Last week we enjoyed a bit of respite at the Terlingua chili cook off and ran into a familiar face. Steve Anderson was the brew master for Live Oak Brewing Company in Austin for 11 years and created a name for him and the brewery while creating some fantastic beers. Saturday, when I ran into the brew master, he was pouring a pilsner and a porter, both worthy of the Anderson name. Anderson moved from Austin to Alpine, Texas to spin his magic web at a new brewery called Big Bend Brewing Company.
The brewery is not exactly in business and is waiting for final TABC nod, but we were able to taste two of the beers Anderson has brewed.
I happened to have my voice recorder handy and captured our conversation.
This is your first keg with Big Bend?
It is. We are initially making a porter, golden ale, and IPA, and a hefeweizen.
Tell me about the IPA.
It is very blonde in color. We are using a small amount of 20 lovibond crystal malt, and lots of dry hopped cascades. It’s very light in mouth-feel, but very high in hops.
You have a respectable background in brewing.
We actually started the first brew pub in Texas in 1993.We actually had to work with the legislature to get that opened. I was there from the beginning until we closed in 2001. I immediately went over to Live Oak and worked there for the past 11 years.
Big Bend is playing up the area quite a bit with names like Terlingua Gold.
Right. Terlingua Gold is our golden ale which is light but balanced. Number 22 Porter is named after the railroad in Alpine. The pilsner is called Tejas which has a nice spicy and floral aroma. La Frontera is our IPA we talked about, and then the Big Bend Hefeweizen, which is very much like what I was doing at Live Oak.
Seasonally we will do an imperial stout and a boch. We will be brewing the stout soon, and the boch will come out in the Spring.
Kegging, canning or bottling?
We will be canning and kegging. The stout we will be bottling by hand using the big 750’s. Those will be the high gravity, small batches. We should start canning in about 2 months.
When will the first beer be sold?
The first beer will be sold this coming week. We will be all over Alpine, with the first keg tapped at Harry’s. He was the one who got us all together to make this happen. He has this nice little bar and we will give him the first keg.
We will initially have between 25 and 30 taps around the area.
How soon before you make it to North Texas?
Probably within a year. We want to be in the Dallas-Fort Worth area pretty quickly. Also Austin and San Antonio.