West Texas brewery’s big expansion to San Antonio is officially in the works
One of the country’s most remote breweries won’t be so hard to find anymore.
Big Bend Brewing, currently located in the small West Texas outpost of Alpine, will soon have a second home once a much larger facility in San Antonio is up and running. The new location will help to satisfy the state’s thirst for Big Bend beers, as well as offer a shiny new — and far more accessible — taproom where people can drink right from the source.
The brewery had announced plans for a San Antonio spot early last year, noting that the building would be up and running by the end of the year. Though that didn’t happen, Big Bend’s 54,000 sq. ft. warehouse space on the east side of the Alamo City is now officially under construction.
A much larger expansion to San Antonio became necessary because of Big Bend’s massive growth. The original Alpine location, still in operation, had one of those pestering problems a successful young business can have: too much demand for its products and not enough supply to keep up with it.
Big Bend Brewing had “more than doubled production each year until we hit capacity in our current facility during 2016,” according to a news release.
Moving much of the beer production to San Antonio will help Big Bend beers reach more corners of Texas, as well as allow the brewers to make a higher quantity of their seasonal styles and other beers only available at the Alpine taproom, about a six hours’ drive from Austin. Last year, Big Bend’s owners installed a pilot system for experimental styles in that facility, but San Antonio will also carry specialty brews.
Also last year, Big Bend Brewing redesigned the packaging of its core beers like the La Frontera IPA and the National Park Hefeweizen (the latter of which was renamed) — a move that gave the cans a more unified look and earthy, warm colors that stand out on store shelves.
The brewery might not be close geographically to Austin, but it does have local ties. Big Bend Brewing was started in 2012 by Steve Anderson, who opened the state’s first brewpub in Texas at Fourth and Guadalupe streets downtown and then served as Live Oak Brewing’s head brewer for 11 years. He died in 2015 at the age of 54 from cancer, but his legacy lives on through his final project, Big Bend.