AUSTIN, Texas – Local craft beer darling, Hi Sign Brewing, announced the grand opening of its new 13,000-square-foot East Austin taproom and production facility located at 730 Shady Lane. To unveil the new space and commemorate the company’s fifth year in business, Hi Sign will open its doors at 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 for a public grand opening celebration. At the party, Hi Sign will debut three new beers (two summer seasonals and one permanent addition) alongside updated logo and can designs by creative agency FugginHuggin.
Founder and CEO Mark Phillippe credits local support for Hi Sign’s success in the aftermath of a recession that shuttered independent businesses worldwide. “We wouldn’t have survived the last five years without our Austin community,” Phillippe said. “They sustained us over the last two years –– this new place is for them.”
On Saturday, July 9, Hi Sign Brewing invites everyone to experience its new industrial-style tasting room with views of the beer-making process. Doors will open at 12 p.m. and DJ Stefon Osae will spin from 6pm – 10pm. Burro Cheese Kitchen’s food truck will kick off its onsite residency selling artisan grilled cheese sandwiches to accompany Hi Sign’s current lineup of brews: El Berto the Mexican Lager; Violet the Blueberry Blonde; Shamus the Fiddler Irish Red; Wooderson the West Coast IPA; Hi-C Hazy IPA; and several new releases to include the launch of Eastside Pilsner.
“As the Austin craft beer market matured, it became apparent that we weren’t going to survive at our old location on Bastrop Highway, almost entirely due to the devastating, several-years-long Hwy 183 construction project,” Phillippe explained. “But, a scarcity of resources forced us to focus sharply on packaging and product.”
Hi Sign’s new home on Shady Lane has a rich beverage production and packaging history. It originally opened as an RC Cola bottling facility in the 1950s, and later became Shiner’s first beer distribution center in Austin. In the 90s, the building was occupied by Hill Country Brewing & Bottling. 20 years later, the space is returning to its beverage industry roots as it becomes Hi Sign Brewing’s new home. Phillippe selected OPA Design Studio, an award winning architecture firm specializing in breweries and distilleries, to reimagine the space while paying homage to its unique history.
“After meeting with Ambrose [Taylor], the building’s previous owner, my vision for the project was to make minimal changes to the building — it already had amazing bones,” said Phillippe. “We have this incredible structure, and we wanted to design the space in a way that reused as many of the original materials as possible, and keep some of its history alive.”
The footprint of the new brewery is more than twice the size of Hi Sign’s previous facility, providing the space needed to ramp up production of the brand’s core beers and allow Hi Sign to reincorporate limited-release offerings.
“Between the extra room and upgraded equipment, we’ll increase to a production capacity of just over 8,000 barrels per year,” said Phillippe.
Phillippe is a former United States Marine Corps Infantry Officer who served in Afghanistan. After returning from deployment, he began homebrewing for his fellow marines while stationed in Twentynine Palms, California. Eager to dive deeper into craft beer, he sought out and completed extensive craft brewing coursework at UC Davis and Portland State University, immersing himself in the study of manufacturing and distribution of craft beer. In 2015, Phillippe began work on his dream of building Hi Sign and opened its first taproom and production facility in Austin in 2017.
“I’ve been surrounded by entrepreneurs for a long time,” Phillippe said, “and thought I had a pretty good idea of what my future might look like — writing the business plan, building financial models, courting investors, trying to get a bank loan, etc. But in my wildest dreams I never could have imagined the challenges I’ve faced both personally and professionally over the last five years. It’s been an ultramarathon. Ultimately, what still drives me is a sincere and genuine passion for great beer. I still get that rush when I taste something fresh out of the tank and know that we nailed it. Craft brewing is for us very much about the search; striving to make technically excellent beers. Whether it’s perfecting a pilsner or improving our IPAs, the journey will always be about making great beer.”
About Hi Sign Brewing
Hi Sign Brewing is a local craft beer brewery and taproom located in Austin, Texas. Mark Phillippe, a former Marine Corps Infantry Officer who served in Afghanistan, developed his interest in brewing while drinking local craft beers around the fire at his family’s cabin in Montana, on Hi Sign Road. He turned his interest into a passion, and then a reality. In early 2017, Phillippe added Hi Sign Brewing to Austin’s booming indie brew scene.
Hi Sign Brewing actively markets six core beers. All six (along with several seasonal brews) will soon be available in its new East Austin taproom, and are currently available at select retail outlets throughout Austin. Core beers include:
El Berto the Mexican Lager | 4.5% –– a perfectly light and crisp Mexican-style lager
Violet the Blueberry Blonde | 5.1% –– a blonde ale with the perfectly subtle amount of blueberry
Shamus The Fiddler Irish Red | 5.2% –– a smooth Irish red, with a slightly toasted aroma, and a caramel- malt finish
Wooderson The IPA | 6.5% –– Hi Signs flagship IPA is a crisp, dank West Coast-style brew with a floral dry-hopped nose
HI-C Hazy IPA | 6.8% –– juicy/hazy American IPA double dry-hopped with rotating hop varietals
Super Astronaut Double IPA | 9.5% –– a citrusy, dank, super smooth Double IPA. 2X Alpha King Challenge Finalist
Hi Sign Brewing is a proud and active member of the Austin community, and is excited to join the growing East Austin area with their new home at 730 Shady Lane, Austin TX 78702. Beginning July 9, 2022, the taproom will be open Monday through Thursday from 7 am to 10 pm, Friday from 7 am to 11 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 11 pm, and Sunday from 9 am to 10 pm.
About Mark Phillippe
Mark Phillippe discovered a passion for craft beer while spending summers at his family’s cabin on Hi Sign Road in the mountains of Montana. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, he began a decade of work on political campaigns and a presidential administration. In 2009 he received a commission as an Officer in the Marine Corps. During a combat deployment to Helmand Province, Afghanistan as an infantry officer, he spent most nights thinking about coming home to Austin and making beer. After his military service he completed craft brewing coursework at UC Davis and Portland State University, immersed in the study of manufacturing and distribution of craft beer. In 2015 he began work on his dream of building Hi Sign Brewing; opening their first production facility and taproom in 2017, and managing all operations of the company.
The Story of Hi Sign Brewing
While spending summers at the family cabin off Hi Sign Rd in Montana’s Big Sky country, Mark discovered the pure enjoyment that comes from drinking fresh, locally made craft beer. After traveling around the Continental Divide purchasing growler after growler from local breweries, he realized there couldn’t be time better spent than making fresh craft beer for friends and family to enjoy. While commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, Mark was deployed to Afghanistan where he shared his passion for beer and dream of making it with the Marines in his platoon. In the middle of Sangin, thousands of miles from home, he decided this would be his life’s work. After returning home he started brewing in the high desert of Twentynine Palms, California with a simple goal: creating flavorful, fresh, hoppy ales to reward the craft beer drinking American after a hard day’s work. Because at the end of the day, enjoying a fresh beer with family and friends, supporting the local community and giving back to charitable organizations, are just a few of life’s great pleasures
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