Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Big Bend Brewing - Big Bend Hefeweizen

For the Fifth Beer of Christmas, I drank a new favorite.

Big Bend Brewing
Big Bend Hefeweizen
I drank my first Big Bend beer (22 Porter) just over a year ago. Shortly thereafter I tried the rest of the lineup and then made the four hour drive to Alpine to visit the brewery. Given the complete lack of a craft beer brewer (other than brew pubs) in Lubbock, I now think of Big Bend as my hometown brewery.

The Big Big Hefeweizen is my favorite beer of theirs and my all-time favorite hefeweizen.

A pale straw color, the beer pours with a large, quickly forming head. So quick, in fact, that I had to take a drink just before I took the picture to keep it from overflowing. The head is a clean white with the normal hazy hefeweizen appearance of the beer itself. Small trails of bubbles continue to emerge all the way to the final drink leaving a small cap of foam even at the bottom of the glass.

The rich aromas of bananas, lemons and cloves fill the nose. A bit of black pepper and yeast ride the edges on a big sniff .

The taste follows the aroma with sweet bananas (almost fried,) cloves, and tart lemon. A lot of people will place a lemon in their hefeweizen. This one doesn't need a lemon. However, I have had it with a lemon wedge before and that is great, too.

A medium-weight body with a sharp carbonation, the beer is absolutely revitalizing and refreshing. Perfect on a hot summer day or next to a fire in the winter.

Big Bend recommends it with a number of foods including Mexican. I'll definitely be giving this a try on our next taco night.

With it's somewhat limited distribution (Western Texas and New Mexico,) you'll have to look hard or travel to find it. And it's worth the effort.

Brewer: Big Bend Brewing
Location: Alpine, Texas
Website: http://www.BigBendBrewing.com/
Style: Hefeweizen
Alcohol Content: 5.60% ABV
Interesting Note: Well, this is an epic bummer. Last January, I met Steve Anderson, Big Bend's brew master and the living legend who grew Live Oak (in Austin) to prominence. I Googled him just now to get a few facts about him because he's an interesting guy. I mean, he was the first brew master in the first brew pub in Texas.

I found this out 5 minutes before I typed these words: prostate cancer took Steve's life on November 25, 2015.

I feel abnormally sad at the passing of a man I hardly even know. In our brief encounter (just the two of us visiting for maybe 5 minutes during my private tour which was cut short by a freak snow storm,) I got the sense of a soft spoken, passionate, and giving man.

The brewery suggests that a donation to Pints for Prostates would be a good tribute to Steve.

Steve Anderson
January 13, 1962 - November 25, 2015
Photo from Big Bend's Website

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