Cenizo Journal Summer 2022 | Page 24

Chisos Brewing Co . lead brewer Tim Fielder offers samples at the Spirits of the West Wine & Beef Fest in Alpine .
Some of the ingredients used in the recent batches of homebrew .
educational experience . Big Bend sculptor Harry Weekly ’ s found object figurines feature wildly creative critter caricatures from the deserts of Big Bend . Not one to sell his work or do commissions anymore , Harry has instead built his own outdoor gallery on his property outside of Alpine and allows limited visitation . When Lisa discovered him , she knew he had to be a part of the taproom . Now his somewhat elusive sculptures will be featured in the Harry Weekly children ’ s garden , a part of the taproom ’ s outdoor design dedicated to whimsy in the Big Bend . It will allow more accessibility to the works of one of this region ’ s unique and most entertaining sculptors .
These are just a few of many details that reinforce a sense of place , a concept dear to the Fielders . And even though they have lived in several cities across the state , they keep coming back to the Big Bend .
After the two Fielder sons fledged off to college , Lisa looked for ways to combat the empty nest syndrome . She was drawn to the nonprofit sector and founded College Forward , a program to champion lowincome kids through college . The nonprofit grew from its initial 26
participants to helping over 450,000 young people across 17 states when Lisa retired in 2016 .
She was not expecting to go into the brewing business postretirement , but when son Tim brought up the idea , she and Guy wanted to do everything they could to support it .
Tim , a 35-year-old with a PhD in computer science and an analytical mind , is currently an adjunct professor at Sul Ross State University . He had been working in the corporate world but longed for something different . His parents ’ willingness to partner with him on the taproom brought Tim to live in Alpine permanently , because , in addition to his family roots in the area , Alpine seemed ripe for its own microbrewery .
In 2007 , while Tim was living in Austin , he discovered the world of craft brewing . His older friends loved the local brew pubs , and Tim discovered that , while he was still too young to buy alcohol , there was no age limit to buy the supplies to make homebrew . He circumvented the age barrier to partaking in adult beverages and got an early start learning the craft . “ I couldn ’ t legally buy it or possess it , but I could make it ,” he says . He became a student of the recipe books at the local homebrew store , and over the years perfected an Irish red ale that became a favorite among friends . He continued to brew using recipe books until branching out in 2019 , when he began experimenting more .
Construction on the taproom starts this fall . That means Tim has plenty of time on his hands to prepare . He stays busy making small batches of homebrew to serve at local events .
Brewing small batches presents challenges in Alpine . The ingredients aren ’ t always available for his roster of recipes . Marrying his love of computer science to the craft brew world , Tim uses software to help fill in the gaps . He enters the ingredients he has into the software , and it suggests quantities to fill out the recipe according to

24 Cenizo Summer 2022