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Grand Incubator

Southern-fried dim sum from Yaki Snack Attack and Bernie’s Burger Bus.

"The day that Bob McNair won the right to bring the Texans to Houston and announced that there would be tailgating," says member Glen Miller, "the Raging Bulls tailgaters were born."

Since that time, the Raging Bulls have won countless awards for their Texans pride and game-day spirit and have been called "the thoroughbreds of tailgating" by Tailgater Monthly magazine. Their massive game-day celebrations now cover 30 parking spaces in the Platinum lot at Reliant Stadium, so it makes sense to kick off the weekly series by spotlighting one of the loudest and proudest Texans tailgating crews.

The Raging Bulls on having goals:

"[Tailgating is] our way to build a fan base for a team that had no history and to promote what Houston does best, which is give and share. In some small way, to try and repay Mr. McNair for the commitment he made to the football fans of Houston, with a goal of making Houston the best tailgate city in America."

The Raging Bulls on extra Christmases:

"Game day is like Christmas morning, so to have ten Christmases a season — and now potentially more because our team is awesome and gives us hope for playoff games."

The Raging Bulls on their biggest challenges and maintaining enthusiasm:

"Trying to keep improving, making each tailgate better than the last, working hard to be the best, and keeping the home crowd enthusiastic — even in the years when the team is maybe not the best. Football is a privilege, and I want everyone to realize that. Be as enthusiastic as we are."

The Raging Bulls on the best part of game days:

"The tons of people who give us praise for what we do. We have hosted people from all around the league — all around the world, for that matter — and hearing them say what they do about our group being the best and so giving is very humbling. Seeing fans, young and old, bonding over a piece of sausage and a cold beverage or six makes it all worthwhile."

The Raging Bulls on prepping for tailgate days:

"It is really a weeklong endeavor for some of us, just gathering stuff, getting stuff prepared, etc. Game day starts early, around 4:30 or 5 a.m., getting prepped and ready to go. Once they let us in at 7 a.m., we hit the ground running. Everyone has a job — setting up tents, prepping food, firing up the grill — and then we party, doing our best to get people pumped about the Texans."

The Raging Bulls on their signature items, including their "world famous" Battle Red Kool-Aid:

"Since day one, one of our signature items is our Cajun-smoked boudin. But people love it all: brisket, ribs, pork tenderloins, sausage, rib-eye steaks, shrimp done every way you can imagine, fried wings, fish, Cajun fries, bacon-wrapped scallops and anything else you can wrap in bacon.

"Our most popular item has to be the Battle Red Kool-Aid. Drink it and you will believe:

• 1 part cherry vodka

• 1 part regular vodka

• 1 part cranberry, pomegranate and lime juice"

The Raging Bulls on the importance of the five F's:

"The Raging Bulls are all about the 5 F's: family, friends, football, food and fun." Katharine Shilcutt
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BREW BLOG

Sixpoint Stars

A brewery makes its mark on Texas.

"It was very planned out," said Sixpoint founder Shane Welch of his brewery's recent move into the Texas market. The Brooklyn, New York-based brewery hit Texas last week with an initial offering of five different beers, a number Welch promised would grow in the near future.

We had a chance to check in on Welch's visit to Houston recently during his stop in to Rockwell Tavern in Cypress. Given Rockwell's far-flung location, any excuse to get out to the craft beer and burger hotspot is always welcome. After we pounded down our burgers and finished sharing the various Sixpoint beers available on draft at Rockwell, Welch sat down and offered some insight into his brewery's latest sales expansion.

From the get-go, it was apparent Welch has very happily done his homework on the Texas market. Boasting that this was his tenth trip to the Lone Star State, he was capable of speaking to hometown favorites Karbach and Saint Arnold just as easily as he was his own beers. This was especially impressive, given the relatively low profile of Texas beers on the national stage.

"The culture here...the culture is good," said Welch. "There are certain states across this country that aren't beer drinkers. Texas has a beer-drinking culture in spades...from top to bottom.

"And," Welch added, "now there's a vibrant craft beer culture, too."

In fact, the more he spoke, the more it became clear that the Sixpoint tagline — "Beer Is Culture" — isn't a passing marketing concept but a life philosophy for Welch. The guy is literally a sponge of information, and not just information about beer, either.

Throughout our hour-long discussion, he discussed his world travels prior to opening the brewery and then effortlessly engaged the Fashion Institute of Technology grad student at the table, aptly discussing fashion production as it relates to the brewing industry. For Welch, it seems, everything he engages can be logically pinned back to brewing. And conversely, beer relates to the world around him — his is a life of true beer culture, if you will.

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