Brewbound Podcast Episode 10: Amy Cartwright on Independence Brewing’s Deal with Lagunitas

Independence Brewing’s 2016 minority sale to Lagunitas U.S. Holdings began over some breakfast tacos.

“I met with Tony Magee — over some breakfast tacos — because he happened to be in Austin,” Independence Brewing co-founder Amy Cartwright told Brewbound.

The deal, announced in June 2016, gave Independence access to growth capital following a 2014 expansion that included the installation of a new brewing system and some larger fermentation tanks.

But Cartwright didn’t initially think another brewery would be interested in investing in Independence, and she figured that funding would actually come from a private equity firm.

“We definitely set out to sell some stock, so that we could raise money for the equipment we needed, and to finish this expansion,” she said, noting that she didn’t want to be in a “perpetual state of fundraising.”

“We wanted to have a longer-term view,” she added. “We had clawed and skimped our way through our 12 years of existence.”

As conversations with Lagunitas continued, Cartwright said she became interested in a deal with the California craft brewery, which at the time was 50 percent owned by Heineken International, because “there seemed to be a real understanding of each other.”

In episode 10 of the Brewbound Podcast, Cartwright discusses her company’s relationship with Lagunitas and shares her entrepreneurial journey. She also explains how the craft beer landscape in Texas has changed since she opened Independence in 2004 and shares her thoughts on consumer purchasing habits.

Also in this episode: Brewbound editors Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall discuss Artisanal Brewing Ventures’ acquisition of Sixpoint, Pabst Brewing’s lawsuit with MillerCoors, and the ‘Camp Fire’ wildfires in California that forced a shutdown at the Sierra Nevada Brewing facility. They also share some bad PR pitches and offer a conspiracy theory about rapper Post Malone and Brewers Association director Paul Gatza.

Listen to episode 10 of the Brewbound Podcast above, as well as on iTunes. The episode is also available on Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and Soundcloud. New episodes of the Brewbound Podcast, which is co-hosted by Furnari and Kendall, are published every Thursday.

Episode 11, featuring Heavy Seas Brewing founder Hugh Sisson, will be released on Thursday, November 22.

For questions, comments or suggestions, please email podcast@brewbound.com.

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Brewbound Podcast

The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.