Up-and-coming brewery Triple Voodoo's new taproom is located -- where else but? -- in the Dogpatch, giving them creative neighbors, room to breathe and grow, and a community of passionate beer freaks to lean on and argue with. But with all due respect given to a large, multi-use facility with more details to fret over than a typical restaurant, it's a bit underwhelming just yet.
First, the interior. It's a leaden, unwelcoming, poured-concrete cavern that feels thrown together, plus it's too dark and too echoey. And the ducts. At the risk of confusing a personal preference for objective reality, wasn't Terry Gilliam's "Brazil" full of ducts, as a visual reminder of the horrors of modernity? More steampunk, less HVAC, please. (This is an aesthetic issue by no means limited to Triple Voodoo, and it should be noted that their walnut tables are lovely. But a brewery that juxtaposed its fermentation tanks with something bizarre -- a Pac Heights-y interior, say -- would be amazing. Or maybe Voodoo?).
Then there's the beer. There are a dozen or more taps in the taproom, but fewer than half were running. (Again, it's early). A Belgian-heavy flight consisted of four pours: Inception, a hoppy genre-blurrer and arguably Triple Voodoo's best-known beer, 8 Tentacles IPA, Breaka' Dawn Belgian Pale Ale, and King Leopold Imperial Stout. It was perfectly adequate and nothing more. Breaka' Dawn, arguably the most obscure, was the blandest of the lot, and even 8 Tentacles, with its honeyed hue that was almost the Platonic ideal of what a beer should look like, played it safe. It was the table's favorite because everyone likes IPAs a lot, but people go to breweries hoping for experimental weirdness, one-offs a brewmaster maybe doesn't think the market will necessarily support. Instead, it was like Willy Wonka handing out M&Ms instead of Everlasting Gobstoppers. And curiously, the head on all four beers was the same minimal, identical wash.
It really can't be stressed enough that this new-ish endeavor needs time to find its legs. But they really need another session with the shaman or New Orleans' Cat People, because it's flat in every sense of the word.
Triple Voodoo Brewery and Tap Room, 2245 Third St., 598-8811