This article marks my three-year anniversary of writing for The Austinot. In my role as Contributing Blogger and now Lead Blogger, I’m proud to represent this unique blog and contribute to its mission of celebrating everything I love about this fine city. Looking forward to many more years of good eats, great music, and diving into the heart of Austin entertainment. As always, thanks for reading.
To stand out in Austin’s beer scene, you need to be different. Far too many breweries jump out of the gate with the standard “core four:” light beer, ale, IPA, porter. Five years ago, the strategy made sense. But with new competition popping up every month, up-and-coming brew masters need to bring something special to the table.
By peppering its tap list with a blend of left-of-center styles and traditional brews, Hi Sign Brewing has managed to make a quick, positive impression on the local beer scene. If you’re looking for something accessible yet different, this brand new spot is sure to satisfy beer lovers of every taste.
Hi Sign Brewing’s Dream Realized
While Hi Sign is a relative newbie, owner Mark Phillippe is a seasoned veteran–just not in the world of beer. Phillippe is retired Marine Corps. As his service concluded, he found himself looking to the next stage of his life. Inspired by the lifestyle and work of his friends Tito Beveridge (founder of Tito’s Handmade Vodka) and Clayton Christopher (founder of Sweet Leaf Tea), Phillippe decided to follow his passion and open a brewery.
His first task was to find a world class brewer to bring his vision to life. After months of searching, he recruited Andrew Shelton to helm his beer program. With experience at breweries like Revolver and Cigar City, Shelton brings a unique style and perspective to the craft.
The second vital component was a name. Inspiration came from Phillippe’s memories of time with his father in a remote cabin outside Lincoln, Mont. To help mark the road, another camper created a makeshift sign out of an old barrel top, painted it white, and spelt “Hi” in reflective tape. Hi Sign road was born.
Rustic, Relaxing Vibe
Despite being situated in an industrial area, a stone’s throw away from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Hi Sign mirrors Phillippe’s love of the outdoors and all things rustic. Inside, the tap room is divided into two sections: the main bar area and a TV area that’s perfect for watching sports. Long picnic tables provide ample seating. Coupled with a variety of games like cornhole and adult-sized Connect Four, it feels like a lively backyard party.