Since I was going to be in Austin for the (canceled) Adele concert, I decided it would be a good idea to check out some new, and not so new, breweries in the area. First up was a visit to Independence Brewing Company in south Austin. Special thanks to Steve, for setting something up! Adam, Independence’s Marketing and Events guy, graciously met us at the brewery at 11 AM to show us the facility and of course, taste some beers! First off, I was expecting a much larger equipment set-up, based on the volume of Independence I know is available in the Houston market, let alone Austin. I was super impressed that we get as much beer from them, that are all great beers, on such a small system. They currently brew using a 14 barrel system and are getting new equipment in all the time. They anticipate having to move locations to a bigger space within a year or two. Just recently Independence has been releasing beers under a new series, called Brewluminati, that has so far featured the Kill Shot- Scotch Ale, Stoned Crow- Imperial Porter and Thinker’s Ale- Bitter/Dark Ale.
After giving us a brief history of the brewery, open for 6 years now, we walked over to the brite tanks and got to try a sample of a special beer that isn’t quite ready yet, but was absolutely delicious. We got a sneak peek of a double IPA that was brewed to commemorate their 1000th beer, and is also a part of the Brewluminati series. I was surprised at how much I liked it, since it is an IPA, but the Maris Otter malt backbone was a bit sweet and provided a great balance with the hops.
Next, we visited the cold room where we got to try another special beer, an experimental beer that was brewed on their smaller system. This beer was a Honeydew Melon Belgian Pale Ale that used pureed melons in the brewing process. I was amazed at how much the honeydew melon taste was present in the beer without being overwhelming. It was sweet and refreshing. I definitely want to see this beer made on the big system, but I may be holding my breath.
After tasting the honeydew melon beer, we were given a sample of the newest Brewluminati beer that is just now hitting places in Austin (hopefully Houston soon), the Gold Delux. This beer doesn’t really fit into one specific style, but is being called a single hop/single malt beer. Brewed with Maris Otter malts and Sorachi Ace hops (both lab cultivated), it has a great lemon and fruity profile and a slight tartness that I loved. It is 7.5% ABV, but the alcohol is completely hidden.
My favorite Independence beer (avaialble in Houston) is definitely the Bootlegger Brown, but now I would have to say I am most excited to see more of the Brewluminati series as well as hold out hope that they will produce some of the experimental brews on a bigger scale. Again, I will say how impressed I am at the amount of beer those guys produce on their current system. Though they are well-established, I felt right at home chatting and drinking beers with Adam. Thanks again to Adam for showing us around, we had a great time!