A stronger economy means people eat out more.  It also apparently means beer drinkers are bypassing the standard, mass-produced beers for custom brews.  Beer Guru James Simpson says if you’re looking for something more in your beer, look to a local microbrewery.

“Here in Houston we have a lot of great microbreweries, St. Arnold, Karbach, No Label, Southern Star,” Simpson says.  “And, if you are going to make those choices, always try to go local, because you are putting money back into the community.”

Eating out or spending more for your brew are two of the first luxuries abandoned in a bad economy.  They come back when bad times turn good.

"The Brewers' Association,” says Simpson, “they put out their quarterly reports, and you can see through Q-one, two and three, you see it go up, and, yeah, it's exciting."

Simpson hosts “What’s On Tap” weekends on KPRC 950.