HOUSTON, Texas -- Part of what makes the Tastemaker Awards so special are our judges. These former winners bring an intimate knowledge of Houston's bar and restaurant scene to their roles, which means all of the nominees in the various categories are truly outstanding professionals who all deserve to win.
The Brewery of the Year category is a little different in the sense that it reflects which local brewers are making the presence felt in bars and restaurants, rather than those that are generating conversation with limited edition offerings sold primarily through their taprooms. Most of what they produce may never be distributed to bars and restaurants.
While lots of people may be lining up to claim the latest pastry stout or hazy, New England-style IPA, most of our judges certainly aren't (as far as we know). In that environment, it's hard for a smaller shop like Great Heights or Ingenious to break through and be recognized alongside established players like Buffalo Bayou and Saint Arnold - even though they're well thought of by local beer enthusiasts. Still, as this year's slate demonstrates, some of the newcomers are breaking through. With a little more hard work, more of them will surely follow.
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