Pinthouse PIzza: Brewpub started by six friends continues to innovate as it grows

From left to right stand co-founders Tyler Norwood, Ned Lavelle, Kyle Detrick and Joe Mohrfeld inside the brewery of the Round Rock location. Not pictured are co-founders Ryan Van Biene and Nic Van Biene.
From left to right stand co-founders Tyler Norwood, Ned Lavelle, Kyle Detrick and Joe Mohrfeld inside the brewery of the Round Rock location. Not pictured are co-founders Ryan Van Biene and Nic Van Biene.

From left to right stand co-founders Tyler Norwood, Ned Lavelle, Kyle Detrick and Joe Mohrfeld inside the brewery of the Round Rock location. Not pictured are co-founders Ryan Van Biene and Nic Van Biene.

The genesis of Pinthouse Pizza began with a passion for craft beer shared by friends long before the restaurant opened.

Co-founders Ryan Van Biene and Tyler Norwood have known each other since 1997. They maintained a friendship from grade school to undergrad, and after Norwood began his studies in business school at the University of Texas, he met co-founder Ned Lavelle.

As they entered the restaurant industry, Norwood and Levelle had a creative itch to make something of their own. Van Biene was familiar with Pizza Port in San Diego, a brewpub with pizzas on the menu similar to Pinthouse Pizza but not quite the same, and shared the concept with his co-owners.

“We used it as a launching point and made it our own, and we’ve continued to evolve the concept,” Norwood said.

They added family friends Kyle Detrick and Nic Van Biene as co-founders in addition to Joe Mohrfeld, a former head brewer for Odell Brewing Co., bringing Pinthouse’s ownership group to six.

The group opened their first brewpub on Burnet Road in North Central Austin, producing 690 barrels of beer a year in 2012.

“We were lucky because we came out of the gate busy,” Detrick said. “We had to double the size of our brewing capacity in the first three months.”

Now, Pinthouse Pizza has four locations, expanding to South Lamar Boulevard in 2016; Round Rock in 2019; and its newest location, Pinthouse Brewing on Ben White Boulevard, in 2020.

When Pinthouse expanded out of Austin, Norwood said the feel of the location also slightly changed.

“[Round Rock] is the only location out of the first three original pizza pubs with a bar as the focal point,” Norwood said. “The Burnet and South Lamar locations feel more like a restaurant with a bar that’s a part of it.”

Pinthouse Pizza is no stranger to change. On Dec. 3, the development company that owns the Brodie Oaks shopping center where Pinthouse’s second restaurant is located, Barshop & Oles Co., announced a $1 billion mixed-use project on the site including hotels, residences and green space. The project is scheduled to begin construction in 2022 or 2023.

“We’re not 100% sure what the best solution is, but that will be a dialogue we will continue to have with them as they finalize their plans for the center,” Norwood said.


Screen shot of Dr. Desmar Walkes speaking
Austin ICUs remain crowded with COVID-19 patients, delaying some critical care

Within the past week, there was a waiting list of patients to be transferred into Austin-area ICUs, Austin Public Health leaders said.

The city of Austin this summer cleared four unregulated homeless encampments and shifted dozens of residents into shelters. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house thousands of Austin's homeless people taking shape, but outlook for local success, project funding still unclear

The strategy's first housing benchmark fell short in June, and updates on how the estimated $515 million needed for housing and services will be spent are overdue.

A rendering shows the new Deep Eddy Psychotherapy office coming to Southwest Austin. (Courtesy of Deep Eddy Psychotherapy)
Bubble tea, therapy and three other new businesses coming to Southwest Austin

A new salon, day care, therapy office and other businesses are coming soon to Southwest Austin.

The city is looking for feedback on its cap and stitch proposal, which is in the preliminary stages. (Benton Graham/Community Impact)
City seeks input on proposals to add decks and widened bridges over I-35 in Central Austin

The proposal is in the preliminary stages, and the city is still reviewing the feasibility of locations and project funding.

DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

Locker Room Haircuts opened a new location at 8900 South Congress Ave. in July. (Courtesy Locker Room Haircuts)
New Locker Room Haircuts comes to Southwest Austin, plus other business news

Locker Room Haircuts and three other new businesses are now open in Southwest Austin.

A volunteer unloads food from a truck during the Central Texas Food Bank's April 4 event to feed families in need at Nelson Field in Austin. (Courtesy Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank delivering boxes of food directly to homes through 2021

Some families will be eligible to have boxes with food for 25 meals delivered by Amazon.

The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission considered a finalized draft of an updated map for Austin's 10 City Council districts Sept. 15. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATED: Draft map of Austin's redrawn City Council boundaries ready for community review

Volunteer city redistricting commissioners have unanimously passed an initial outline to update all 10 City Council districts set to go into effect next year.

Photo of a sign in a field
3 weeks before first weekend, ACL Music Festival awaits permit, final health and safety procedures

Austin City Limits Music Festival has not yet received a permit for its multiweekend music festival, but the city of Austin said this is a normal timeline.

The Austin Transit Partnership approved a $312.8 million budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. (Benton Graham/Community Impact)
Project Connect’s $312.8M budget receives approval for FY 2021-22

The budget will largely be spent on advancing the 30% designs for the Orange and Blue MetroRail lines.

The Davis/White Park trail will be improved through the Neighborhood Partnering Program. (Courtesy Austin Public Works Department)
City of Austin selects 4 neighborhood improvement projects to assist

The Austin Public Works department has helped complete more than 70 local neighborhood improvement projects in the last 10 years.