Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

A Fine Austin Brewery

Last week I stopped in at HEB for some beer and saw a brew I’d never noticed before – Independence Pale Ale. As I was checking out, I saw that it’s brewed here in Austin. The beer was a very good pale made with lots of hops, especially cascade hops, which happens to be my favorite variety.

It turned out that last weekend was the second anniversary of the Independence Brewing Company and that my wife had already made plans for us to go to the celebration. She’d never had the beer and so was surprised to see that that’s what I had happened to buy.

On Saturday, we went to the brewery in one of the many warehouses off of East Ben White. The brewery is very small and the people friendly. There was a band and Jasper was there wagging his tail and greeting the guests, but I didn’t try the beer named for him. I did try the Freestyle Wheat which was crisp and refreshing as well as the Bootlegger Brown. The Brown was my favorite. I’m not a big fan of browns, but this one with its dark color and rich chocolatey flavor reminded me more of a porter. Delicious.

The Independence Brewing Company is the best thing to happen to Austin beer in a long time, at least since the days of Celis and Waterloo. Hopefully, they’ll grow and continue to brew great beer for many years to come.


  1. Celis!? Whatever happened? Thanks for the yeasty memory….

  2. Beer! Now you’re talking my lingo.

  3. I’m glad you enjoyed your time (and beer) at Independence. I’ve known the proprietors, Amy and Rob Cartwright, for many years now and they’re great people with a wonderful local business.

  4. George, Celis was bought out and closed by Miller in 2001, but Miller sold the name and recipes to a brewing company in Michigan that’s started brewing Celis in 2002. Though they haven’t re-introduced the grand cru.

    Daniel, We’re talking the universal language here.

    Jeff, I’m happy to have found such a great beer made at such a cool little brewery.

  5. I love brown ales, like Shiner Boch. Will have to try your suggestion.

    Speaking of Austin breweries/distillaries, have you tasted Tito’s vodka?

  6. Yeah, Tito’s is a favorite of ours. I think it’s the only liquor distilled in Texas.

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