From a beer perspective, yes Houston (and Texas) is behind the times but catching up quickly. I believe in drinking local microbrews and for the longest time St. Arnolds was it. But in past 2 years, several have opened in this area including, No Label , Karbach, Southern Star, Buffalo Bayou and there are a few others that will open in 2013. Our state laws make running a brewpup very difficult; if you brew on site and run a restaurant bar, you can't sell your product to retail stores. This came close to being overturned last year during legislative session and hopefully will be repealed in the future.

Bourbon wise you can pretty much everything. Yes, Pappy Van Winkle or the BTAC collection disappears off the shelf fast, but that's the same everywhere.

Oh, and welcome. We do occasionally have a Houston group get together and tasting. When we do I'll post details in the Bourbon Social thread.