By now you’ve probably figured out that I like beer. And one of my favorite things is getting beer from the source. #DrinkLocal, amirite? I love Houston beer and the craft beer scene is exploding. Houston’s beer game is growing so quickly that I’ve been finding it hard to keep up with all the new (and not so new) Houston breweries and taprooms. So in the name of research and for the sake of my awesome readers (I know, so altruistic), I’m starting a feature on Houston beer so we don’t miss out on great Houston breweries.
It seems fitting that I start with one of my favorite Houston Breweries – Buffalo Bayou Brewery. An obvious reason it lands at the top of my Houston beer list is, of course, the beer. Buffalo Bayou Breweries’ Summer’s Wit was the first craft beer I ever fell in love with years ago shortly after moving to Houston. But the biggest reason I love Buffalo Bayou Brewery is their parties. I’ve been to 3 anniversary parties, a Texas Independence Day party, and several Buffalo Bayou Brewery Christmas in July party – I’ve got the glasses to prove it.
This year, they took it up a notch with carolers and a band to really embody the Christmas spirit…with some quirks, of course.
Here’s how it works. The party, Christmas in July and otherwise is always from 6 – 9 pm. People come decked out in their Christmas finest. Except it’s July in Houston and there’s no A/C. Some people are in it to win it. The costume party, that is. A few commit to wearing their finest ugly sweater or Santa suit for the whole night, or at least until the judging is done. Others wear a Christmas t-shirt or a red and green accessory. That’s probably the smarter way to go. The majority of festivity partakers are more like me and they just wear as little clothing as possible while still being a respectable human because it’s 100 degrees and we’re outside drinking all the beer we can responsibly consume for three hours.
8 Tips for Partying at Buffalo Bayou Brewery
- Dress for the weather. Buffalo Bayou Brewery’s climate is not controlled. Inside the brewery there are fans, but the majority of the event takes place outside. If there’s a theme and you want to be festive, be strategic. One red flip flop and one green work great for Christmas in July. Go for your full on wool sweater if you wish, but you can’t drink beer if you’re being rushed to the hospital for heat exhaustion.
- Review the beer list as soon as you get there and map out your plan. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re really advanced, you’ll bring a pen or highlighter. Very few of the beers are available all night, so if there’s something you’re dying to try, keep an eye on the rotating taps. This may sound confusing, but you’ll catch on quick. Bonus tip: The best time to get in line is 15-20 minutes after they’ve rotated. People love to jump right on it, which is fine too. The lines move quickly, but if you want to minimize your line standing, wait a few minutes after they’ve rotated.
- Eat beforehand. This may be controversial, but I think eating until you’re comfortable (not stuffed) before is the best strategy. This way you’ve got plenty on your stomach so you can avoid making a fool of yourself, but you also have room for beer. There is usually BBQ there, which could work if you’re one of the first in line and can snag a table.
- Don’t feel obligated to finish your beer. Another controversial one, but there are soooo many beers to try and you’ve already paid, so why suffer through a beer you don’t enjoy when there are 39 other beers to try.
- Take an Uber or Lyft. Not controversial. I think this is a given for an event like this. But the parking sitch in the area isn’t great, so even if your friend who’s sworn off drinking after the tequila binge last night wants to drive you, you’re still better off pulling up that app.
- Bring a chair. Seating can fill up, so if you want max comfort, pull that tailgating chair out of your closet. Oh, and don’t leave it in the Uber.
- A word about the bathroom sitch. There are real bathrooms inside, but I think there are only two. Porta Potties are outside. (Never thought I’d write Porta Potty on my blog.) For the love of ladies: gentlemen, consider using the outdoor accommodations. Please?
- These are tips, not rules. If it sounds complicated, I promise you it’s not. Drink up, have fun, and say hi! You’re bound to spot me!