Monday, May 28, 2018

Railport opens first brewery in Waxahachie

Photo: © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D.

Now officially in business after a grand opening event on Saturday, Railport Brewing Co. has established itself as the first known brewery to operate in the City of Waxahachie and Ellis County.

Founded by Richard Womack, Railport is set up in a 1940s-era building located near the Waxahachie Downtown Square. The structure itself sits on a tract of land occupying a little less than an acre, with the overall site plan split between the production area, an intimate taproom, and an outdoor space with games and room for a food truck.

Regarding production, Railport's brews are currently being produced in one-barrel batches on a pilot system. A larger brewhouse has already been installed, but Womack's team is taking it slow as they work their way up to bigger batch sizes.

"We're taking baby steps," explains Womack. "We don't know what we have yet, as far as what beers are going to hit, so I wanted to start with small batches while we develop our recipes based on what people want."

Beers on tap now in Railport's taproom are being produced on a pilot system (left)
while recipes are dialed-in on the company's new, larger-scale equipment (right).
(Photos: © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D)

Another aspect of the company's measured approach is a desire to maintain consistency, according to Womack, who spent a number of years as a homebrewer before refining his skills in the Journeyman Brewer Program at Eastfield College in Dallas. Taking part in that curriculum also afforded Womack the chance to meet Will Boller, who has since taken on the role of head brewer at Railport.

"I want to brew all of our beers, especially the four core products, several times as we transition to the main system," says Womack. "We're already brewing some larger batches, but we'll drink those ourselves until we get comfortable with the process and our consistency."

Presently, the brewery's lineup consists of Honey Hush Blonde Ale, Railyard Ghost Wheat Ale, Caboose Hop SMaSH IPA and Bandit Sweet Stout. Look for a tripel to be offered as well, along with another type of IPA. And yes, to answer the inevitable question, Railport does intend to tinker with the popular hazy and milkshake varieties of the IPA style.

As for what else the future holds, the brewery will be a draft-only operation for the time being, with Womack expecting to explore packaging options in roughly 8-12 months. Bottles are his preference, but he concedes that the popularity of cans is something he'll have to consider.

Also pending is distribution to outside accounts. That means anyone looking to try the newest North Texas beers will have to "hop on the train" and head to Waxahachie, where Railport will be open on Saturdays from 2-6 p.m. to start.

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