Editor’s note: This article was originally published August 25, 2014
A few weeks after North by Northwest turns 15, owner and founder Davis Tucker will fulfill another dream of his when a second location of the brewpub opens in far South Austin, by the Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane. The new version of NXNW, one of Austin’s oldest still-standing brewpubs, will brew new beers in addition to the current ones, as well as offer a beer garden and larger bar area, Tucker said.
The upcoming space will open sometime in mid to late September, just after the original location at Loop 360 and Mopac celebrates 15 years in business with a big anniversary party on Sunday.
Eventually, Tucker hopes to also start distributing NXNW beers, making it the second brewpub after Uncle Billy’s to do so following the Texas legislature, in summer 2013, changing state beer laws. NXNW’s certainly got the brewing capacity for that: “We’re the largest selling brewpub in the state, just short of 1,500 barrels per year,” he said.
Tucker had been wanting to open another location of NXNW for about 10 years now, he said, but hadn’t been able to find just the right spot. He came close six years ago when the space now housing La Condesa downtown became available — a particularly fitting choice given that beer cellars from the 1800s reside beneath the upscale Mexican restaurant — but finally settled on going south. He wants to open a third location sometime in the future that “hopefully won’t take another decade to happen.”
He opened NXNW in 1999, toward the end of a small boom in Austin’s craft beer scene that fired up in the early 1990s after brewpubs were made legal in Texas. He had been brewing, however, since 1987 with Old City Brewing’s Pecan Street Lager.
“People remember when we were in Tom Thumb, when I was there offering samples of Pecan Street,” he said, noting that NXNW brews the nostalgic lager about once a year. “When I walk into an HEB and go to the beer section now, it’s so different from the choices back then: Sierra Nevada, Pecan Street and (Don Thompson’s) Reinheitsgebot beers were all the craft there was.”
Thompson, who will take over brewing operations at the new NXNW location, has been working with Davis for years, first at Copper Tank, a 1990s brewpub that is now an events space, then at the first NXNW.
Another instance of Austin’s old beer scene meeting the new: Copper Tank’s brewhouse equipment (which Tucker lent to Austin Beerworks for a few years) is being moved to the upcoming NXNW location, where Hayden Winkler, formerly of Real Ale, will act as head brewer.
The new NXNW, which will have the brewing capacity to serve up just as much beer as the current spot, will offer growler fills, keg and bottle sales, and a space for private events and parties.
Plus, for anyone worried about competing with Alamo Drafthouse customers for parking, Tucker said there will be complimentary valet parking, as well as a parking lot across the street. NXNW Parkside will be at 5710 W. Slaughter Ln., Bld. D.