The craft beer community is still dealing with the as-yet-unsolved murder of Duff Beer Distribution founder Ashley "Ash" Rowell. The murder came at the tail end of Duff's existence, as the brand was in the process of being integrated into Favorite Brands following Rowell's sale of Duff to the much larger distributor.
In order to help celebrate Rowell's life and the strides he made for craft beer in Texas, local beer and service industry members have organized a week-long series of events. The six events beginning next week will not only highlight beers that Rowell and Duff were responsible for bringing to Houston, but will raise funds to be donated to Texas Children's Hospital through the Ash Rowell Foundation.
A quick look at the six events below:
Beginning on Monday, March 25 from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Liberty Station will feature special tappings. I expect some very cool beers from owner Charles Bishop and company at Liberty. If you haven't had a chance to have a beer here, this is one of the very best patios to enjoy our last few moments of nice weather with a pint. The bar will be donating 20 percent of all draft sales to Texas Children's, so drink what's on tap.
Tuesday, March 26 sees a beer dinner at Hay Merchant featuring beers Duff brought to Texas including the extremely limited Three Floyd's and Brewdog collaboration, Bitch Please. This may be your last chance to sample chef Antoine Ware's food at Hay Merchant because as Eater reports, he will be leaving the craft beer bar at the end of the month. Seats are $75 and can be reserved by calling Hay Merchant at 713-528-9805
Wednesday, Flying Saucer Downtown will be tapping special Duff beers and for every Duff beer sold, the bar will donate $1 to Texas Children's. This goes the same on Thursday for Flying Saucer Sugarland. If that's not enough, the bars will be rolling out special beers all week long to commemorate the event.
Friday is Petrol Station's night and they will be bringing live music back to the bar for the first time in some time. If you know Petrol, you know they don't do special events without bringing out the big guns. Owner Ben Fullelove has always taken special events and charity nights very seriously so don't sleep on this one, it's gonna bang.
Back to Charles Bishop's other bar Cottonwood for the finale, with an all-day party celebrating Rowell. The party will raise money by donating 20 percent of all draft sales to the Ash Rowell Foundation and Texas Children's Hospital. Festivities include music from The George Mitchell Trio who -- despite not being a band featuring Woodlands founder George P. Mitchell and also containing fewer than three members both times I have seen them -- are a stellar blues rock band in the vein of The Black Keys, The Dirtbombs and Grandfather Child.
Also set to play at 6 p.m. is Free Press Summer Fest act Deep Cuts, who have my vote as one of the best new bands in Houston right now. If you don't believe me, check them out playing at Fitzgerald's below:
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As you can tell, Houston's craft beer community was very fond of Rowell and this series of events is shaping up to be a great way to remember the man. As bars finalize their tap lists, I'll post the updated information on Twitter -- follow me at @JoshuaAJustice -- along with any other updates as they come. Expect taps from famous Duff accounts like the Utah Brewers Collective and Brewdog among others. Eating...Our Words will be out at events all week so if you are out and about, holler at us on Twitter or just come say hi.