The two co-founders of Independence Brewing, Rob and Amy Cartwright, have been longtime Austinites who remember the city when it was a sleepy college town, with an increasingly thriving live music scene and only a few brewpubs and breweries in the downtown core. So it’s no surprise they continue their Austin-themed beer streak by naming Independence’s latest canned offering the Liberty Lunch IPA.
Liberty Lunch, an iconic music venue from 1975 to 1999, attracted all manner of musicians during its heyday and helped, like the 1970s hangout Armadillo World Headquarters before it, to transform Austin into the “Live Music Capital of the World” that it is today.
And Amy Cartwright hasn’t forgotten it.
“What made Liberty Lunch so special was the people — the owners, staff, and patrons — and their love of great music,” she said in a press release. “Reggae, punk, indie rock, country… Liberty Lunch was the place to see storied musicians like Burning Spear and up-and-coming bands like Nirvana and Ween before they were famous.”
She and the Independence Brewing team wanted to create a beer paying homage to Austin’s love of music — similarly to what they did with the Austin Amber, whose can design features a theater marquee in a nod to the Alamo Drafthouse — and “Liberty Lunch was our inspiration,” she said in the release. “Diverse, creative, and welcoming, it represented what we love most about music’s power to inspire people and bring people together.”
The result of their boozy tribute is an easy-drinking, 5.5 percent ABV beer, an IPA with “luscious stone fruit and tropical hop flavors,” according to the press release. The Liberty Lunch IPA, available in the next few months in 6-pack cans and on draft in major Texas cities, could become Austinites’ drink of summer.
Sip on it while listening to your favorite artist live. And for those wanting a more musical return of the storied venue, check out the ABGB on Saturday, when the brewpub is hosting “I Still Miss Liberty Lunch” with a variety of acts who played there back in the day. Liberty Lunch’s original owners will be hosting an auction of Liberty Lunch memorabilia at the event.
For more information about the Liberty Lunch IPA, visit independencebrewing.com. And for more about the Liberty Lunch reunion on Saturday, keep an eye out for the Statesman’s music writer Peter Blackstock’s piece in Austin360 on Friday.