http://austin.ynn.com/content/news/2...g-brew-culture

Nine years ago, Amy Cartwright and her husband decided to take a gamble on a hobby they loved.

"We decided to go out on our own and create a brewery just with the mission of bringing really great tasting hand crafted beers to the people of Texas," Cartwright said.

It's a gamble that has paid off.

"Beer is fun just because it's delicious and it brings people together,” she said. “And there's nothing better than having a beer with a friend."

Back when Independence Brewing opened, there was only one other brewer in Austin. Now there are more than two dozen.

Brewers like Black Star Co-op.

"The brewers are like artists,” said Suzy Schaffer from Black Star Co-op. “They're coming up with the own different techniques and spins on old, old traditional methods."

Craft beers have flourished on the West Coast, but now the Austin scene is bubbling to the top.

"We're finally getting there and getting some really interesting beers, really strong brewers that are moving and relocating to Austin," Schaffer said.

Changes to Texas law have helped beer makers expand their markets.

"Brew pubs are now able to sell their beer to distributors, and so you can actually get brew pub beer at a different establishment than just the brew pub itself," Cartwright said.

Brewers say it's a business that fosters cooperation instead of competition.

"It's a very loving business,” Schaffer said. “There's a lot of support between the different breweries. The more that we can have, the merrier."

"There's educational opportunities through Craft Beer Week,” Cartwright said. “It supports our retail outlets and draws attention to craft beer in general."

The word is spreading that Austin is a great beer town.

"I made a special trip here as part of Beer Week here in Austin,” said Craig Bruska, who enjoyed a brew at Black Star Co-op. “I came in from Chicago."

Dozens of beer makers and venues are participating in Beer Week. For a full line up of events and locations, check out austinbeerweek.com