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A Live Chat with Sommelier Justin Vann

Visit Houston recently invited Houston sommelier and cicerone Justin Vann to LIVE CHAT with our Facebook friends. Justin's been named Sommeliers of the Year by Food & Wine and touted as one of six Sommeliers to Watch in 2015 by Bon Appetit. Basically, he knows his stuff. Check out the Q&A below. When you're done, head to his current project Public Services Wine & Whiskey and try one of his recommendations in person! Q: I'm in charge of mimosas at a brunch this weekend, can I get away with a…

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Big Beer Houston

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the craft beer scene. The $2.3 billion dollar Texas industry rated second in the nation in 2013 according to the Brewers Association, a national non-profit trade association. The Lone Star State accounts for 16 percent of overall U.S. sales. Perhaps even more notable is that there are no signs of slowing down as Texas is the third-fastest growing state when it comes to independently owned craft breweries. Much of this growth can be found in the…

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Karbach's Craft Beer Expansion On Its Way

The craft beer flood gates will soon open at Karbach Brewing Company, which recently announced an expansion adjacent to its current facility in Northwest Houston. Set to open in 2015, the new facility means the Houston brewer will double the amount of craft brewed beer it produces - now anticipated to near 60,000 barrels annually. In addition to the production expansion, Karbach's new brewery will also offer an expanded tap room, private event space and kitchen. Karbach opened in October…

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Dogs Come to Work, Drink with Us

If you're like many of us, your dog is more an extension of your family than a pet. It's been an evolution decades in the making, but Fido has certainly made his way out of the backyard doghouse and into the comfort of our beds. With this ongoing canine invasion of every facet of our lives, it's little wonder that this Friday Houston will celebrate Bring Your Dog to Work Day. Organized by the Houston Humane Society to bring attention to animal cruelty, there's even a proclamation for this…

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Houston Pavilions to Become GreenStreet, Get Makeover

The Houston Pavilions is getting a makeover and a new name. Construction begins in April on the Downtown retail development in the heart of the Convention District, which will be renamed GreenStreet. The primary change at the half-million-square-foot complex is the creation of a new linear park featuring benches, planters, lawns and water features designed to make the space more attractive to pedestrians. The Pavilions has experienced some trouble attracting and keeping tenants, but the…

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Two New Spots Aim to Spice Up Houston's Nightlife Scene

Thirsty Houston? You're in luck. Two new lounges from folks behind popular Austin concepts are set to open soon in Houston. J. Black's (pictured), an upscale lounge that debuted on Austin's West Sixth Street in 2007, is opening at 110 Heights Blvd. The spot on the corner of Washington Avenue was built for, and briefly held, Phil's Texas BBQ. In Austin J. Black's is known for its above-par bites (items like lamb lollipops and crab cakes with remoulade sauce) and extensive wine menu, in addition…

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TopGolf breaks ground on Houston location

Good news golfers… and wannabe golfers. Illinois-based TopGolf is opening a 65,000 square foot facility in Houston. Though company brass remains mum on where the new entertainment complex is setting up shop, they will confirm that it’s scheduled to open in October 2012. For those new to the TopGolf experience, it’s basically an over-the-top, state-of-the-art driving range that brings together groups for golfing, dining and drinking. The concept replaces traditional golf balls and with…

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