Independence Brewery is losing its head brewer, Justin Rizza, to Flix, the new restaurant/brewpub/Alamo-esque movie theater in Round Rock. Rizza is responsible for the brewery's Saison, Rood, Kill Shot Scotch Ale and the reworked Stash IPA and had been with Independence since 2009. Michael Waters has been promoted to the top dog position. Here's a press release:
INDEPENDENCE BREWING CO. ANNOUNCES NEW HEAD BREWER
Michael Waters is Promoted to Head Brewer as Justin Rizza Pursues Brewpub Aspirations
Austin, TX June 29, 2011 - Head Brewer Justin Rizza is handing over the reins at Independence Brewing Co. to Michael Waters. Justin will head up brewing operations at a Round Rock brewpub, Flix, in mid-July.
Since joining Independence Brewing in January 2009, Justin Rizza re-worked Stash IPA to its present form and developed Saison, Rood, Kill Shot Scotch Ale and a soon to be released Brewluminati beer. Justin was a key player in developing the Independence brew team, increasing production volume, and expanding the portfolio of beers.
An avid homebrewer, Michael Waters joined Independence Brewing on the bottling line in October 2009. Working with Justin Rizza, Michael was able to master the techniques of brewing in a production brewery, and was promoted to Brewer in November 2010. Michael was the driving force behind the Brewluminati series, creating Gold Deluxe, Stoned Crow Imperial Porter, and Thinker’s Ale.
Justin is excited to work in a brewpub environment in which he will have more time to experiment on a smaller scale. While Independence Brewing Co. will miss Justin deeply, they plan to move forward with the current brew crew with Michael Waters as Head Brewer, and continue to produce hand-crafted beer fresh in Austin for the people of Texas.