Thursday, January 20, 2022

Southern Roots extends reach from Waco to Waxahachie

Bar and table seating options exist along with the production area in the main room (top center) at Southern Roots.
A smaller room upfront (top right) may be reserved for private events. All images © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D.

Taking the first step in what looks to be an ambitious growth plan, Southern Roots Brewing Co. of Waco has established a second location in the North Texas suburb of Waxahachie. Now open at 421 S. College St. near the city's downtown district, the brewpub occupies a former freight depot dating back to the early 1900s.

Southern Roots debuted its original spot in fall 2018, making it a relatively young operation. Given that, it might come as a surprise to see the business branch out so early in its evolution. According to co-founder Dustin Evans, though, the plan all along has been to sow the seeds of the company in other markets rather quickly.

"We initially opened in Waco with the goal of opening several [other locations] within the next couple of years," says Evans. "We actually got delayed on that expansion due to COVID-19 (just like everyone else). With our emphasis being a taproom and restaurant experience, we felt like we could have several footprints across Texas."

On that note, for those who haven't visited, Southern Roots offers a selection of salads, wings and signature pizzas to go along with its portfolio of hand-crafted brews. A number of pies play off the brewpub's southern theme, with options like Southern Belle (Italian sausage, arugula, mozzarella, red pepper, honey) and Southern Sow (pulled pork, bacon, red onion, mozzarella, gouda, BBQ sauce) being among the offerings.

Surveying the beer side of things, Southern Roots has the capacity to tap upwards of 14 beers on an everyday basis. Here, state and local influences find their way into the naming of small-batch recipes emerging from a five-barrel brewhouse. Enjoyable examples include Hill Country Amber Lager and West of Czech Pilsner. Those beers are part of the brewpub's regular lineup developed in Waco, but patrons can expect local specialties to be brewed as well.

"We will keep all of our flagship beers on tap at both locations, however, we’ll split the other half of our local menu for 'Hachie' themed beers," says Evans. "We feel it’s really important to celebrate the town's history and definitely want to name/inspire beers on behalf of the community."

The building itself, of course, is also representative of Southern Roots' commitment to preserving the city's past. Then there's a chalkboard hanging in the brewpub's event area adding another bit of interest. This piece served as a scoreboard for a group of local friends who used to play dominoes in the space.

As for the future, Evans indicates the ownership group behind Southern Roots is already looking ahead with regards to the aforementioned growth plan.

"If all things go well," he declares, "we'll be getting started on our third location soon!"

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