Saturday, August 5, 2017

#113: Hi Hat Public House

The Bar

Hi Hat Public House. 2121 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702

Visited 8/5/17 @ 10pm.

The Drink

Hops and Grain Dispensary IPA. $6.

Hi Hat has a wide selection of craft beer, and my bartender was one of those bemused souls who wasn't quite sure how to respond to my spiel about having him pick for me, so after several rounds of "what do you like? what you do you recommend? well it depends", I backed him into a corner and he poured me this beer. It's another American IPA, but in contrast to the milder ones I've had on this quest like from 512, Zilker, or Lazarus, this one is much hoppier, probably because it's dry-hopped. I can handle the stronger bite of high-IBU beers, and at 60 IBUs it's not even that hoppy as far as these go, but as I get older and my palate gets lamer I start to agree more and more with the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery:
“I find the term ‘extreme beer’ irredeemably pejorative,” Garrett Oliver, the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, told me recently. “When a brewer says, ‘This has more hops in it than anything you’ve had in your life - are you man enough to drink it?,’ it’s sort of like a chef saying, ‘This stew has more salt in it than anything you’ve ever had - are you man enough to eat it?’ ”
Should you decide to drink it though, it is a great beer, and at 6.7%, just a few should give you a good buzz. They also have a decent wine selection, in case craft beer isn't your thing.

The Crew

Karen, Haley, Hannah, Travis, Philip, Aaron, Tristan, Amanda, Davis, Kelly, Ryan, Alexis, Nick, Brent, Jackie, Misty, Kason, Cody.


As the influx of new people into East Austin steadily transforms it, one challenge for those new residents trying to get their bearings is finding a good local bar to call their own. Since only a few venerable institutions like La Perla date back more than a decade or so, and many of those newer joints are more upscale or designed to attract tourists and Austinites from across the city, there are not as many choices for a good neighborhood bar for East Sixth locals as it might seem. So into the breach steps Hi Hat, which opened a few years ago right next to a bunch of the new apartment complexes sprouting on the street and has quickly become a mainstay. It offers craft beer, wine, coffee, upscale bar food (though opinions differ on their tacos), a jazz brunch option, outdoor patio seating for nice days, and also a stage for live music. Something for just about everyone. While Hi Hat might not currently have quite the old-school cachet of some of the more long-standing venues on this street, amidst the disputes and concerns about gentrification it's easy to forget that every old bar was once a new bar, and should Hi Hat stick around for a few decades to serve generations of Austinites both old and new, eventually people will forget that it was ever any other way.

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