April-June 2018, updated November 3rd 2018 – first anniversary party
There was a fair bit of hype around the opening of Southern Heights, and it’s totally worth it. Our first visit was one of my birthday treats (checking out a new taproom, obvs) and we weren’t disappointed. After an arduous trek through some thick freeway traffic, we were rewarded with a simple but stylish taproom serving up some seriously impressive beers. We tried everything on the menu (two flights of 4, $10 each) and were delighted to find that they didn’t put a foot wrong. I love a brewery with a range of IPAs (of their 22 beers on Untappd at the time of writing, 15 are IPA variants), and Southern Heights had three on tap on our first visit, all of which were enjoyable in different ways, although the winner had to be the Tiny Umbrella, which was a big, juicy steal. The crowd is local and friendly, and we were soon chatting away with folks who were rather pleased indeed to have Southern Heights arrive on their doorstep.
Our second visit was shortly after the release of their now-notoriously brilliant Tahitian Dream’in, a lush, tropical creation that really makes you feel like you’re on a beach. Despite the strong and extremely successful IPA focus Southern Heights aren’t afraid to branch out, and I was impressed to see them having a go at an English Mild with the rather palatable Where’s My Flannel? The Somoan Joe’s Porter was also impressively moreish, not at all cloying and went down well in the warm weather. Southern Heights like to push the beer name boat out too, which is a lot of fun. Asking for a Classy AF (and Fancy) or a Dave’s Not Here Man reminds me of being back at Old Street Brewery in London, where regulars have named beers Starlight Goblin, I Dunno Dude and My Dad Is A Carrot. Well, why not?!
It may be a bit of a trek out of town, but I absolutely can’t wait to get back to Southern Heights and find out what they’ve been up to. They’re open Thursday through Sunday, hours are day-dependent, and although the inside is well-ventilated outdoor seating is limited at present. Don’t be afraid of the journey – put the address into your GPS and get out there regardless.
Update 3rd November 2018
We nearly missed the Southern Heights first birthday party which would have been an absolute shame as they had pulled out all the stops for this rather special occasion. Arriving straight out of (512)’s 10 year celebration you might think we’d be partied out but it would have been impossible not to jump straight into the busy celebratory buzz with live music playing and their beautiful golden IPAs a-flowin’. We tried five new IPAs, all of which were of the exceptional standard we’re come to expect from Southern Heights, including an outstanding collaboration with Zilker Brewing, the haze-heaven Friends With Benefits, and their first Wet-Hop, the super-crushable Kind Jake, brewed with Simcoe hops from Pinthouse Pizza. In just a year, Southern Heights have established themselves as leading lights of ATX IPA brewing with enough juice to give Cloudwater a run for their money, and a happy local East Austin community came out in force to show their support and appreciation. We were most pleased to have made it.