The Austin craft beer scene is exploding. With the abundance of choice beers created in and around the city, don’t forget to try the burgeoning brews that are being bottled in our own backyard.
Located off Hudson Bend at 4602 Weletka Dr. sits Infamous Brewing Company, in a small, unassuming commercial park. But don’t let the quaint Lake vibe fool you—this brewery and its brews really pack a punch.
The story goes back to 2011. Living in Texas but originally from New York, Josh Horowitz was back in NYC and visiting a local bar he used to frequent to watch a football game. Zack Perry, a stranger at the time, was sitting at the same neighborhood bar, and through the matchmaking of their mutual bartender friend, the two met that very afternoon. Josh was homebrewing at the time and Zack was looking to branch off from Wall Street as an entrepreneur. And the idea for the brewery was hatched.
“More business ideas are spawned on Sunday afternoon, but come Monday morning most decide it’s not going to happen,” Zack remarks, reflecting back to the early days. It was that chance meeting that led to their business plans for the brewery.
Merging their various talents, Zack’s background on Wall Street and Josh’s mind for marketing came in handy when the two met the third man for their team – Matt Bitsche. A fellow homebrewer and welder, he was hired on as chief engineer and head brewer. The brew pals launched Infamous in early 2012, and with the help of assistant brewer Darren Hester, the four men run the daily operations day in and day out. Between the new brews they are always dreaming up and the hundreds of gallons of beer produced each week, they have a full-time job on their hands. But it looks like they aren’t complaining!
The choice to start their business in Austin was simple. Josh had been living near Lake Travis since leaving New York for a more family-friendly environment to be able to raise his children. Already having a business on Hudson Bend, Beer Bouquet, he was able to convert it into the brewery when the time felt right to pull the trigger. Zack left Wall Street for 6th street and the rest is history.
As the official beer of Lake Travis, their flagship brews embody the laid-back spirit of the Lake, while maintaining their authentic style and history. Most of their recipes are original homebrew concoctions of Josh and Matt’s, with a little tweaking here and there. As their collection of beers grew and they started to bat around ideas for a business name and beer ideas, Josh looked no further than his own experience for what to do. With the notorious names like Bugsy’s Fire Brush Amber and Hijack Untraditional Cream Ale, there was a common theme to their beers. Josh’s own background from the empire state catered to his experience around the bad guys of prohibition and bootlegging, giving his beer brand a little kick and a bit of attitude.
“It’s kind of reminiscent of time when being bad was cool,” Josh adds, “and at some point, those bad dudes were heroes.” During a time when criminal activity spread far and wide, big names like John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson dominated the local liquor scene. The mafia had its hand in untold fortunes involving organized crime and bootlegging, at the same time the vices had to go underground. While the Infamous Brewing Company guys will not be reaching for a tommy gun or providing to any speakeasies anytime soon, the spirit of the mafia lives on in the punchy, hoppy flavors of their beers, something the whole team is very proud of.
With 3 full-time beer offerings and 2 seasonal beers, a smattering of Lake Travis eateries have picked up their kegs and are now serving their beers table side. They can be found at The Grove, The League, Lil’ Woodrow’s, Cafe Blue, Steiner Ranch Steakhouse, and Zack’s American Bistro, to name a few. For a complete list of their beers and where you can find them, check out the beer finder. Keep an eye out for their canned beers and new seasonal brews.