04 Aug 5th Annual – 2020-2021 Houston MVB Winner
This Was Some Pretty Tight Voting
To begin with, several smaller breweries got active in the voting this year, and that resulted in a very competitive race! It’s super fun watching the lead change hands back and forth as people rally for the brewery they love most.
As the scene in Houston continues to grow, evolve, and breweries push one another to innovate in new ways, it seems like the market is shifting. Not to say that hazies, thicc fruit beers, or other hype beers are going anywhere, but it seems like those things are more commonplace therefore less celebrated. Furthermore, a maturing palate seems to be developing, and more lagers are on shelves and tapwalls as a result.
Finally, COVID has to be mentioned as a factor. Now that people have been going out more in these last few months, breweries that offer an experience seemed to be in the conversation more than usual. At the end of the day, it’s a lot bigger than just the liquid.
Sorry to keep you waiting. Just like every other year, we end up with a ton of duplicate and fake votes because beer people are so passionate about their favorite spot. It’s annoying having to validate all those addresses, but to be honest, it’s funny and a bit heartwarming. Seeing the passion of these folks reminds us of why we put so much effort into covering these people that keep our beer fridges full!
You Came For the Winners, Though
A few honorable mentions are in order, though. Robert mentioned Galveston Island Brewing was, “The brewery you have to go to. Good beer, good people. Always giving back to the community.” Manuel mentioned No Label, “It’s obviously been a tough year. But NL did a great job of staying active in the community and staying in touch with the customers.” Southern Star was also mentioned, and Shawn said “These guys are always putting out new beers and always helping out the community any way they can big things are happening.” Kristen said something similar about 11 Below, “They are the best! Always coming out with great beers, supporting their communities, serving great service with the best atmosphere!”
Y’all seeing a trend?
Breweries are building loyalty through a lot more than good beer. Breweries are building loyalty through serving their communities, giving back, and making atmospheres that are welcoming and inclusive. That’s a sure sign of a good time. Heck, the beer is really just the lubrication. Jeff Handojo of 11 Below said it perfectly a few years ago. “Beer is a commodity. We don’t sell beer. We sell memories.”
It’s a small spot with big heart. Every time we’re up there, we’re greeted with a handshake and a memorable experience. Even if it’s just watching the regulars play darts, there’s something about CBC Cypress that feels like home, and apparently there are a lot of people that believe that. Cypress really showed out this year.
“CBC is only a mile away and I’d go every day, except Justin, Jazzy and Pauly take Monday off. CBC is where I pushed aside the Coors Light and learned to drink REAL beer.” – Tim
A perennial front runner thanks to their delicious beer, pizza, and great family-friendly atmosphere, SpindleTap’s fans seem to be voting less than usual based on the votes from the last 4 years. SpindleTap actually won 2016-2017 and 2018-2019.
“Community oriented. Guest beers + local brews . Nice environment , great food from a real restaurant on site. Customer service is top notch and owners are the best!” – Luis
Rusty Gate is a new one to the top of the list, but again, the COVID effect can’t be ignored. Their spacious, outdoor scenery is likely a draw for those looking for an escape. We’re excited to see these folks’ expansion soon!
“They opened just before the pandemic and still persevered to maintain customers and keep up with the community. I love the vibe out there and great beer too!” – Lena
These folks were the 2019-2020 winner thanks, in part, to all of their philanthropy. Their crazy beers draw crowds and online sales sell out in 2 minutes, so it’s never a surprise to see them in the top spots. Plus their labels are super ok. That can’t hurt, right?
“They’ve made various specialty brews for charitable donations. There was the front line workers, save the turtles, and several others.” – Chris
Fulbrook Ale Works seems to be in the top few each year, but the voters lose steam at the end. Their no BS approach has developed quite a cult following for the scrappy taproom, and their recent addition of cans into the market surely can’t hurt.
“Nice open neighborhood place to go and listen to live music, dance & drink great 🍺 beer.” – Karen
Baa Baa is another one that’s grown a cult following. They’ve grown their spot so much, and their small batch releases are never enough beer to keep up with the crowd they draw, so it makes sense to see them in the top every year!
“Amazing beer, great people. Consistently produce quality hazy IPAs, fruited sours that are second to none, and some truly epic stouts. Their collaborations have been excellent.
Their online ordering and curbside pickup has helped me and my buddies get through the COVID pandemic. Cheers to Marc, Kinga, and the whole Baa Baa crew.” – Tim
The 2020-2021 MVB Winner Goes to Brent Topa!
Just kidding. A post-apocalyptic brewery in Kingwood that’s all about live music and a good time, Megaton Brewery has taken the top spot. Brent and his band, the Brandon Mcdermott Band, just released their first single from their first studio album, and they had the pleasure of playing it live at Megaton. Many local artists have found a home on Megaton’s stage, and it’s the type of place that people go to for an experience.
They’re one of only a small handful of breweries in town that have a clear cut visual style that’s instantly recognizable on social media. It counts for a lot more than people give it credit for. When people see you day in and day out on their screens, and you’re easy to recognize at a glance, that makes a lasting impact. At some point you’ll get thirsty, and you’ll end up belly-up at the nicest waste land we’ve ever been to.
We’re getting the trophy, the framed certificate, and the side bar ads on the to do list, and we’ll be reaching out to interview them very soon!
Beers to you, Houston. 🍻