The Beer Badlands Of West Texas, Deer Galore & Star Parties

Big Bend Brewing Sign Out Front

The “Beer Badlands” Of West Texas

People who know or follow us, know that we enjoy drinking great beer at a good brewpub. Brewpubs generally have servers who are both knowledgeable & passionate about their products, and also tend to have excellent food. However, once you get past El Paso, good beer becomes hard to find. The “Beer Badlands” is how I now refer to this region of Texas.

Big Bend Brewing Co. Enjoying Each Others Company

Big Bend Brewing Goes Out Of Business

Fortunately, we were able to get to Big Bend Brewing before they went out of business on New Year’s Eve. In fact, Shawna & I were there on their final day in operation. The beer was quite good, and the people we met were friendly. All in all it was a good time, and we did our best to help them finish off their remaining stock. This is the last time we would be near any good beer for a good while.

Big Bend Brewing Co

Located in Alpine, Texas, this brewery was well on their way to making beer history before it all went wrong. They had a great staff, they were winning awards, and distribution was growing. They were booming so well that they decided to expand and open a second brewery in San Antonio. What could possibly go wrong?

Big Bend Brewing Co Fermentors

Ripped Off

If you get ripped off over a million dollars, it can mess you up. Big Bend Brewing paid Diversified Metal Engineering (DME), a Canadian brewing equipment manufacturer, in full for the equipment needed to open their second brewery. However, DME defaulted on their loans to the Royal Bank of Canada and went out of business after taking deposits from several US based brewing companies. Unfortunately, the loss was too much to overcome for Big Bend Brewing.

Beer Menu Big Bend Brewing Co

More Problems

After leaving the brewery, I soon noticed that they gave me back someone else’s credit card. To their benefit the card looked very similar to mine, and coincidentally the card they gave me had a very similar last name as mine. We went back to fix the issue and found the people whose card got switched with ours, but the bartender had already called our bank to report the card lost. Believe me, getting a new card can be a real pain when you live as a digital nomad.

Al Getting A Beer At Big Bend Brewing Co

Free Beer

The good news is they refunded our tab for the evening so we drank for free. As an added bonus, a couple of these bartenders relocated 6 hours away to Real Ale Brewing & Distillery in Blanco, Texas, which is where we are currently staying. Five months later they recognized our crazy faces as soon as we walked in and gave us the first round of flights free. We all had a good laugh, and it was nice to make new friends as soon as we rolled in to Blanco.

Seating At Big Bend Brewing Co

Star Parties & Deer Galore

We saw herds of deer constantly in Del Rio, Marathon & Alpine while staying at Marathon Motel & RV Park. Even in the middle of town we would see very large herds of deer on a regular basis.

Alpine Deer Big Buck Alpine Deer On Our Walk Around Marathon Big Buck In Alpine Deer Life In Alpine thats a big buck

The stay at Marathon Motel & RV Park was super cool. This is nice peaceful rv park near Big Bend National Park. We had a full hook up RV spot until they were full and our reservation ran out, but then they allowed us to take a boondocking space for the tent price. Thanks to our solar panel (Affiliate Link) & generator (Affiliate link) that works great for our budget!

Marathon Motel and RV Park Courtyard and Garden Area Center of the Courtyard at Marathon Motel and RV Park Beautiful Sunset at Marathon Motel and RV Park

They are known for star gazing in Marathon. On the Bortle Light Pollution Scale Marathon is a Scale 1. That means it’s dark! As dark as it gets without going to space! Nearly every night they have star parties, where experts line up high powered telescopes and give you a private tour of the stars. It’s awesome! Go to Marathon Hotel & RV Park’s website to see some of their star photos as well as a live webcam of the skies from their property! They actually have some people that set up their telescopes here with remote controlled technology so they can control their telescopes from home.

Lower RV Lot at Marathon Motel and RV Park Covered Patio and Fire Place at Marathon Motel and RV Park Dry Camping at Marathon Motel and RV Park Patio Fire Pit Patio Seating at Marathon Motel and RV Park

No More Good Beer For Awhile

The only other small brewery in that area is at Brick Vault Brewery and Barbecue in Marathon, Texas. This little brewery had great BBQ and pretty good beer despite not having an IPA, however, you could never tell if they would be open or not. That seemed to be the case for most businesses around Marathon. Even though they had posted business hours, it would be a gamble if any given place would actually be open on any given day.

Al and Ramsey in front of Brick Vault Brewery and BBQ Brick Vault Brewery and BBQ bar Brick Vault Brewery and BBQ craft beer menu Brick Vault Brewery and BBQ merchandise Brick Vault Brewery and BBQ smoked meat menu Brick Vault Brewery and BBQ brisket pulled pork and mac and cheese Brick Vault Brewery and BBQ Flight of Beers Shuffle Board at Brick Vault Brewery and BBQ Sunset from Brick Vault Brewery and BBQ

The other place we would recommend for food in Marathon is the Oasis Cafe. They have a good menu, good food & good prices. I had enchiladas & burgers while Shawna usually had the chicken strips. The local pizzeria was closed due to the family owners being on vacation.

Oasis Cafe Outfront pastry shelf at Oasis Cafe Al at Oasis Cafe bar seating at Oasis Cafe

No Starbucks around here, so it will be brew your own or V6 Coffee Bar.

outside view of V6 Coffee Bar V6 Coffee Bar coffee menu V6 Coffee Bar Nitro Cold Brew V6 Coffee Bar smoothies menu V6 Coffee Bar

We did not eat at the Gage Hotel as it was a little pricey for our humble blood, however, the Gage Gardens are definitely worth a walk though.

walking into Gage Gardens when you fist walk into Gage GardensGiant bird cage at Gage Gardensgravel maze at Gage Gardens gravel maze around trees at Gage Gardens painted cow at Gage Gardensother side of painted cow at Gage Gardenspond at Gage GardensS shaped bench at Gage Gardens Old Fountain At Gage Gardens garden arch door at Gage Gardensgravel path meets wood bridge at Gage GardensRainbow Over Gage Gardenssitting area at Gage Gardens nursery at Gage Gardens plant and tree nursery at Gage Gardens sitting area by little putting course at Gage Gardens Gage Gardens gravel maze Double Rainbow Over Gage Gardens Gage Gardens pond golf at Gage Gardens brick path at Gage Gardens brick building Gage Gardens a tower thing at Gage Gardens

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