Upcoming Events: Beer Fundraisers, Wine Dinners and Resolutions

Beer lovers, pay attention: February is your month!

Up first is the next Open The Taps fundraiser, held on Sunday, February 12, at the Southern Star Brewery in Conroe from 2 to 5 p.m. (Trust us, February is one of the best months for hanging out in the charmingly un-air-conditioned, corrugated-metal-warehouse brewery.)

The aim of the fundraising event is to raise money to help further Open The Taps' mission to bring change to Texas craft beer laws in the upcoming 2013 legislative session. Only 100 tickets are available ($25 each or two for $50), which will get you a full brewery tour and tasting session, food samples from the new Coreanos Texas Food Truck, live music and a raffle ticket. Event tickets go on sale tomorrow morning and -- as with other Open The Taps events -- will likely sell out fast.

February 18 brings the latest City Acre Brewing tasting. The brewery's website has instructions on how to get an invitation (pesky TABC requirements, y'all), but they're pretty simple. Just email the brewery -- we did the same thing! -- and follow the City Acre team on Twitter for more information about the February 18 tasting and more upcoming events.

This Sunday, head over to the Highland Village Farmers Market (2720 Suffolk Street, behind Jospeh A. Bank), where Urban Harvest will have a team of professionals on hand to help if you're struggling with your New Year's resolutions: Chef Roy Rodriguez of Chef Roy's Catering will be on hand demonstrating how to make green smoothies; a registered dietician and wellness coach will both be available to advise on how to set realistic goals; and there will even be a planting and gardening demonstration for the kids. It's all free, and it takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Going on next week at Piqueo, the new tapas joint in Cypress from Mezzanotte owner Gerry Sarmiento, will be rum tastings and a mini wine tasting. The mini wine tasting will take place on January 24 from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring four wines paired with four bites for $18. And the rum tasting will take place all week long, featuring four one-ounce pours of 12-year-old to 23-year-old rums, also for $18. Call ahead at 281-404-4190 to reserve your spot for both.

Meatless Mondays at Backstreet Cafe in River Oaks have been going so well, the restaurant has just announced its first ever vegetarian wine dinner on Thursday, January 26, at 7 p.m. The menu will feature five courses and a reception, with dishes like curried carrot soup shots, a cauliflower and chanterelle stew, red pepper couscous and a basil cake with rhubarb compote for dessert, all paired with wines from Italy and France. The price is $89 per person; call 713-302-9087 for reservations.

Sister restaurant Prego in Rice Village will be hosting a wine dinner of its own on Wednesday, February 8, at 7 p.m. The Ramspeck Wine Dinner will feature the winery's various vintages, along with courses from Chef John Watt such as oven-roasted Gulf oysters, ravioli stuffed with sweetbreads and a pecan-grilled Texas filet. The cost is $100 per person; call 713-526-2420 for reservations.

Coming up on Saturday, February 11, Lucky's Pub is hosting the Rory Miggins Memorial Irish Stew Cook-Off from noon to 6 p.m. The cook-off is held every year to raise money for the St. Patrick's Day Parade, which is one of Houston's oldest annual parades. The day will feature live music from bands like the Blaggards, Guinness relays, raffles and -- of course -- the chance to judge Irish stews, chilis and more.

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Katharine Shilcutt