Independence Pale Ale | Independence Brewing Co.

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Independence Pale AleIndependence Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Independence Brewing Co.
Texas, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Pegasus on 10-17-2004

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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 127
Photo of Xadoor
4.8/5  rDev +33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Independence Brewing has just recently began bottling their beer. Up to now, its only been available on tap in various bars and restaurants in Austin.

Pours a clear, pale amber from the bottle with a nice foamy head. Some lacing down the inside of the glass. Mild malt and hop aromas. A medium mouthfeel with low carbonation. A great balance between hop and malt flavours. A very clean and dry finish with a slight bitterness.

An excellent American Pale Ale and certainly one of my favourites. Even easier to drink now that its available in bottle. Goes great with Texas bar-b-que!

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Photo of DamYankee
4.77/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Although I am a big fan of darker beers, Independence Pale is my new favorite. I have been drinking it since Independence opened in the fall of 2004, but this is the first time I've had it in the bottle. The quality is surprisingly close to the on-tap version. Being a hophead from wayback, I really appreciate the wonderful hoppy aroma the dry hopping has had on the beer.

Drinkability is very high, the bottle being empty before I realize it. DEFINITELY an easy drinking session beer with a bright, crisp, hoppiness that can stand up to the flavors of Texas cooking.

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Photo of beertramp
4.75/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Golden in color with a nice amount of foam when poured into a glass. Great lacing.

Subtle hoppy aroma. Hints of citrus. Very well balanced American Pale. The hop taste doesn't overpower, but also has a nice lingering citrus/hop taste.

Overall it is a very drinkable, and nicely balanced pale ale. Good for the Texas heat.

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Photo of xare
4.56/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours as a clear orange-yellow beer with a massive foamy white head and non-stop carbonation. Head actually lasts all the way down, probably because of the carbonation (along with drinking it fast because it's delicious). Doesn't lace very well, but appearance is so inviting.

Aroma is of cascade hops and smells very clean and citrusy.

Taste is citrus-pine and has a very nice hop profile blended in such a way that you feel like you're drinking water until you hit the bitterness from the hops. Rather absent of any other flavor though, which made me drop it a bit.

Mouthfeel is excellent for a pale ale. Crisp, carbonated very well, creamy, has the bittering hop kick... which immediately disappears when you swallow, leaving a clean finish. Truly a dream to drink.

Drinkability is outstanding. I wish I had brought back more than the single bottle I had of this. If you live in Austin, Texas - start buying cases of this stuff to drink! Man, I'm going to have to start finding excuses and a method to ship myself a case of this beer. Easy to drink, enjoyable to drink, sessionable, and the only blemish is that it's not easily acquirable by me. But that's not enough for me to mark this below perfection. I wish I had caseloads of this beer to drink.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good one. This pours a pale yellow-orange color. Great hop aroma—floral, piney, and grassy. Wonderful flavor, with those grassy and piney hops there, but in moderation. Nice body, with a chew and resin that gives it heft and a good, slightly tacky finish. I’d drink another.

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Photo of pwsoldier
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a clear orange-copper with a decent white head that dissipates slowly. Lacing was scant, but there.

S - Floral hop aromas with a hint of pine and saltwater taffee.

T - Very solid malt backbone that balances the hops nicely. The sweetness and bitterness come through simultaneously, which gives this beer a nice complexity for a pale ale.

M - Medium-bodied, dry finish, goes down very smooth with a slight bitterness left on the tongue.

D - This is a very solid and enjoyable pale ale. I'll definitely be having this one again.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.19/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A darn good pale ale. Pours out to a shiny hazed golden orange color with a short lived head of foam. Medium low level of carbonation, some notes of lace. Aromas of yeasty bread, sweet grain, rich malts, fresh hops. Wow. Really nice. Taste is solid; lots of malts and hops over a raw honey grain backbone. Nice. Mouthfeel was unspectacular, yet the other aspects of this beer far make up for it. Good drinkability. They know beer in Texas. Special thanks to assurbanipaul for the sample. Recommended drinking.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into mug.

