Longtime Austinites likely remember the iconic music venue Liberty Lunch with fondness. The two co-founders of Independence Brewing, Rob and Amy Cartwright, wanted to do more than that and named one of their beers, a mainstay IPA, after it in 2016.
Like the open-air night club that closed its doors for good in summer 1999, the Liberty Lunch IPA, it seems, was just not meant to be: Independence is hosting a farewell party for it this weekend. Head to the Southeast Austin brewery on Jan. 12 for cheap pints of the IPA, discounted merchandise and a 1990s-themed costume contest.
But in this case, at least, the Liberty Lunch IPA isn't gone forever. It's being added to Independence's rotating seasonal lineup and may be brought back in the near future, Amy Cartwright said. Although "Liberty is near and dear to our hearts," she said, the beer is being removed as a mainstay in favor of a more popular option, the Native Texan Pilsner, that launched last summer.
"We had to make the tough decision to remove it from our core lineup in order to make room for Native Texan, which is quickly becoming one of our most popular beers," she said. "The success of Native Texan has begun to strain our brewery's capacity since lagers tie up tank space for longer periods than ales."
Liberty Lunch IPA was a fast favorite when it launched, too, thanks to the tropical hop flavors that makes it easy to drink during the hot weather Austinites bemoan nearly year-round. The can of the IPA features a beachy version of the plain brick building that once allowed music fans, for only $7, to listen to the Dave Matthews Band, the Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and other bands on the cusp of becoming famous.
The venue, at 405 W. Second St., was sacrificed during the multi-million dollar revitalization that resulted in the trendy Second Street District in the 2000s.
RELATED: When Liberty Lunch was the place
Although Liberty Lunch IPA will return, Cartwright recommends that fans of the beer should go ahead and pick up six-packs of it now.
"The last batch was brewed in December, so we encourage fans to stock up — what is currently on store shelves is all that exists," she said.
The farewell party runs all day on Saturday, from noon to 9 p.m., at the brewery at 3913 Todd Ln., Ste. 607.