Austin, Texas is a city of pleasant surprises and a certain edginess that ranks it among the most entertaining cities in the United States. It is also fast becoming a premier beer city and now boasts more breweries per capita than any other Texas town. One of several places to enjoy a fine brew and a great meal is North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub. Here are a few facts about this brewing and dining operation:
Type of Establishment: Brewpub
Owner: Davis Tucker
Address: 10010 Capital of Texas Hwy N., Austin, TX 78759
Hours of Operation: Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Note that these are the bar hours- the restaurant stops serving food one hour earlier each day.
Happy Hour: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. seven days per week, in the bar area only
North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub has been in operation since 1984 and it is one of several brewpubs that dot the Austin landscape with more brewing establishments opening each day. Owner Davis Tucker got the idea for the brewpub’s design- and its name- from the great American Northwest and both the many brewpubs and mountain lodges so common in that part of the country. The interior of North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub offers a nice ambiance, complete with a fireplace, black and white photographs on the walls, and a slightly more upscale appearance and feel than the typical brewpub.
North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub offers a varied menu with something to suit any individual taste. Options are divided among starters, salads, entrees, sandwiches, and a kid’s menu. The food covers American fare and seafood and prices are in the $7 to $12 range for appetizers, $8 to $10 range for sandwiches, and $12 to $23 range for entrees.
North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub brews its own beer for on- site consumption or for taking home in a growler. Some of the year- round brews include:
- Northern Light
- Oakanogan Black Ale
- Duckabish Amber Ale
- Py Jingo Pale Ale
Along with these year- round releases, it is common to find a seasonal or two available each time you visit. Some of these offerings include a Dunkelweizen, Hefeweizen, and Rye IPA. North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub has been known to offer other seasonal beers as well and a visit during different times of the year is certain to yield new malt beverage surprises. When I visited, North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub was serving Black Jack, a dark ale aged in Jack Daniels barrels. It was easily the best of the eight different beers I sampled.
Other Things to Know:
North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub is located north of downtown Austin and the parking is valet. There is no set fee for the valet parking- it is on a tip basis. This isn’t really my preference, as I prefer to park my own car especially in a place where the parking is reasonably close to the entrance. But this is how it works at North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub, so visitors need to make sure they have some extra dollars on hand for tipping purposes.
North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub does sell beer to go in growlers and it also sells kegs of its beer, in both 5 gallon and 15.5 gallon (half- barrel) sizes. This is great for those who want to enjoy some of these delicious beer products away from the restaurant, either in the comforts of home or at a party or other gathering.
North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub is a fine place for great food and beer and it is certainly a place worth seeking out if you visit the great city of Austin. Austin already has its share of breweries but, as most craft beer geeks are aware, breweries usually limit their visitations to the early hours of the weekend. Establishments like North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub offer the craft beer fan a means to sample beer during a wider range of hours, including late into the evening, accompanied by a delicious meal.
I visited North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub on a Friday evening and I what first caught my attention as I approached the building was the brewery towers and grain silos present. I inquired and discovered that these silos are not just for show- they are fully functional and the silo in front of the main tower contains some 25,000 pounds of barley, just waiting to be used in the brewing of all of these beers.
North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub is a little pricier than other brewpubs, with menu items in the $12 to $23 range. With prices like this, along with those of the beer, a party of four can easily rack up a tab of more than $100. Going during happy hour can help cut costs a little, but visitors must keep in mind that happy hour prices are offered ONLY to those sitting in the bar area. Even if you dine and drink during designated happy hour time, you will not get happy hour prices if you are sitting in the main dining area. You have to be close to the bar.
A great brewpub is always a welcome way to wind down a day and North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub is certainly an establishment worth visiting. The atmosphere is cozy, warm, and inviting and there is even an outdoor patio with live music during the Spring and Fall. This is not an establishment intended for the more frugal or budget- conscience consumer, but if you can spare the cash, then I recommend paying a visit. Delicious food, tasty beer, and a nice, elegant atmosphere make North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewpub a great place to dine in the Austin area.
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