Another new-ish stop in the exploding coterie of Dripping Springs taprooms, Hitmaker arrived on the scene in mid 2018, when we first sampled their brews at East 6th boozy staple the Violet Crown Social Club, one of many well-known Austin bars owned by one or more of Hitmaker’s co-founders, Marcos Canchola, Brian Hyde, Joe Holifield and Chris Fish. Hugely well-established in the local bar and restaurant scene, these four friends have now branched out into the world of brewing, and with locations including MugShots, The Hideout Pub, Bender Bar and Grill, Pour House Pub and Pour House Pints and Pies in their stable, distribution certainly wasn’t going to be a problem for them!
The taproom itself held it’s official opening just two months ago, and is conveniently located just off the 290 on the former site of Thirsty Planet Brewing, which has since moved to South Austin. Being close to the highway has its swings and roundabouts – there’s absolutely no chance of anyone getting lost en route and no good excuse not to stop in for a drink or two, but the hum of traffic takes a way a little of that Hill Country magic. That said, the cosy, shaded beer garden is nicely arranged and the inside is clean and simple, with a view into the brewhouse.
We weren’t met with the most enthusiastic welcome, which was a little surprising considering Hitmaker’s hospitality background, but settled in with a flight of four 4oz pours, reasonably priced at $9. We selected four of the taproom specials, including the bright, tart but sherbety French Saison, well-balanced Hill Country Haze IPA and oatmeal-nut Brown Ale, all of which were traditional, easy-drinking and unfussy. The light, sweet-malt Ryewit hybrid was a little more on the experimental side, but Hitmaker’s strength seems to be in keeping things simple, which is also true of their clean-lined flagship IPA and robust, malty Pale Ryder Rye Pale Ale. With just 11 brews released in the last 14 months, all of different styles including their own cider, Hitmaker seem to be focusing on a strong brand identity that can be fed back into their many outlets rather than creating a brewing storm, which makes sense from their point of view, and their location on the Dripping Springs beer trail will certainly bring in visitors. If you get thirsty on the 290, your next cold brew is just moments away!