OBITUARY: Harry Mois

Alpine resident and beloved owner of Harry’s Tinaja, Harald (Harry) Mois, died at his home on September 2. He was 61 years of age.

The eldest child and only son of Rudolf and Paula Mois, Harry was born in Schwandorf, Germany, and was raised in Ettmansdorf.

Hardwork and an adventurous spirit led Harry’s unique life. He began his professional journey as a brewmaster apprentice at the brewery Schmidt Braeu in Schwandorf. From there he traveled to Denmark and worked as brewmaster at Maribo Bryghus. Berlin was his home as well shortly after, where he was brewmaster at Berliner Kindl. Throughout this time, Harry was an avid motorcyclist, traveling throughout Europe and into Africa, sometimes with the Silkeborg Motorcycle club, and also with the Boxerfreunde Oder/OPF motorcycle club, of which he was a founding member.  

Harry traveled to the States by way of the Marquesa Islands and settled in Alpine, Texas, in 1999. In Alpine, he made his mark with The Edelweiss Restaurant and Brewery in 2005, which he opened with Tresa Mois, his first wife and mother of his son Michael. Residents of Alpine and tourists alike were drawn to the German comfort food and beer, and to this day wish they could get another taste of his Alpine Blonde lager.  

In July 2007 Harry opened his bar, Harry’s Tinaja, which quickly became a home away from home for locals. Harry had an uncanny and perhaps unmatched ability to bring people of all walks of life together in merriment. He hosted baby showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthdays, retirements, and of course, all the important sporting events, always supported by a loyal team of bartenders whom he loved in his “rough around the edges” way. Alpine folks could count on Harry for helping with fundraisers and supporting the town in times of grief. He was a steadfast member of the community and was devoted to his regulars.

In time, Harry’s Tinaja became an iconic emblem of the Big Bend area. Travelers from all over the world made a point to stop in for a beer on the way to Big Bend National Park, Marfa, or on their way west or east via I-10, thanks to regular mentions in publications such as Texas Monthly, who described his watering hole in ways that evoked the mystique of the Wild West. At the Tinaja, patrons could count on Harry’s welcome, “at least once,” and enjoy live music of all varieties, most often from local musicians who Harry knew well and loved. Visitors and Tinaja family remember Harry’s unique, engaging storytelling skills made extra special by his Bavarian accent.  

Harry’s Tinaja itself is a museum of artifacts that represents the lives and personalities of the tri-county area and beyond, thanks to Harry’s encouragement and enthusiasm for displaying anything and everything that his patrons felt would fit. He was a quirky curator, an appreciator of American life in all its manifestations. He took pride in supporting his town’s residents in this way and further; his bar was often described as the unofficial chamber of commerce, and everyone knew if they needed advice on any subject they could count on Harry.  

Harry is survived by his pride and joy, his only son, Michael Mois, of Midland, Texas; his sister Gabriele Mois; and nephew Patrick Homig of Schwandorf, Germany.  

Harry’s absence is felt by the entire community. His son and Tinaja family would like to thank the tri- county residents and many others for their condolences and support. A celebration of Harry’s life will occur at a later date.