The taste of Big Bend Brewing Co. gets second chance

HOUSTON — Almost a year after Big Bend Brewing Co. went bankrupt, the “beer from out here” will be making its way back into the cold cups of customers who have missed the presence of Tejas beer in their local taps. After purchasing Big Bend Brewing Co.’s recipes and branding, Gulf Coast Distillers is planning a full relaunch of Tejas beer sometime in the summer of 2020.

A staple of the Big Bend community since 2012, production for the beer will not be returning to Alpine, where it was previously brewed. Rather, the brewery will now be located in Houston, where the headquarters of Gulf Coast Distillers is located. Another change: the lineup will be rebranded as Tejas beer.

Carlos de Aldecoa, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Distillers, voiced that he had always been a fan of the beer previously, as “someone who is from a small town,” and enjoyed the small town feel that the beer and its brand convey.

Despite the change of location, Aldecoa assured that the familiar taste and presence of Tejas beer in West Texas will not change. The new owner explained that “everything associated with Big Bend Brewing, including the Tejas brands” had been purchased by Gulf Coast Distillers.

The intent, as expressed by Aldecoa, is to keep recipes and branding as they were, stating that “altering the taste profile or the marketing would not be consistent with the goal we have for the brand.” The only difference Aldecoa foresees with the current line of beers is that they will be brewed in Houston rather than Alpine. Additional changes that could come to the brand itself might possibly include introducing new products to the existing line.

“We have been in the coffee space and the liquer space for three generations, and I think consistency, taste and the expectation of what the consumer wants are very important, and so the branding, marketing and taste that it was founded upon will remain the same,” said Aldecoa.

Aldecoa also expressed a desire to have the Tejas brand be active in the community, and he said that that could take the form of sponsoring events in Alpine or Marfa, like the brand had been doing under its previous owners.

Caroline Wright, marketing coordinator for Gulf Coast Distillers, said that they were aware of the following that Tejas beer had and were excited to take on the opportunities that came with purchasing it. Wright expressed that the company wanted to make sure “that they were doing it right,” when bringing the product back to the people and so a thorough process was put together to make sure it was brewed correctly.

As of right now, Wright said that Tejas beer is only available on tap at the Gulf Coast Distillers location in Houston, but the company is trying to work out the details of distribution and expect to be able to offer the product by the end of the summer. As far as distribution, Wright said that “getting Tejas back in the hands of every Texan,” is the company’s main concern.

Additionally, Wright acknowledged that people are passionate about Tejas beer; the company wants to preserve the essence of what makes the beer, and the area that it originated from, so special, and that is the main idea behind the relaunch.

Wright said that there was a desire to continue production in Alpine, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. A press release from the company echoes this sentiment, reading, “While our home is not in rural Alpine, we put our heart and soul into everything we create,” before sealing the statement with a promise that the “same great tradition (of Tejas beer) will live on.”