Rebrewed

Austin brewery says 'hi' from a new spot on the east side

Austin brewery says 'hi' from a new spot on the east side

A taproom in natural wood and white, with the new Hi Sign branding on the wall in red.
Hi Sign is welcoming Austinites to the taproom opening for music, sandwiches, and three new brews. Photo by Jane Yun

Five years in business seems like high time to open a new location, and Hi Sign Brewing is following through. The new taproom and production facility will open July 9 at 730 Shady Lane in East Austin, with a grand opening to kick things off.

The party starts at noon, featuring tunes from Stefon Osae, bites from Burro Cheese Kitchen (which will remain onsite as a resident food truck), and a few new debut brews. The brewery will keep two brews through the summer, and one more as a permanent core product.

Hi Sign’s logo and packaging also underwent a makeover by creative agency FugginHuggin. The new cans look simpler in composition, with more detailed and sophisticated doodles, a lighter cursive “Hi” logo, and an overall more laid-back look that feels strongly more Austin.

Previously located on Old Bastrop Highway, the brewery announced the move in summer of 2021 and closed temporarily on February 28. The new taproom, whose construction was documented over the weeks on Hi Sign’s social media, is 13,000 square feet — more than twice the size of the previous location — and, like the new branding, very minimalist.

Polished concrete floors, long, straight-edged tables with interesting wood grain, and a subway-tiled bar keep things looking fresh and modern, with little interference except a colorful mural of an East Austin sunset. The exterior looks more in line with an upscale dining concept (one with tiny plates) than a popular brewery.

OPA Design Studio, who have designed other popular brewing spaces including Meanwhile and Pinthouse, worked with Hi Sign founder Mark Phillippe to maximize reuse of the original location’s building materials. The design is meant to pay homage to the building’s industrial history; before Hi Sign took over, RC Cola used it for bottling in the 1950s, then Shiner for distribution, and Hill Country Brewing & Bottling for a center of operations by the ’90s.

Part of the move is new offerings, including a new coffee service in the morning and a limited-edition Day One Founder’s Club token; for $1,000 (and $82.50 in sales tax), the token entitles the purchaser to one free drink at the Shady Lane Taproom, every day for life.

“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,” said Phillippe in a press release. “We wouldn’t have survived the last five years without our Austin community. They sustained us over the last two years –– this new place is for them.”

Hi Sign is reopening in its new location at 730 Shady Lane on July 9, at 12 pm. The event is open to the public, and there are no tickets.