category-iconFamily Craft

Hot Chicken and Cold Beer in Austin

April 04, 2017

By Eno Sarris, April 04, 2017

If you’ve ever been to Nashville, you know about Prince’s Hot Chicken. Their version of the American classic can make you gush sweat if you pick the hottest option, and they’ve become a go-to attraction in the city.

If you’ve ever been to Austin, you know about Independence Brewing. You’ve probably had their Stash IPA, a piney, resiny but dry stalwart around town. Maybe you’ve been to their great taproom in Southeast Austin, maybe you’ve seen a show there.

Thanks to October’s new Family Craft series, you can enjoy both at the same time this May 9th and 10th in Austin. Never before has Prince’s Hot Chicken made it to Texas – their team only leaves Nashville twice a year, and usually for the Hot Chicken Festival in July. And for those that have had Prince’s fare while traveling, they can now wash down their spice-induced tears with some fresh Independence Pale Ale.

The series is aptly named in this case – its existence is a testament to the families on both sides.

Texas is going to love her chicken.”

Prince’s is a family-run enterprise, all the way down to the origin story. That story holds that the hot chicken was once a trick pulled by an angry lover of a promiscuous Thornton Prince during the great depression. A trick that went awry when that first Prince emptied his plate, asked for more, and eventually the recipe. He passed that down through the family once he got it.

Today, his great niece Andre Prince Jeffries holds the keys to that awesome fried chicken, and she’s been hearing from friends that she needs to bring it down to Texas. She’ll be part of the team that will drive their ingredients down to Austin, too. “Yes we have to drive it all down, so nobody can tamper with anything,” laughed Tiffany Childress of Prince's Hot Chicken.

She confirms that Ms. Jeffries is excited, and that Texas should be too. “Texas is going to love her chicken.”

Stash IPA is a very hop-forward west coast IPA, so anything fatty pairs super well, because hops cut fat.”

For Independence Brewing, this event underlines a transformation they’ve undergone. That transformation has been fueled by the people who work at the brewery, people they consider family.

“We were one of Austin's first breweries, and it was before Texas allowed us to have taprooms,” pointed out Courtney Cobb from Independence Brewing's team. “It was strictly a production facility, this wasn't planned at all. The laws changed and the taproom was created and as more and more focus on the taproom, it unfolded into something new.”

That new taproom is full of dogs and music. A partnership with Service Dogs means that people drinking at Independence can either directly or indirectly help the charity provide and sustain those dogs free of charge.

And in the Live Music Capital of the world, of course there’s often live music at that taproom. ”Some of the guys that work here are in metal bands,” she said of that natural transition. Music is always playing in the brewery, where their head brewer Brannon Radicke has been focusing not only on keeping quality high, but also with how his beer will pair. “The only thing that goes better with beer and live music is food,” Cobb affirmed.

At the event, Radicke will provide beer pairings for the food and a brewery tour with exclusive tastings. Cobb gave a taste of the reasoning he’ll undergo when it’s time to come up with the pairings. “Stash IPA is a very hop-forward west coast IPA, anything fatty pairs super well, because hops cut fat. Super easy go to,” Cobb pointed out. “But our Citrusy Liberty Lunch IPA goes well with jamaican jerk chicken. If something is a little bit more spice heavy and not as fatty, you can also pair that with an amber like Austin Amber.”

A $65 ticket, bought here, will get you a seat at one of the seatings (6:00 and 8:30), a chance to taste a James Beard classic that rarely leaves Nashville, and drink some of that carefully curated beer. Seems like a good deal, but be prepared to cry (or sweat) once you make it.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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