First Look: Devil and the Deep Brewery
A couple weeks ago, I took the drive down to Galveston Island to visit their newest brewery, Devil and the Deep Brewery. Gathering information for Houston Beer Scene is an easy excuse for me to spend an afternoon drinking beer and slamming down seafood. There are plenty of solid craft beer and food options on the island, with a few spots offering both. Devil and the Deep opened on February 2nd over Mardi Gras weekend, a smart way to get their beer out to a bunch of people in short order.
The location, at the corner of Post Office and 25th Street (AKA Rosenberg St.), is situated a few blocks from the Strand in one direction and a block or two away from a popular strip of restaurants and shops on Post Office. Other beer spots, such as Brews Brothers and Stuttgarden Tavern, are within easy walking distance, as are popular museums and attractions. For those of you new to Galveston, Devil and the Deep is located in the downtown area of Galveston, which is a couple miles from the seawall and beach.
The brewery has a small parking lot that’s shared with Sharky’s Tavern, however, there is also appears to be plenty of street parking. The brewery consists of a somewhat industrial beer hall with picnic table type seating and a brewhouse located towards the back of the building. The coastal breeze felt nice blowing in through the open-aired taproom giving it a bit of an “island icehouse” feel. There’s also a small outdoor area which adds to the pet and child friendly nature of the brewery. Board games and cornhole are available to play. The brewery does not offer food, but adjacent Sharky’s has a variety of pizza options.
Devil and the Deep Beer sells beer a la carte or in flights. There were six beers available during my visit with a fairly balanced line-up. My favorite was their Belgian Rye Pale Ale, hopped with Galaxy, which had a fairly strong phenolic yeast character that wasn’t too far from a Hefeweizen. The rye added a nice layer of spice and a bit more body. This one offers a bit more yeasty punch that combined with the rye make this more interesting than a lot of the BPAs out there. I also liked their Experimental Brown Ale which offered a roasty upgrade over their mild, standard Brown Ale. Both are fairly balanced, but don’t push heavy malt flavor and are easy drinking at 5.2%. Their Blonde Ale didn’t stand out but offered a clean, low ABV (4.8%) beer that I can’t complain about. Their two IPAs, Chinook Single Hop IPA and Summit Single Hop IPA (7.5% apiece) both lack the hop punch I expect from the style. The both have a malt body that’s on the heavy end for the style. The Summit version works well as something akin to a hoppy Amber Ale and has a nice feel. The Chinook was a bit rough, lacking a distinct hop flavor, but plenty of bitterness. The malty base beer seemed unable to balance these elements and the overall taste seems muddled.
All in all, this was another enjoyable brewery visit. I really like Devil and the Deep’s set-up and location. They have a nice, laid-back vibe that fits Galveston like a glove and should benefit from being a short walk from The Strand. I’m sure that a couple of the beers continue to evolve and improve, but that’s not unexpected for a new brewery. Thankfully, there were a couple beers I really enjoyed and lay a solid foundation for them to build from. With Spring Break almost here and Summer shortly thereafter, Devil and the Deep will have plenty of opportunities to gain new customers as people flock to the island and indulge in Galveston’s growing beer scene. There currently aren’t any new brewery openings announced, but with a few places making progress towards opening, I’m sure it won’t be long before we have another First Look. Cheers!