One of the country’s most successful breweries, Victory Brewing, is about to lose a big member of its team: Matt Couch is coming to Austin to open Lazarus Brewing, on East Sixth Street, as its new brewmaster.
That’s quite a coup for the small upcoming brewery, which plans to make less than 2,000 barrels of beer each year, according to a news release. Right away, Lazarus might come to fruition with the brewing chops to compete with some of Austin’s more established beer makers.
“When the brewery opens this fall, Couch will take the helm of a 10-barrel system that produces a mere 1,500 barrels of beer annually,” the news release said. “Yet with coffee, a kitchen, and 16 house taps at his disposal, he inherits an opportunity that would be the envy of many large production breweries: Couch gets to create the taproom of his dreams, with a wide range of eclectic beers designed exclusively for local patrons.”
In many respect, Lazarus Brewing is the very opposite of Victory Brewing — opening with the intention of staying small and offering a mostly taproom-only experience. Victory currently distributes to 35 states and nine countries, considerable growth that Couch, as brewing manager, helped to cultivate.
At Victory, he “helped guide research and development, recipe formulation and special projects — like planting their own experimental hop yard (a messy project he tackled alongside his girlfriend Alexis Grieco, who also worked for Victory),” according to the news release. “He also helped design, install and achieve Victory’s signature consistency on a massive new 200-barrel brewhouse — valuable experience for a new company opening a startup brewery from scratch.”
His brewing philosophy also seems to line up with the types of beers — and overall experience — that Lazarus Brewing is aiming for.
“I love trying to find a beer that fits a time and place that someone will remember forever,” he said in the release. “The connection you make with people over what you’ve created, that is what drives my creativity in brewing. Finding a beer for everybody.”