinary committee led by noted restaurateurs Robert Del Grande of RDG & Bar Annie, Michael Cordúa (Américas , Artista) and Randy Evans (Haven) is developing the list.
The Texas tasting will feature 40 in-state breweries exclusively.
I’m thinking this was Mayor Parker’s favorite press conference of all time.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker on Tuesday turned a public announcement about a new beer festival into a toast to the city’s industriousness and traditions of hospitality.
“Houston has always been a place for entrepreneurs,” she said, adding craft brewers to a legacy of dynamic business owners who stimulate the local economy.
“Today we celebrate an industry and a city on the rise,” she said, raising a glass of Houston-brewed beer from Saint Arnold Brewing Co. “Here’s to our city, and here’s to beer.”
I’ll drink to that. The festival will run from October 23-25, and tickets go on sale on February 17. They’re limiting sales to 11,000 tix for the main event, so I’d advise buying yours quickly, not to mention perhaps planning for a vacation day on the Friday. The event webpage is here, the Facebook page is here, and a photo gallery from the press conference is here. CultureMap has more.