Taking BBQ and Beer to a New Level, Devil Moon BBQ and Brewery Saint X Opening in Warehouse District

Photo credit: Randy K. Schmidt

A new barbecue spot is lighting its fires with smoked meats, unique sides and a brewery to match. Devil Moon BBQ, 1188 Girod St., opened at the end of February. Brewery Saint X will open this month in a connecting space at 1100 Girod St.

Devil Moon is owned by Michael Babin, founder of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group. It has expanded to include several chef-driven restaurants, a bakery, a craft butcher shop, and a wine shop, with locations in DC, Virginia, Maryland, and New York. Babin is from Baton Rouge and considers his collaboration with Devil Moon BBQ and Brewery Saint X a homecoming.

“We love barbecue and have long wanted to develop and open a restaurant in that genre,” he said. “With Devil Moon, we felt that the neighborhood, the co-location of a craft brewery next door, and the opportunity to work with Chef Bingham made this the perfect opportunity to realize that ambition.”

Pitmaster Shannon Bingham was raised in New Orleans and worked in the kitchens of The Joint, Gautreau’s Restaurant, and Cochon Butcher. He found his passion for BBQ when he helped childhood friends Ronnie Evans and Philip Moseley open their restaurant, Blue Oak BBQ.

When the opportunity to collaborate with Michael Babin and create his own barbecue concept presented itself, he jumped at it.

“To be involved with a group that has as many well-regarded restaurants as they do with the hospitality and beverage background that they have was an opportunity to put out the best product that we can,” Bingham said. “We want to create a business that not only puts out the best food possible, but couples that with quality service and hospitality. We want to create aa well-rounded barbecue restaurant.”

The big focus at Devil Moon is what Bingham calls “a sense of place.”  Barbecue is a relatively new concept here in New Orleans—as recently as ten years ago, the options were limited. But, with the expanding landscape, Bingham wants to create something that stands out.

“Texas-style barbecue gained popularity nationally and a lot of the places that opened locally emulated that,” he explained. “There are so many places that do that type of barbecue well that there was no point in doing the same thing. We want to put more of a Louisiana focus on what we do.”

Bingham cites specialty meats such as andouille and tasso as part of what sets his Louisiana barbecue apart.

He explained, “You would never call a bowl of gumbo barbecue, but what’s in it— like duck and andouille, adds a depth of flavor and that starts with the smoker.”

Looking over the Devil Moon BBQ menu, there’s no question that the owners are deeply proud of their Louisiana roots. Meats are smoked over native White Oak and Pecan wood, and classic selections like Prime Beef Brisket and Pork Spare ribs are side-by-side with house-made Boudin. 

As with any good barbecue, one of the most essential ingredients is time; Devil Moon’s selections are no exception. Bingham punches the clock at 5:00 a.m. and starts smoking, with ribs taking about four hours to cook, while brisket cooks all day— 12 to 14 hours.

Even the sides lean towards the untraditional. While the menu has classic side options like potato salad and coleslaw, the typical baked beans and mac and cheese are replaced with dirty rice, sauce piquante, collard greens, and white beans and rice. It’s a nod to Bingham’s upbringing in New Orleans and the south Louisiana culture in which he was raised.

Photo credit: Randy K. Schmidt

“We’re trying to make something that’s reflective of where we are, what I grew up cooking, and being raised in south Louisiana in a family that goes quite a few generations back,” Bingham said. “The sides are foods that I grew up eating and cooked with my grandparents. We wanted something that would pair well with the meats but not make you feel bogged down. It’s an opportunity to take the skills that I’ve learned over the years and create something that’s personal to me.”

Connected by a hallway and sharing a kitchen with Devil Moon BBQ is Brewery Saint X. Greg Engert, Beverage Director and Partner for Neighborhood Restaurant Group, developed a love for beer at a young age. His father was an early adopter of Samuel Adams and Saranac and introduced Greg to the concept of small-batch beers.

Brewery Saint X will offer 15 beers in German, British, and Czech styles in draft and canned options. Engert and his team want Saint X to take on a more classic beer-making approach.

“With Saint X, we’ve set out to brew old-school styles of beer—lagers inspired by German and Czech brewers, cask-style beers inspired by the British brewing tradition,” he said. “Incorporating the right types of equipment and brewing techniques that our brew team, led by Ro Guenzel and Alex Flores, had a lot of knowledge around. From conception to production, we want to do it really well, with beers that really shine across the flavor spectrum.”

Engert and his team are a fan of hoppy beers and plan on including IPAs on the taps that are crisp, refreshing, complex, and naturally carbonated for a clean taste.

Some selections that can be expected are Broken Flowers, a pilsner brewed with specific hops sourced from a tiny hop farm in the Hallertau region of Germany; Swarm, a Czech-style tmavy dark lager that’s only 4.8% alcohol; and Drum Buddy, an ordinary bitter (classic British style) beer served on cask that’s a little toasty and a little fruity with a lemon tea-like character. This beer comes out slightly chilled with all-natural carbonation that’s restrained but effervescent and very drinkable at 4% alcohol.

The food team behind Devil Moon will also be cooking up the goods for the brewery with an array of smoked meats, table service, and a full bar in addition to the beer selections. Bingham sees the collaboration between Devil Moon and Brewery Saint X as a relationship that will benefit both brands.

Bingham said, “The brewery is going to include a selection of smoked stuff that will pair with the beer and just feel natural. We’re excited about the opportunity to let the brewers smoke malts and hops and make some really interesting beers. For us, we’re going to utilize the beer to make sauces and side dishes and utilize the spent grain to make pretzels for the brewery.”

Engert added, “We’ve created a flavor profile system by which we brew our beers and also organize them on the menu. This ensures that we have the right spread and balance of flavors for our offerings—something roastier, something nuttier, something fruitier—to pair with all the different flavors that will be coming out of the kitchen.”

Devil Moon BBQ is open Monday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Brewery Saint X will open later this month.

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