Trying to navigate the suddenly complex and overwhelming world of craft beer at a time when seasonal sours and bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stouts are all the rage? It's best to lay a foundation first -- building institutional knowledge of what exactly craft beer is, which styles you like and what breweries built the industry into the juggernaut it is today.
The inaugural Houston Press BrewFest on Saturday, May 18 at Silver Street Station is exactly that opportunity. This isn't necessarily the craft beer festival for die-hard homebrewers or hard-core beer nerds. Instead, this is an open invitation to anyone who's interested in learning more about craft beer and tasting through some entry-level to mid-range samples on a pleasant May afternoon.
According to market research, sales of craft beer doubled over the five year period between 2007 and 2012, up from only $5.7 billion in sales to $12 billion by 2012. That's a drastic difference in the overall beer market -- saturated with mass produced beers like Miller, Bud and Coors -- which increased only 1 percent.
"Sales of traditional mass-produced beer in the U.S. have basically remained flat for several years," reported Brad Tuttle in Time last month, "giving the impression that if consumers are drinking more beer, they're probably turning to craft beverages."
Some of the craft beers we'll have on hand at the BrewFest on May 18 include selections from breweries big and small, local and nationwide:
- 8th Wonder (Houston)
- Adelbert's Brewing
- Big Sky Brewery
- Bridgeport Brewery
- Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. (Houston)
- Crazy Mountain Brewing
- Deschutes Brewery
- Fort Bend Brewing Co. (Houston)
- Goose Island
- Independence Brewing
- Karbach Brewery Co. (Houston)
- Lazy Magnolia Brewing
- Leprechaun Cider
- Lone Pint (Houston)
- No Label (Houston)
- Rahr & Sons Brewery
- Saint Arnold Brewery (Houston)
- Sierra Nevada
- Southern Star (Houston)
- Spoetzel Brewery
- Wasatch Brewing
- Woodchuck Cider
Tickets include eight 3-ounce beer samples or two 12-ounce pours and live music from Honky Tonk Blood Brothers, Leo Mendoza, Keyun and the Zydeco Masters, and Thelastplaceyoulook. Food trucks will be on site selling plenty of good eats throughout the BrewFest, which runs from 4 to 10 p.m. Wine, tequila and other spirit samples will also be available for those who aren't in a beer mood.
VIP tickets include early admission to the BrewFest from 3 to 4 p.m. and access to a VIP area with special seasonal beers and plenty of seating. Tickets are currently on sale for half-price in a deal that ends tonight at midnight. General admission tickets are only $20 and VIP tickets are only $39.
After tonight, tickets will be selling for $35 for general admission or $60 for VIP. Tickets will also be available at the door for $45 and $70, so save your cash for the food trucks and snap those tickets up today.