Cloudy honey gold hue. Strong one inch egg-shell white head. It has good retention, and likewise lines the glass with lacing. Settles to a thin cap. When held up to the light, you can see the sediment floating in the beer.

Strong piney hop aromas strike first, with a malty backbone. Citrus like flavors can be detected as well. The bottle doesn't say when it was bottled, but it smells absolutely fresh.

Herb like hop flavors dominate the palate, with a malty middle. Finishes dry with plenty of lingering hop flavor. Tastes like an APA more than an EPA, going against what others have stated.

Lighter bodied with medium carbonation. Very crisp feel, and a dry hoppy finish.

I enjoyed this one. It has to be a very fresh sample. The hops were lively and delicious. I recommend you to try one of these, and hopefully you will have one that tastes as fresh as this one does.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A golden orange liquid fills the glass and gets topped with a small white head that melts quickly to a ring of white.
Aroma is fresh hops all the grassy and a little piney.
Taste at first scared me into thinking there might be a lager type adjunct in here...rice or corn....but quickly I became aware that wasn't the case at all. This pale ale just happens to be full of flavor. There is nothing one dimensional about it. Slightly sweet malt followed with a tang of citrus (more orange than grapefruit) hop then a little lemon and a grassy earthiness on the dry finish.
Lots of tiny bubbles to tingle the tongue and tickle the throat on the way down.
Great refresher
Thanks assurbanipaul for this little taste of Texas.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Independence Pale Ale has a very thin, egg shell head, and a clear, golden orange appearance, with lots of streaming bubbles and thick lacing. The aroma gives a whiff of Orange Julius, and then mostly clean water. Taste is quite strong on bitter hops (the predominate flavor aspect), and there are underlying barley malt and pine notes. The mouthfeel is medium and fluffy, and Independence Pale Ale finishes mostly dry, crisp, sharp, and good. Drinkability is moderate to high. Even though it’s rather one dimensional (hops), overall, this is a very good ale.


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Photo of ad5os
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great pale ale with decent smell and body. Served in a glass and poured properly gave a nice inch of head and still remained fizzy. It is fairly hoppy but not overwhelming. Very high quality and the price was very low at whole foods in Houston, best deal in the store $6.99.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint. Bottling date 1.15.12

Look- Crystal clear pale amber with a finger and a half of off-white suds. Good retention, nice lacing.

Smell- Very faint. Swirling brings out a hint of candied banana, lime, graham cracker, and spice. Sweet, but as faint as it is it isn't overdone.

Taste- Banana again, though closer to banana-raisin muffins than the powdery fruit flavor of a Belgian. Moderate hop bitterness washes after the initial sweetness, otherwise the flavors don't really develop, but overtake one another in turns. The barest hints of black tea and tangerine are present in the aftertaste. Balanced leaning towards bitter.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full body, moderate carbonation comes out on the sip. It's got some heft and stick to it. Drinks like double-brewed herbal tea with lemon.

Overall- Nice. Not too much going on after the initial flavors come out, but what's there is interesting and refreshing. Worth trying, and I'll pick up a fresher bottle the next time I see one.

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Photo of BeanBone
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A somewhat hazy orange body with a finger of off-white head that leavers decent lacing.

Aroma: Mild, citrusy and somewhat grassy hops over caramel malt. A little thin, but appetizing.

Taste: Very similar. The same hop profile (though more intense) over a solid, biscuity malt backbone keeps everything balanced. There's a hoppy aftertaste, stronger than I expected, that is certainly welcome.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and refreshing with ample carbonation.

Drinkability: Very quaffable, as you'd expect from a Pale Ale.

Verdict: Independence is a very drinkable, straightforward Pale Ale. It's not going to set the world on fire, but it will work perfectly for a session. I would prefer the hops to be cranked up just a little bit, but then I'm a certified hophead, so I could say that about most beers. Mild and inoffensive, this makes a great "gateway beer" to turn someone onto craft beer.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a smokey amber with a thin yet fluffy head. Aroma is some light citrus mixed with sweet malts.

