Inaugural 3-day Spring Whiskey Festival in late April


As City Place continues to grow, so does its selection of community events. Now, the spring development is gearing up for what organizers describe as its biggest event yet, drawing people from all over greater Houston for a weekend of spirited fun.

The first HTX Whiskey Weekend will feature a variety of whiskey and dining experiences over the course of three days starting Friday, April 29.

City Place, home to corporate campuses like ExxonMobil and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, is quickly establishing itself as a must-visit destination in North Houston with a growing number of restaurants, entertainment, residential options, miles of nature trails and access to the Spring Creek Greenway, says Andrew Giammalva.

“Celebrating the whiskey scene in Texas felt like a great way to complement our outdoor spaces and our urban core,” explained the project manager of CDC Houston Inc., the master developer of City Place.

“There’s nothing better than Texas whiskey, great food and live music.”

City Place is the main event organizer with assistance from Harris County Improvement District 18 and Public Content.

Made in Texas

Every distillery participating in the event has whiskey made, bottled or distilled in Texas, said co-organizer Ryan Baird.

Baird is a beverage entrepreneur who co-founded Yellow Rose Distilling, the first whistly legal distillery in the Houston area, before the brand was sold off a few years ago. Now he is launching another brand called Watertight Cocktail.

“We’re probably one of the only events of the year that’s just focused on Texas whiskey producers,” Baird said.

“I think it’s really unique,” he said.

Participating distillers include Katy’s MKT Distillery; Williams Price, in Houston; Devil’s River Whiskey, Rebecca Creek and Maverick Whiskey, from San Antonio; Gentle Ben of Alvin; Whiskey Luckenbach Road; Hill Country Distillers, of Comfort; Always Austin; the Texas Tail Distillery in Galveston; Former humble distillery; Blackland Distillery and Firestone & Robertson, based in Fort Worth; and Milam and Greene Whiskey, from Blanco.

Anyone can attend the festival, but the minimum drinking age is 21.

Variety of activities

Friday features a four-course dinner in partnership with The Butchers Ball, a food group that includes three Houston chefs who competed on Top Chef alongside Daniel Chang, the owner of City Place Sushi Rebel restaurant.

Cigar rolling, live music and whiskey sampling will all be part of the Friday night experience, Giammalva said.

The Friday event is limited to 100 guests. Tickets can be purchased at at $150 per person.

Saturday will begin with fitness and yoga classes at City Place Plaza, followed by a series of classes on whiskey-related topics at the Marriott.

Collecting Whiskey 101 starts at 10 a.m., The Business of Whiskey at 12:30 p.m. and A Perfect Pour: Whiskey Cocktail Class at 2 p.m., which is already sold out.

“There’s going to be a session on the whiskey business and whiskey making, the different aspects, because some of the people there will probably want to start their own whiskey distilleries one day,” Baird said.

The day will conclude with a signature event, “A Taste of City Place,” which includes whiskey and food tasting areas with more than 15 Houston-area Texas distilleries and chefs, as well as live music.

Sampling tickets are $45 per person for whiskey and $35 for food, but can be purchased together for $65.

Sunday includes a free outdoor brunch called “Waffles and Wheels” scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Star Cinema parking lot that will feature whiskey-inspired fare, music, and a collection of Houston art cars.

Musical artists include Rapture, Jake Bush, Tony and Liz and the headliner is Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights.

keep growing

The whiskey industry and the distilling industry as a whole have grown tremendously over the past decade, Baird said. The Whiskey Festival aims to showcase some of the best spirits in Texas.

“Most of the festivals that are out there feature whiskeys from all over and we really wanted to focus on Texas and show where Texas has come in the last 10-15 years since there have been so many distilleries opening up. across the state,” Baird said.

Giammalva said events like the HTX Whiskey Inaugural Weekend help put City Place and Spring on the map. It’s an event they see growing in the coming years, especially as more residential areas and employees start coming to North Houston.

“The town square has become a destination,” Giammalva said, “not only for commercial and retail consumers, but also for everyday people who want to go out, experience fine dining, see a movie , participate in the many activities organized on the square.

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