An Austin brewery has struck a deal with one of the biggest names in American craft beer. On Wednesday, Independence Brewing Co. announced that it snagged a major investment from Lagunitas Brewing Company.
The exact details of the deal have not been divulged, but the new funding will fast-track the 12-year-old brewery's expansion. Independence currently pumps out 18,000 barrels per year, but the team is looking to grow the capacity to 65,000-75,000 barrels over the next few years.
The beer — and the crew — will remain the same. There will simply be more Austin Amber, Stash IPA, Power & Light Pale Ale, and Liberty Lunch IPA for all to enjoy.
"Of course we are going to keep the Independence spirit," co-founder Amy Cartwright tells CultureMap. "We will continue to brew the beers we are well known for, and will continue developing our seasonal program as we have these last two years. I don't expect any changes in our approach to brewing. I do expect that we will collaborate on some events and charitable activities that we host in our tap room and in other cities in Texas."
When Independence needed more equipment to keep up with its growth, the team decided to sell off some stock in the company. "We thought it would be private equity groups that we would be dealing with, but as timing would have it, the Lagunitas folks saw the offering. They were in Austin for SXSW and came by for a visit. We discussed both of our breweries and goals over tacos and beers, and just hit it off. We have a lot of similar experiences, and we like the same kind of beers," says Cartwright.
Can we look forward to any Independence-Lagunitas collaborations in the future? "I hope so. Lagunitas has never done a collaboration beer before, but I think we have a like-minded love of hoppy beers," says Cartwright.
Lagunitas is a California-based brewing company is one of the biggest craft beer success stories. Since its founding in 1993, the brewery has expanded to two other locations and sold 50 percent of its share to Heineken International.
The deal with Independence is just one of four new Lagunitas projects. In addition to acquiring a brewpub in Charleston, South Carolina, Lagunitas is working on a partnership with California craft beer staple Moonlight Brewing Co. and opening two event spaces in Portland, Oregon and San Diego.