Beer is on the rise across the United States. More craft breweries continue to open at a record pace as the industry grows and the American palate matures. It only makes sense that the number of beer festivals is also growing and a very large festival is coming up in a few weeks in Galveston. It is the Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival, the largest event of its kind in the state of Texas.
The Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival is multi- day event, running over Labor Day weekend from August 31 through September 2, 2012. The event brings together craft brewers from across the United States and a few from other parts of the globe, sharing their brew and their knowledge of this growing industry.
The festival is now in its third year and it kicks off on Friday, August 31, continuing through Sunday, September 2. It will take place at Galveston’s famed Moody Gardens, a botanical showcase more than 242 acres in size, providing a cozy, natural atmosphere for guests to enjoy some fine craft beer and learn about the products and industry behind them.
The Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival is different from most other beer festivals in one important way. Instead of opening the gates and operating as one large event, the festival is actually a series of smaller events geared toward specific interests in craft beer and the brewing industry. Here is a quick summary of the different adventures planned for this years’ festival:
BrewLicious in the Ballroom- This opening event on August 31, 2012 will take place in the Moody Gardens Hotel’s Francis Anne Moody Ballroom. It will feature renowned chefs showcasing unique food and beer pairing selections. The event begins at 7 p.m. and runs to 10 p.m. Tickets to the event are $45, with a VIP Premium upgrade available for $75, which includes early entry and premium craft beer selections.
Brewmasters Friday Night Pub Crawl- Another Friday, August 31 evening event, this pub crawl will transport guests via bus to some of the many unique taverns on Galveston Island. The party bus leaves promptly at 8 p.m. and returns at 12 a.m. The cost of this event is $25 per person and includes a Brewmaster’s Craft Beer Festival t-shirt and koozie. Purchases of beer and other items at each stop on the crawl are not included in the $25 price, so make sure to have cash
or debit/credit card handy.
Texas Brewery Tasting Tour- This tour takes place on Saturday, September 1 between 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. in the Moody Gardens Floral Rooms. Guests will be taken on a walking “tour” of different Texas breweries where they can meet with some of the brewmasters, talk about the beer, and sample a glass or two. The price tag for this event is $25 per person and the number of guests is limited, so interested parties need to act quickly.
Brew Ha- Ha Grand Tasting- The highlight of the weekend, the Brew Ha- Ha will feature more than 400 different beer products and is scheduled for Saturday, September 1 from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Guests can mingle with the crowd, meet brewery personnel, and sample beer from across the United States and the world. The cost of this event is $35 in advance or $40 at the door and includes a sampling cup, souvenir, tasting card good for 24 one oz. samples of craft beer, access to seminars and merchandise, and live musical entertainment. Those who want more can opt for a VIP ticket for $85, which includes a private seating area, premium beer selections, and food.
Brew Stars and ‘Gars- This event is designed for those who love a good brew and a good smoke. The Garden City Cay at Moody Gardens will host this event and it will run from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 1. It will feature food, beer, and cigar pairings. Guests will enjoy a three- course dinner complemented by three fine cigars and four craft beers, all for the price of just $75 per person.
Brews, Boots, and Barbecue- Barbecue is a Texas tradition so what better way to end a festival than with a boot- stompin’, beer drinking, meat- eating celebration? This closing event takes place on Sunday, September 2 from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. and carries a $10 cover charge. Guests can then purchase bottled beers from among the 400+ offerings and later partake in two- step dancing, armadillo races, and more as the festival winds to a close.
Tickets to each of the above events can be purchased directly through the Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival web site. Keep in mind that the Brew Ha- Ha and BrewLicious events are limited to those 21 years of age or older. No children, including infants, can attend these events. However, some of the other events are a little more family- friendly and there is even a two- day pass available for those who want to attend multiple events and save a little money.
The Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival is a large craft beer extravaganza with multiple events planned over a three day period. The beauty of an event like this is that guests can pick and choose exactly which event they want to attend. There is no need to pay up- front for access to multiple activities in which guests have no interest. Instead, you select the events you like best and limit your activities to those that appeal to you personally.
Guests traveling from the Houston metropolitan area may opt to drive home after the event but for others, there is plenty of lodging available in and around Moody Gardens and Galveston. Moody Gardens Hotel is offering a special Brewmasters package that can be purchased through the Moody Gardens Hotel web site or by calling 888-388-8484. Other area hotels are ready to serve you and a complete list of options can be found at the Galveston web site.
Labor Day weekend is usually associated with the end of summer and is often a transitional time between work and school. It is also a time for relaxation and celebration, so why not spend it at the largest craft beer festival in Texas? Save the date, schedule a babysitter if necessary, purchase your tickets, and head to Galveston for the third annual Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival. It’s certain to be a great experience with fine brew, entertainment, and education for all.
Note: Article originally posted at Examiner.com