Railtown Brewing is accomplishing goals.
One of its owners, Gim Lee, has seen his goal realized with the recently completed expansion project at the Dutton brewery, at 3595 68th St SE. Now, partner Justin Buiter has his goal in mind: wider distribution.
“It’s a relief for sure, to have that behind us and get the doors open,” Buiter said of the new taproom’s opening this month. “There’s definitely a period of getting settled, but this phase has fulfilled my partner’s vision of the business. Gim always wanted a great taproom. This fills what he’s always wanted to do.
“My focus now is fulfilling mine, which is sharing beers with as many people as we can.”
The recent expansion, finished on track and opened this month, has greatly increased the space of the nearby original Railtown taproom and allowed the business to open a kitchen. The new facility has two floors and a large outdoor patio. Railtown opened in 2014.
With the new taproom, the brewery hopes to eventually host beer dinners.
“We definitely want to focus in on pairings, we don’t want our menu to be separate from the beers,” he said. “We’ll have more beer-inspired menu items and get our kitchen staff involved in brewing. We want to make the operations as cohesive as possible.”
As for distribution, Buiter said it’s going to be a slow process, a smart move in today’s brewing industry. Beer industry growth has slowed greatly and brewery closings are hitting even in premier markets like Colorado and San Diego.
The new facility has doubled Railtown’s production capacity and once the taproom is taken care off, growth could take off.
Wider distribution might be Buiter’s dream, but there’s a reason a larger taproom came first, profit margins are higher. It also gives Railtown a place to try out their beers and ensure they’re the smart beers to send out into the world.
Railtown began sending out beers on a limited basis last year and now it’s continuing that slow flood. It will start with Citra Warrior, Railtown’s double IPA with Citra hops.
Other brands will be included too, but Citra Warrior is a no-brainer, Buiter said.
“The growth won’t be anything too aggressive,” he said. “We’ll grow with opportunities. We won’t make any major equipment purchases in hopes of demand. We’ll just start by pushing more kegs than we currently are and hopefully by the end of the year, start with some canned beer.”
*Photos courtesy of Railtown Brewing Co.
**Editors Note: This article originally stated Railtown was open for lunch and would begin hosting beer dinners in the fall. The brewery said they decided to postpone lunch operations and beer dinners for the time being.