Austin-based Independence Brewing expands distribution to Arkansas

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Another craft brewery has placed its first bet on The Natural State.

Austin, Texas-based Independence Brewing Co. this week announced the company has begun distributing its lineup of beers throughout Arkansas. The move marks the brand’s first expansion of distribution outside its home state of Texas.

Shreveport’s Great Raft Brewing made a similar decision in 2016 when first expanding its offerings outside Louisiana into Arkansas and east Texas.

Independence’s core lineup, which includes Austin Amber, Liberty Lunch IPA, Redbud Berliner Weisse, Power & Light Pale Ale, and the brand’s top-selling beer, Stash IPA, is now available now in both bars and restaurants as well as on retail shelves.

“We had canoed and camped along the Buffalo River years ago, so when we began looking into new markets for Independence, Arkansas really stood out against the other states we were considering,” said Amy Cartwright, co-founder and president of Independence Brewing Co. “The people of Arkansas really seem to hold similar values as we do at Independence; a love for the outdoors, supporting local music and the arts, and giving back to the community. We’re truly excited to hit the ground running in our first new state and hopefully become a part of its amazing culture for a long time ahead.”

Founded in 2004, Independence has grown to a production size of about 15,500 barrels per year, making it the third-largest craft brewery in the Austin area, according to the Austin Business Journal.

The 13-year-old brewery last year received a minority share investment from Lagunitas Brewing Co. in a string of deals that included Lagunitas buying stakes in two other smaller breweries – Moonlight Brewing Co. in California and Southend Brewery and Smokehouse in South Carolina, which was rebranded as a Lagunitas brewpub.

Little Rock-based Central Distributing have signed on as Independence’s wholesale partner throughout Arkansas, according to a company spokesman.

To celebrate the company’s expansion, Independence will host a series of events this week in Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock. Individual event details can be found on Independence Brewing Co.’s Facebook page.

Local Independence launch events

Wednesday, July 26
Growler USA in Rogers at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 27 7/27
The Odd Soul in Springdale at 5 p.m.

Friday, July 28
George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville at 5 p.m.
Brewski’s Draft Emporium in Fayetteville at 6 p.m.
Sideways in Fayetteville at 8 p.m.