My name is Mark Moore.
I came to Austin with my family when I was just a kid, but most of my childhood was spent in West Texas - specifically in the small town of Alpine where my mother is from and where she met my dad attending Sul Ross University. I was climbing trees, running up and down the neighborhood streets with other kids, falling into cactus or getting into trouble. I took every opportunity to swim at any pool that was available in the summer, because generally it was hot, and there wasn’t much else to do besides hang out with my grandfather watching Mr. Bean or Three Stooges tapes, or watching him fix things in his mad scientist-like tool shed. If I didn’t do that, I went into town with my grandma to learn the very meaning of patience at a small town pace. Somehow I managed. I even grew to understand and appreciate what made West Texas great and all of its unmatched beauty in nature. If you didn’t go exploring the Chisos Mountains or the Davis/Limpia Mountains region, you were missing out. Unfortunately or fortunately, now it’s for hipsters too.
One of the biggest contributions to that landscape was thanks to the late Steve Anderson and Big Bend Brewing Co. in Alpine, both evolving it economically and culturally through homegrown craft beer to call their own. And through authentic German brewing traditions, brewer Jan Matysiak found the quintessential sweet spot for brewing a hefe with juicy spiciness, hints of banana and clove, and with a wheat backbone.
Now you might be wondering why I would mention radlers at this time - a radler is a style of beer...or is it a soda? We may never know. But what we do know is that they are delicious, and cyclists have loved them since time immemorial. Using a wheat beer base, pumping up the juice factor and sugar, a beverage was born (some even say shandy, but you get the idea). Radlermass - translates to “cyclist liter”, created by Franz Kugler in the 1920’s in the town of Deisenhofen near Munich. His bar was at the end of a cycling trail where he purportedly blended beer with juice to sustain the influx of euro-cycling aficionados and his own dwindling supply.
Like the wheels that bring us full circle, I had been working on a radler of my own that incorporated Big Bend Brewing’s National Park Hefeweizen and elements of tiki (I love tiki drinks) when I heard the news they were shutting their doors for the foreseeable future. As sad as the Texas community is from these circumstances, I am glad we got a taste of that legacy and my hope is for that to endure. The “Santa Elena Rattler” is a portion of pomegranate, aromatics, and gardenia mixture incorporated into the Big Bend National Park Hefe.