Taste is a good blend of sweet and bitter, pale malt and mild grapefruity hops. Good standard pale ale flavors with just a touch more caramel sweetness than typical for the style. As others have noted, it leans much more towards an English rather than our American-style pale ales.

Mouthfeel is medium and soft, very drinkable. I tend to get bored with your standard APAs but I really like this one. Definitely a sessionable beer.

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Photo of JMad
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this from a pint glass...

It is light golden and hazy with a thin filmy white head. The smell is mostly toffee and butter with some grapefruit and pine hops. The taste is bitter at first with citrus hops, that flavor soon gets washed away by sweet, bready malt, the aftertaste has a hint of pine. Feels light/ medium bodied with low carbontaion. This is a solid pale ale, nothing out of the ordinary but a good example of the style.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somewhat hazy, golden color. Reminds me of a cloudy Bud. Small white head atop. Aroma of grass and citrus-very good hop aroma. Nice cross aroma of butter and lemons. Good malty flavor-nicely balanced with a moderate amount of hops. Decent body. One of the better US pales I have had in a while. Well done.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a hazy orange-amber color with little foam. Aroma is pleasantly hoppy, in a grapefruit-citrus sort of way. Very nice mix of light malty sweetness and a burst of citrusy bitterness, ending with a lingering dryness. Slightly chalky, tannic mouthfeel.

Quite a nice beer, the best of the Independence line-up.

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Photo of vdread
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

after sampling every single beer in my local liquor store, i decided to give Independence a try. locally brewed, so why not? even if it sucks, i'll still be supporting austin beer.

Independence Pale Ale pours a slightly hazy orange with a decent sized head.

smells of some bready-maybe crackery malt and bright citrus-dominant hops.

taste is less hoppy than the typical american pale. some bitterness and citrus (slightly floral) hoppiness comes through, but it's well balanced. some bready and caramel malt tastes.

good mouthfeel, though a tiny bit lighter than i like my beer, even pale ales.

excellent drinkability. it's an easy drinking pale ale.

well it doesn't suck. it's a pretty good pale ale, very balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden with a slight haze and a moderate amount of carbonation. Dense white, small bubble head and sticky lace. Strawberries and honey aroma with a hint of hops. On the hoppy side for the typical pale ale. Unfortunately, they flavor iis a bit nondescript. Medium mouthfeel and bitter finish.

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3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright golden beer with a 1/2" white head full of tight bubbles. The head fell to a cap after a while and left very attractive rings of lace down the pint glass.

Aromas of pine and grapefruit let it be known that this was a well hopped pale ale.

Very nice balance between the hops and malt in this pale ale. Nice bready flavor, some citrus notes, and a light bitterness in the finish.

The beer had a nice rich mouthfeel, good carbonation and was obviously fresh and well made. Easy drinking and would make a nice session APA. I am very impressed with this new brewery and especially with Independence Pale Ale.

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Photo of wl0307
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Obtained by courtesy of Houston-based BA Steve (Xadoor), brought over when visiting London last month. No freshness info. printed on the bottle. Served light-chilled in a broad-rimmed goblet.

