Contributed by Big Ben Brewing
ALPINE, Jan. 29, 2016 – Big Bend Brewing Company’s annual celebration, Valentine’s Day in Valentine, Texas, will be held on February 14th at the old Mercantile building in Valentine. Held the same day every year, 2016’s party will be the Sunday of President’s Day weekend.
‘As Far West Texas’s only production brewery, we wanted to find a way to say ‘thank you’ to the community for the tremendous love and support we received in 2012 – our first year. We had the idea to throw a big party with music, beer and BBQ at the Mercantile Building in Valentine, TX – so of course it had to be on Valentine’s Day, the perfect day and place for a great party. It was such a hit we decided to do it again the next year… and it just kept getting better.’ says Big Bend Brewing Co. Owner & Founder, Matt Kruger.
Now in its fourth year, the party has grown from an intimate gathering of a few hundred neighbors to a regional draw, attracting a couple thousand people from Texas and beyond. Country music legend Jerry Jeff Walker headlines this year’s party, returning to the region he helped put on the map with his 1973 album, Viva Terlingua. Partygoers will enjoy over five hours of great Texas music, with sets by Austin’s El Tule, El Paso’s Exito and Marfa’s Primo Carrasco and David Beebe. Food and beer will be available for purchase on-site.
The old Mercantile store, located in the heart of Valentine, sat abandoned by the railroad tracks for over five decades, until Kruger and Alpine General Contractor Scott Williams collaborated on its restoration for the first Valentine’s Day party. In addition to building the expansion at the brewery itself, Williams and his crew were instrumental in the revival of the Mercantile building and grounds. Williams’ keen eye for beauty, deep appreciation of historic legacy, and accomplished technical skills have guided the property—and therefore the party—to be what they are today.
Williams’ sudden passing in 2015 inspired the team to commemorate his life, legacy, and contribution to the community. Brewed in his honor, this year’s specialty beer, SW15, is a Rauschbier “Desert Bock.” This smoky brew gets its unique flavor from malts smoked over hardwoods. The label, created by local Marfa artist Jamey Garza in remembrance of Scott, features a mesquite tree on the Valentine property that Scott particularly loved. The SW15 Desert Bock, as well as signed and numbered archival art prints of Garza’s commemorative poster, will be available for one day only at the event.
A portion of the ticket sales from each year’s event are donated to the Valentine Independent School District and the town of Valentine. Additionally, in memory of Scott Williams, a portion of all beer sales of SW15 and all proceeds from Garza’s limited edition posters will be donated to the charities chosen by Williams’ family: Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute and Melanoma Research Organization.
Tickets were released on January 1st and are available at a pre-sale discount price of $25 at www.bigbendbrewing.com/valentine, and for $30 on the day of the event for guests 13 and up. This is a family friendly event; children under 12 are allowed to attend at no charge with their parents. There are no accommodations in Valentine, so Big Bend Brewing Co. and L&F Distributors are providing courtesy shuttles to and from nearby towns. Busses leaving designated stops in Marfa, Alpine, Van Horn, and Fort Davis will be running throughout the event.
Located in Alpine, in the backyard of Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Brewing Co. was named “Most Remote Brewery in the America” by Brew York, and is West Texas’s only production brewery. Now in our fourth year of operations, Big Bend Brewing Co. produces five year-round beer styles, Tejas Lager, Terlingua Gold, Big Bend Hefeweizen, La Frontera IPA and Number 22 Porter, in addition to seasonal offerings. BBBC beers are distributed throughout the Big Bend region, West Texas, South Texas, and Austin. BBBC will be expanding into more Texas markets later in 2016.