Back in February I visited Big Bend Brewing in Far West Texas (6 hours West of Austin or 3 hours East of El Paso).
Only a few years old, they’re already expanding, growing from 30bbl to 90bbl tanks, adding an automated canning line (they only do kegs and cans, not bottles, except for some special releases), with several excellent beers across a range of styles. And they gave one of the best brewery tours I’ve been on (and I’ve been on quite a few)– friendly and scientific, followed by a tasting of every one of their beers.
Quick beer memories from some notebook scribbles:
- [A] Tejas Lager: Very nice, light malt, slight acidity, real grain flavor, no real bitterness. And I don’t typically drink lagers.
- [B] Terlingua Golden Ale: Slightly sweet malt. Had a can a previous night that I didn’t like as much, but today on tap I liked it (could be freshness, could be my mindset).
- [A-] Winter Ale: Brewery seasonal only on tap. Dark, a bit of roast, almost no spice (good).
- [B] Hefe: Very strong bubblegum ester, yeasty, Hefes are not my style.
- [A] Porter: Really excellent. Malty but not too dark– that browned-bread maillard reaction taste rather than something too dusty or toasted or chocolately. Very light hint of coffee. I wish I could buy this beer locally.
- [B/C] IPA: A can I had was so bitter I couldn’t really taste anything else and I poured it out. But on tap at the brewery I’d give it a B+, slightly fruity hops and much less bitterness.
- Chocolate mint porter (special for Valentine’s day in Valentine): I applaud the creative experimental beer. I don’t need to drink it more than the once, though.
- Prickly pear beer (brought back from Valentine a previous year): A hint of something tart… but I don’t remember it now and will never have a chance to drink it again.