Independence Brewing Co has served the independent thinkers and drinkers of Texas since 2004, making it the second oldest production brewery in Austin. Founded by Amy and Rob Cartwright, UT alums who started their brewing career at Austin’s original brewpubs the Bitter End and Copper Tank, the couple’s small mom, pop and dog operation has grown to one of Texas’ largest craft breweries.
United by a love of beer and self-expression, Independence’s motley crew of 30 now brews over 20,000 barrels a year at the same location in South Austin that they started out in nearly 17 years ago. The team likens themselves to their spirit animal, the venerable grackle — aka the black sheep of birds — because like the grackle their beers are bold, loud, and travel in packs. CAW!
Stash IPA (7.5% alc/vol) – The brewery’s best-selling beer, Stash is “The Chronic” of Austin’s IPA scene. It’s an enlightening hop trip through a kaleidoscopic array of six different hop profiles: citrusy and floral, earthy and dank, piney and resinous. Keep your wits about you, you’ll want to remember where you hid your Stash. Best paired with spicy and umami flavors, Indian curries, Thai noodles, enchiladas, grilled meats, sharp cheeses, key lime pie.
Native Texan Pilsner (5.2% alc/vol) – A beer made by and for the people of the nation’s greatest state, Native Texan is a pilsner as German as the Hill Country, as bright as the Friday Night Lights, as clear as a West Texas night sky, as clean as a steel guitar, and smoother than a Texan drawl. Best served colder than Barton Springs with life’s simple pleasures: brisket, fajitas, phở, kolaches, crawfish, frito pie, breakfast tacos, Beaver Nuggets.
Austin Amber (6% alc/vol) – The brewery’s oldest beer was inspired by its hometown—the bastion of good vibes, creativity and independent thinking that is Texas’ capital city. A classic old-school brewpub amber ale, Amber’s blend of caramel and toasted malts are balanced by an extra helping of American hops, resulting in a brew that’s as smooth and laid-back as its namesake.
Power & Light Session IPA (5.3% alc/vol) – Inspired by Austin’s iconic art-deco Seaholm Power Plant, Power & Light is brewed like a pale ale (light) and dry-hopped like an IPA (power). Crisp and citrusy with a dry “just one more” finish, prepare for a succession of sessions. Best paired with semi-spicy flavors, cured meats, shellfish, burgers, Tex-Mex, chicken wings, Korean BBQ, sharp cheeses, carrot cake.
Redbud Berliner Weisse (4.9% alc/vol) – Named after Austin’s beloved dog park Red Bud Isle, this German wheat beer owes its lemony tartness to the addition of lactobacillus to the brew kettle. The resulting acidity balances the sweetness of malted wheat, producing a tart, refreshing, spritzy tipple that many a faithful wine lover has fallen for. Legend has it that Napoleon’s troops, during their wars in Prussia, dubbed it the Champagne of the North.
Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout (8% alc/vol) – A staple of the brewery’s line up for over a decade, Convict’s creamy head, rich chocolaty malts, robust roasted barley, and smooth oaty finish will set your palate free. Best paired with smoked meats and cheeses, chili, stews, sweet potatoes, chocolate mousse, bourbon pecan pie, vanilla bean ice cream beer floats.
The brewery’s 2021 release calendar is chock-full of new offerings including a cocktail inspired Paloma Redbud with grapefruit and oak aged with tequila soaked barrel spirals; a Mexican hot chocolate stout with vanilla bean, cacao, and cinnamon; a Cryo hops version of their Highboy double IPA series; and their newest year-round beer, Pure Stoke Hazy IPA, which utilizes hops from New Zealand that have a pronounced tropical fruit and citrusy profile.
These beers and several seasonal and limited releases can be enjoyed in a laid-back, industrial-style tasting room with views of the beer-making process set to live music from local musicians. Independence’s beers are distributed throughout the state of Texas and Arkansas, including in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Waco, and El Paso. Learn more at independencebrewing.com or follow @indybrewing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.