The Place to Be

The 2017 KEDT Classic Brew presented by H-E-B promises guests cold brews, tasty food and great company – and all for a great cause.

By: Dayna Worchel

If you’re looking for tantalizing food and craft brew combinations to amaze the taste buds, the 22nd Annual KEDT Classic Brew presented by H-E-B is where you want to be. Beer enthusiasts and foodies will unite on Sept. 28 at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The international beer tasting event showcases more than 200 international, domestic, handcrafted and specialty craft brews from Andrews Distributing, L&F Distributors, Ben E. Keith, Lazy Beach Brewing, Lorelei Brewing Co. and Rebel Toad Brewing, available for guests to sample from a commemorative pilsner glass. More than 20 of the area’s best restaurants, caterers and food trucks will offer their best tasting selections to indulge in. Non-alcoholic drink selections are always available, and KEDT encourages attendees to buy a ticket for a designated driver or plan to use a driving service.

If the expansive options of grub and brew aren’t enough to heighten the senses, live music will be featured on three stages throughout the evening, including performances by Independent Thieves, a folk/blues duo scheduled in the North Gallery.

Additional stages are set for the VIP party and in the Biergarten, an outdoor festival oasis to include food trucks, specialty selections from local breweries, the KEDT booth that will offer exciting giveaways and a photo booth all within direct view of the harbor bridge lights.

Guests will have a chance to put their bidding to the test with a brew-inspired silent auction featuring collectible beer merchandise donated from participating breweries and distributors, along with packages from Schlitterbahn, Bowlero, Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q, plus much more.

It’s the first year for H-E-B to be a presenting sponsor for Classic Brew, and Regina Garcia, public affairs senior manager for the Gulf Coast region, says they couldn’t be happier.

“Throughout the years, H-E-B has been part of KEDT’s commitment and supported various events throughout the year, including Challenge, Auction Angels and the Food & Wine Classic,” Garcia says.

She gives credit to H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt with helping to establish the station in 1972 and bringing public educational broadcasting to South Texas. “KEDT has become a staple of viewing exceptional programming for several generations,” Garcia says. “Our hope is to continue the work which KEDT has proven to be successful for many families.”

The grocery store will have a table at the main Classic Brew event similar to what they have featured at the station’s Food & Wine Classic in the past. “H-E-B will have a few new tasty treats to sample and favorites we know our customers love to have around their table for a special event,” Garcia says.

For those craving the ultimate tasting experience, VIP tickets are available. In addition to entry to the main event, VIP tickets allow access to the VIP party upstairs of the museum beginning at 6 p.m. There, VIP guests will be treated to a gourmet pairing of foods and exclusive beers, live music, a special “Star Wars” meet-and-greet with galactic characters, along with an immersive interactive PBS experience. For the second year in a row, Omar Lopez, corporate communications manager of AEP Texas, is the host for the VIP event.

The tasting menu for the VIP party is a combination of efforts between the Texas Chefs Association Coastal Bend Association and Lazy Beach Brewing. “We pick out some of the flavors and nuances of the beers which we want to contrast or blend with the food,” says Chef Michael Stephans, president of the Texas Chefs Association Coastal Bend Association, which is part of the American Culinary Federation.

Stephans, who is also in charge of Savor, the contract food service of the American Bank Center, will work with fellow Chefs Dean Sprague and Harold Ramos of the Omni Hotel and Chef Israel Villaneuva, culinary professor at Del Mar College, to develop a select menu for the VIP event. And Cory Mathews, owner of Lazy Beach Brewing, will provide specialty brews just for the occasion.

Mathews works with Stephans frequently on beer and food pairing events. “I leave the cooking side up to the chefs, and they leave the brewing side up to me, and we all work together,” Mathews says. He will release one new beer made especially for Classic Brew, and expects to brew four beers to pair with four dishes. It takes about a month to brew one new beer, he says.

At 8 p.m., the upstairs space will open to everyone attending the event. While the four-course pairing is exclusive to the VIP ticket holders, after 8 p.m., all guests will have access to other elements of the VIP experience (live music, “Star Wars” photo meet-and-greet and the PBS Pop Up Lounge), including a limited selection of beers brewed by B&J’s Pizza Restaurant.

While there will be no shortage of cold brews, delicious food and great company, what’s even better is that it’s all for a good cause. Proceeds benefit KEDT-TV, your community-owned station. Support of KEDT fundraising events such as Classic Brew ensures the continuation of favorite programs viewers expect from public broadcasting like NOVA, Austin City Limits, This Old House and Curious George, as well as radio programs such as “Morning Edition,” “Fresh Air” and “All Things Considered.” KEDT also airs many more original documentaries and programs that focus on education, the arts and entertainment.

General admission tickets may be purchased for $60 each in advance at KEDT studios, B&J’s Pizza Restaurants, online at KEDT.org or by calling 361-855-2213. Tickets will be available for purchase at event. VIP tickets are available for $125 each and include entrance to the VIP party and main event, along with a VIP swag bag. Complimentary valet parking is available for all guests.

Visit the KEDT Classic Brew Facebook event page and www.KEDT.org for updates on participating restaurants, silent auction items and specialty beer selections.

Photos courtesy of KEDT Classic Brew