ALPINE, Texas – Whenever we’re on the road, every so often we need to find an oasis. While in West Texas, we found one in Alpine at the Big Bend Brewing Company.
The wild but peaceful wilderness of West Texas is like no other place on planet Earth.
With majestic mountains, prickly plants, and a dry whipping wind it’s safe to say you might get a little parched in these parts, particularly during the summer months.
But fear not, if you find yourself in Alpine there’s a watering hole dedicated to this beautiful piece of Texas.
Jan Matysiak ain’t exactly got the accent you’d expect to hear here. The native German is the brew master at the Big Bend Brewing Company, a brewery with a unique distinction.
“It’s the most remote brewery in the continental United States,” Jan informed us.
But then again, being isolated with an IPA in your hand is never a bad thing.
“I mean sometimes it’s challenging because every time everything takes like three times as long,” Jan says. “ When you’re waiting for delivery you always have to plan ahead because sometimes the delivery services are like, ‘Ah, sorry. We decided to not show up today.’”
The unusual working conditions also make for a unique sort of beer. In a world where craft beer has big bold flavors, it’s hard to imagine those types of beers quenching your thirst out in the hot desert. Somehow, Big Bend Brewing found a way.
“We are not living somewhere there in the ice desert,” Jan informed us. “We’re trying to quote on quote engineer our beers, even the ones with a little more umph, with a little more alcohol, in a way that they are still refreshing as much of course as that is possible.”
Now a Mexican style lager will always fit the bill when it’s time to fiesta in these fiery temperatures, but don’t forget about the chilly evenings out in the desert that serve as a perfect time for a porter.
“So, we call it a robust porter, 6.4 percent alcohol, and now you have really full-bodied mouth feel the chocolate, toffee, hazel nut,” Jan said. “A beer that is to be enjoyed a little bit slower, but it’s definitely one that can be enjoyed.”
With several different styles to choose from, Jan is a busy brewer.
“It’s like asking a mother what’s her favorite child,” Jan says. “I love them all equally.”
With its unparalleled location and lovely assortment of lager libations, the Big Bend Brewing Company is well worth a stop on The Texas Bucket List.
“We are very pleased with what we have been able to create out here,” Jan said. “We just want to share it with the people, and I think that is a good reason to come out here and have a few beers with us.”