cherish the memories
One of the oldest breweries in North Austin shuts down after 15-year run
The Austin beer community will surely miss this brewer. Circle Brewing Company, one of the oldest breweries in North Austin, is shutting down operations at its longtime Braker Lane location and its 23-acre property in Elgin.
Although a statement on the Circle Brewing website doesn't give a clear reason for its closing, founders Ben Sabel and Judson Mulherin alluded to ongoing financial troubles since the company's inception at the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis.
"As became a recurring motif for us, this was the first major example of our flawless business timing," the statement said. "With far too much optimism and not nearly enough money, we opened our doors with two draft beers (Blur Texas Hefe and Envy Amber) and barely a dozen draft accounts."
"In our first two years of operation, we were so broke that we couldn't even afford to buy yeast," they wrote. "But the Austin brewing community and the real spirit of camaraderie was such that we just had to drive out to Blanco and fill up a few corny kegs from our friends at Real Ale. In the coming years, we'd come to owe countless other members of the local brewing community thanks for all the advice, friendships, and assistance."
Circle Brewing had only opened its Elgin location in May 2023, after six years of planning and three years of extended buildout due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company's goal with the 23-acre property was to grow all the ingredients needed to use in their beers and develop a fully Texan-made, sustainable beer.
"Our biggest regret is not having the time to see our vision through and fulfilling the enormous potential we know would have paid off enormously," the website said. "It was so close to becoming reality. We're sorry we didn't have the time to see it to the end."
The Braker Lane location is fully closed, but Sabel and Mulherin said they are attempting to remain open at their Elgin facility for "at least another week." All of the company's remaining beer and merchandise will be sold at heavy discounts until Friday, September 22.
More information about the company shutdown can be found on circlebrewing.com.