On the House is Eater's column that goes behind the scenes of the industry, written by the owners, operators, chefs and others who make our favorite establishments tick. Today, the organizers of the Texas Beer Fest, coming up this month at Discovery Green, have written a post on why they first decided to organize a festival focused on craft beer in light of recent complaints about beer festivals in Houston and Austin.
Texas Beer Fest's inaugural event last year in Humble. [TXBeerFest/Facebook]
We at Texas Beer Fest never started as "professional festival organizers." We were a couple of beer enthusiasts who work within the industry, who wanted to create a professional beer festival that we could put our names behind and that we would use to support local breweries. This is truly a labor of love, and one that has to be accomplished in addition to our normal day jobs.
Was our first year perfect? No. Is event planning tough? Absolutely... and that's why we've teamed up with Spectrum: a national catering and events specialist.
Creating a festival, especially a beer festival, is in no way cheap - renting the grounds, renting port-o-pots, booking bands, and getting advertising out adds up quickly. Plus, we haven't even mentioned buying hundreds of kegs of beer. Last year we were proud to proclaim the number of breweries we had in attendance and the number of beers patrons could expect to try. We loved hearing people say, "We have 17 breweries in Texas?!?"
This year, we approached nearly 50 Texas breweries to attend TxBF alongside other national and international craft favorites.
The explosion of craft breweries in Texas in the past year is raising the bar for what Texans consider to be craft beer and also firmly affixing our state as a force to be reckoned with on the national and international craft beer stage. And, we can only hope that as the craft beer industry is being revolutionized in our state that what consumers expect from a beer festival or beer event will follow those trends. Texans are demanding more when they go to bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and sports events, and those changes support local industry and in turn, our local economy.
Should one bad apple spoil the bunch? We don't think so. It should encourage a greater awareness within the community, and maybe more questions will be asked about a festival: "Who runs the fest?" "What have they done before?" "What does the brewery list look like?" and finally, "How are these organizers supported and profiting from this fest?"
We are one festival among many in this state that strive to promote craft beer, support the local economy, and have a good relationship with consumers, distributors, bars, breweries, and restaurants. We encourage festival-goers to find these events in their communities, that are in it for the right reasons, and support their cause and craft beer.
- Clif & Jake, & the rest of the TxBF officers