A: pours a slightly hazy, dark orangey amber hue; the beer head comes effervescent, mushrooming to a 2cm thick foamy white sponge, sustaining well and leaving semi-tight lacing along the way; the carbonation is quite lively, but not fierce, ejecting constant streams of microscopic fizz from the bottom~~
S: deeply flowery (Cascade?), balanced with a tinge of honey-drink, ripe lychee-fruits, a little citric-fruitiness and a very soft, semi-sweet sugary malts; a light touch of resins and yeastiness adds to the overall complexity, making a moderately aromatic nose--nice!
T: quite sharply fizzy on the texture upfront; the flavour is dryish-yeasty (wood-sprigs and peppery) and full of sour-bitter, citric/orange zestiness with an assertive tannic edge of tangy hops, while a faintly sweet maltiness plays the second fiddle as a balancer against the hops; the lingering bitterness also comes with a tannic edge, almost like crushed grape-seeds+rubbed dry tea-leaves, resulting in a somewhat "stimulating" mouthfeel b/w the teeth and deeply down the sides of the tongue. As the texture and fizziness soften, a better balance b/w fruitiness and bitterness is reached, making a rather soothing after-mouthfeel (rather than after-taste).
M&D: medium-bodied, very refreshing on the mouthfeel due to lively carbonation, and turning softer bit by bit; overall, a very quaffable and dry-ish pale ale. I'm not experienced enough to judge it fairly "within the style", but this one tastes much drier and less malty in terms of overall balance than most other APAs I've tried. A good depth is rendered by the bulk amount of hops used, for sure, and I suspect a better pour without so much yeast-sediments could've made a more fruity sample?! Gratitude goes to Steve, for sharing this fine ale with me.

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Photo of jdense
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Gabe's San Antonio, enjoyed 4.20.11.

Two fingers billowing white head, medium slow dissipation with significant lacing. A bit of floral sweetness in the nose, bready malts for balance, smells more like a Pilsener than a APA. Taste mirrors nose, no caramel or crystal malts to speak of, bit of floral bitterness on backend. Medium mouthfeel, good effervescence. I liked this better than the Real Ale Rio Blanco, much crisper and cleaner taste profile.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade (Thanks Neil!)

Appearance: The beer is an amber and cadmium orange color with a big frothy four fingers of head, much more than I was expecting. Inside the bottle sits a hazy mess of yeast sediment. A few streaks of lace sit on the side of the glass. The beer is also extremely effervescent.

Smell: The nose is a blend of light cereal grain and pale malt. To be honest there aren't a lot of hops shining through as the description on their website would have you believe, but you can tell that they're present from a bittering perspective. Only a little bit of citrus shines through.

Taste: The taste is much of the same, some pale malt and some cereal grain flavors coming in as well. Well balanced from a bittering standpoint, though more hop flavor would be nice. To be fair, this beer, aside from the carbonation, does seem to be right on par for the style. I am bias though, I do like more citrus flavor in my pale ales.

Mouthfeel: Aggressively carbonated, a little too high for my liking. I let it sit for a handful of minutes between sips to let it calm down. Thin to medium bodied.

Drinkability: Again, I think this is a great representation of the pale ale style. It doesn't have the hop profile I'd prefer, but then again the hop profile I prefer isn't a true pale ale. This is a well put together beer by Independence.

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Photo of cheers2beers
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This beer poured light honey amber hue with almost no head, just a thin white ring around the brim of my wiezen glass. A small trace of laceing can also be found, and even a few columns of beading floating from the bottom.

Smell: The smell is herbal-licious. Grassy hops and some garden herbs present majority of the aromas. Also some under ripe fresh fruit rinds.

Taste: The hop character pushes the grassy herbs to the max, but not to strong just enough to let you know they are there. Mildly sweet malts can be detected but about as much as you taste the alcohol, not alot.

Mouthfeel: The feel is on the thin side with little carbonation. It has slightly bubblely finish as well.

Drinkability: Not my favorite pale ale but by far not the worst. In other words I would recommend for a try.


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Photo of brentk56
3.86/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear golden amber with an impressively sturdy head that leaves quite a few shards behind

Smell: Bready, almost biscuity, with a woodsy, slightly resinous aspect

Taste: Surprisingly sweet (but light) with a real biscuity character; in the middle, there is a Juicy Fruit element that joins with a slightly resinous hop flavor; the sweetness lingers on the palate, in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Quite different from the typical APA, with a little bit of an English character; I rather enjoyed it

Thanks, duff247, for the opportunity

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Independence Pale Ale from Independence Brewing Co.
3.61 out of 5 based on 127 ratings.
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