Toast to the end of summer at the 8th annual BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival in sunny Galveston Island

Named Top 3 beer event by USA TODAY and revered by beer lovers across the region, BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival is an immersive multi-day event over Labor Day weekend that lets visitors tap into the world of craft beer on island time.

Visitors will flock to Galveston Island September 1-3 in the pursuit of hoppiness and a craft beer experience unlike any other. With 400 craft beers, and rare “Taste it First” selections, the Free Beer Friday Bad Ass Beard Contest and more, this 3-day event offers endless opportunities to learn from the best in the craft beer industry.

Whether you are a craft-loyal drinker looking for inspiration, or just a newbie finding your way, BrewMasters is the ultimate event for experiencing the distinctive world of craft beer.

Clifton McDerby, Executive Director of Food & Vine Time Productions, Inc. explained “our vision has always been to make sure that loyalists and newcomers to this event experience the widest selection of craft beers available at any Texas festival, along with brew education and an introduction to new brews coming available for the first time at BrewMasters.”

“This year we are planning pop-up tastings,” McDerby added. “Guests will be pleasantly surprised by this addition, we feel certain.”  But BrewMasters is more than just great tasting craft beer, “it is a place to meet the people who make the craft beer industry a force to be reckoned with,” McDerby added.

The three-day festival is packed with beer, cheer, and plenty of foam-filled events happening each day over the Labor Day weekend.


Friday night, September 1 kicks off at 7 p.m. with the spirited Nach-Yo Ordinary Tequila Tasting event featuring a range of high-quality tequila-tasting and plenty of salt and nachos for all.  Frivolity abounds at the popular BrewMasters Friday Night Pub Crawl at 8 p.m. where guests can climb aboard a festive party bus each of which is hosted by a brew brain and tour some of Galveston’s coolest bars.


Saturday, September 2 is all about craft beer, and the innovative breweries who make it happen. As Texas ranks 8th in the amount of craft beer produced each year, visitors won’t want to miss the Texas Brewery Tasting Tour. This tour provides a rare opportunity to meet some of the most successful and emerging breweries in the state. Guests will enjoy featured selections with each brewery offering a “Taste it First” selection in a small group and intimate environment with some of the most passionate and skilled brewers in the industry from 11:30 – 12:45 p.m.

On Saturday afternoon, the ultimate BrewHaHa Grand Tasting begins with the chance to sample some of the best beer in the world, over 400 of them to be exact. Don’t miss any of the “Taste it First” selections which offer an exclusive opportunity to sample never-before-seen craft beers.

Not a fan of waiting in line? The BrewHaHa VIP Premium Lounge provides early access to the tasting floor plus an exclusive space to get crafty with live music, light bites, and premium sampling.  The VIP Zone opens at 2 p.m. with the Grand Tasting at 3 p.m.

Don’t miss a wide range of experts on the Beer University Stage including the Women in Craft Beer panel where the women of craft beer talk about the growth of women in the industry.

Yes, you can “Have your beer and eat it, too.”  The Art Institute of Houston will present several cooking demonstrations showcasing how to cook with beer.  And finalists in the infamous Bad Ass Beard Contest, presented by Free Beer Friday, will see if their mustache, goatee, and beard made the final cut.

BrewMasters goes out with a bang on Saturday and Sunday night with Beach, Brews, and Bands at Moody Garden’s Palm Beach with a live concert each night at Palm Beach.


To top off the foam-filled weekend, don’t miss the Brew-B-Que, Sunday September 3 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. featuring smokin’ hot smokehouse specialties, live music and, of course, plenty of brews.

Meet Rocky Stubbs from the infamous Stubb’s Barbecue empire, which started in 1968 when C.B. Stubblefield, “Stubb,” opened his first restaurant in Lubbock, Texas. Over the course of his life, Stubb perfected the art of barbecue, including making the sauces, marinades and rubs that today bring legendary Texas flavor to homes everywhere.  Stubb was well known for his trademark smile and infamous line… “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m a cook.”

Make it a destination weekend

photo: V. Sweeten

Set in Galveston’s tropical Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center, with special events at various venues around the island, BrewMasters breaks out the barrels and serves up foam-filled perfection all weekend long.

Tickets range from $25-$85.

For more info on the festivities, visit www.brewmastersbeerfest.com.