Update: According to the Austin Business Journal, the former brewery space will be replaced with apartments with the design and name, Saison North, paying homage to the brewery.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, beloved NXNW Restaurant and Brewery is permanently closed.
This year would have marked the 21st anniversary of the brewpub, founded in September of 1999 by Davis Tucker. Tucker is a trailblazer of the Austin craft beer movement, originally brewing the Pecan Street Lager through a contract brewing arrangement with Shiner back in the late 1980s. He went on to open Copper Tank brewery in the late 80s but quickly left that partnership to open his own brewpub. NXNW survived many of the closures during the 90s and stood as one of the oldest brewpubs in the city.
As the founder, Tucker took the decision to close very seriously, “After grueling hours of thought and consideration, given the unpredictable and unknowable continuing circumstances of Covid, we made the difficult choice to turn off the taps at North by Northwest”, he states, “I am so proud of the memories and all the wonderful relationships we formed. People met, married, and raised their kids coming to drink and spend time with their friends at North by Northwest. We are so pleased with all we have accomplished and are excited to see what the future brings.”
A trip to the brewpub was a weekly event for so many people, not just because they enjoyed the German-inspired beers or the excellent food, but because it was a community. There were festivals and homebrew competitions and of course, Zombie Dragon (or my favorite, Mango Zombie Dragon), the Beerliner, and 1400 Miles, established by Davis in 2013 to raise awareness for prostate cancer, inspired by his longtime friend and brewmaster Don Thompson’s inspirational recovery.
The reality is that we will see many more beloved businesses shudder under the heavyweight of the pandemic, “I know there will be many more who have to make this choice. It’s not one we took lightly. I love this industry and it has been my life for over 32 years. My love for it and the people I have met have never been stronger,” Tucker says.