Around the modern Austin beer scene, Independence Brewing Company is an institution and co-owners Amy and Rob Cartwright seem like royalty. Their brewery turns 15 this year, and their impact on the larger community has been just as lasting—the couple helped restart cornerstone events like the Texas Craft Beer Festival, for instance. It’s now a must-attend for Lonestar beer lovers every fall. Independence has built a lasting legacy during those iconic Texas summers, too. Since 2016, whether you’re packing the cooler or deciding what to get at the bar during an afternoon Astros or Rangers game, a little green can will be waiting for you—Independence’s Cucumber Redbud, a Berliner weisse with everyone’s favorite green fruit added in.
Appearance and Aroma
Cucumber Redbud might alarm a lot of beer drinkers with how light it looks: very little color; maybe even less of a foam head. It has the visual appeal of light beers from Michelob to Coors. Fortunately, the beer’s aromatic appeal happens to be off the charts in order to offset that. This Berliner weisse smells farmer’s market fresh.
If you’re now thinking, 'Hmm, that sounds like it might be a good base for a Michelada,' you’re right.”
Whereas a pickle-forward gose may be a bit too tart or sour, Cucumber Redbud never veers into too-acidic territory. Sure, there is a lemony Berliner weisse at the core of this beer, but cucumber becomes the dominant flavor and mellows those contrasting elements. Each sip delivers cucumber crispness with only a little lip-smacking to follow. It is a perfect summer sipper no matter how you look at it: low ABV, a cooling element packed right in the ingredients, and a flavor that’s never faint, but never overpowers either. (If you’re now thinking, “Hmm, that sounds like it might be a good base for a Michelada,” you’re right; Independence thinks so, too.)
“Cool as a cucumber” has never been more accurate then when applied to this beer. That’s likely why when Independence introduced Cucumber Redbud in 2016, it immediately medaled at that year’s Great American Beer Fest (during what may have been an unexpected boom for cucumber in beer). This seasonal has rightfully become a staple of Central Texas life every summer since.