Now in its eigth year, the Texas Craft Brewers Festival (TCBF) descends upon Austin this Saturday, September 29, with an expanded format and even more breweries represented. The TCBF is a product of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild (TCBG), with some proceeds benefiting various charities each year.
Texas breweries have recently come off an impressive 18 wins at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, where they showed the rest of the country that Texas is good enough to be in the same conversation with stalwarts like California, Colorado and Portland.
This year's festival will feature over 70 Texas craft brewers with a multitude of unique brews for attendees to enjoy. Whether you’re a novice, or a seasoned festival vet, there will be something for everyone and special tappings on the hour from many of the participating breweries.
Returning this year is Partners In Craft, a small gathering that featurs around 30 Texas craft breweries each highlighting beers that are collaborations with other breweries, bands, even coffee shops. Held the night before the festival, the evening is a great chance to get together with old friends with an opportunity to meet new ones and serves as a great lead into to the festival itself the next day.
VIP attendees will get a two-hour head-start on the general admission ticket holders, allowing them more personable one-on-one-time with the brewers and virtually no lines at all (that in and of itself would be worth the VIP ticket price), both of which allow VIPs to get some of the special tappings all to themselves.
The culture of the festival evolves each year with attendees getting educated not just on what craft beer is, but how to differentiate styles and evaluate what they are drinking. What began years ago as a way to bring awareness to what Texas craft breweries have to offer, has become much more. It's a party, it's industry networking and it's like minds getting together to enjoy the best beer that Texas has to offer. It is always amazing to see folks from all over Texas meet for the first time or catch up with friends from around the state over a pint of Texas brew.
For those attending (the festival is sold out), do not forget to eat and stay hydrated throughout your time there. You’ll thank yourself later.