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A new Austin beer, Native Texan, celebrates our state pride and heritage

Arianna Auber
The Native Texan is now on cans around the state and on tap in the Independence taproom, not far from where it was made.

Independence Brewing tends to make beers that serve as liquid homages to Austin — the Liberty Lunch IPA is named after a once-beloved live music venue; the Power & Light Pale Ale serves as a nod to the historic Seaholm Power Plant. 

But a new beer, Independence’s latest seasonal, is an ode to all of Texas, from the Piney Woods of the eastern part of the state to the wide open desert of the west.

The Native Texan Pilsner, now in stores, comes in cans decorated like our red, white and blue state flag. And the lager style is also intentional: Independence has modeled it after the traditional European pilsners that the German and Czech immigrants who settled in the Texas Hill Country more than 180 years ago would have enjoyed. 

“It’s classic Texas because of the Hill Country’s heritage,” Amy Cartwright, co-founder of Independence Brewing, said of the German-style pilsner.

Made with German pilsner malt, a mixture of German and Czech noble hops, and one-of-a-kind Augustiner yeast, Native Texan is as crisp and clean as the Old World lagers it emulates and clocks in at a low-alcohol 5 percent ABV, perfect for the role as the “road trip beer” Independence wants it to become this summer — the beer you take on all your adventures across the state.

Cartwright said she was inspired to name it after a ‘Native Texan’ bumper sticker she remembers was on her mother’s car all throughout Cartwright’s childhood. To her, Texas embodies its state motto of being the friendly state (the word ‘Texas,’ after all, originates from a Native American word meaning ‘friend’ or ‘ally) because of how connected we remain by the love of our home state.

“That's what ‘Native Texan’ means to me,” she said. “It's not really about whether or not you were born here, it's more about that sense of belonging, the quality of life here, the people, the natural beauty.”

Native Texan is Independence’s second lager this year, following the spring seasonal Cowboys from Helles. Although the pilsner has more of a hop profile, Cartwright expects she’ll still have to educate people on the differences between a macro lager and a craft lager like Native Texan. 

“A lot of times, people newer to craft beer say about a lager like ours, ‘Why wouldn't I just get Budweiser?’ But taste them side by side and you'll see they aren't the same at all,” she said. “I ran into that a lot this year with the helles lager. It's a matter of educating people: that our beers don’t use rice and corn adjuncts. The Native Texan uses some of the world's best malted barley you can get, and it makes a huge difference.”

And if you don’t agree? You’ll be friendly about it, of course. 

Native Texan is now available in stores across Texas. Keep an eye on Independence’s social media for announcements about fun events related to the patriotic brew.