Galveston’s Abandoned Falstaff Brewery Starring in Its Own Horror Flick

Start with a few architecture students on some kind of field trip with their professor. Throw in a “freak storm.” Then trap everyone — along with a “chaperone” — inside a massive and spooky abandoned building. What do you get? The setup for Hellstorm, a new horror movie from local producers Epiphany Filmwerks.

Epiphany promises its filming location, Galveston’s long-abandoned and rotting Falstaff Brewery, will be “one of the main characters in the movie.” That’s where the young cast of pouty screamers will, of course, “encounter something much more terrifying than the storm itself.” What could that be?


The hulking 313,000-sq.-ft. structure at 33rd St. and Ave. E brings with it some horror-flick street cred: Environmental reports have indicated the former brewery is full of asbestos, and the land surrounding it contaminated with PCBs. Who knows what evil lurks below the brewery itself? The soil directly underneath it has not been tested. Residents of the Cornerstone subdivision nearby have been pressing the city for years to have the building demolished or renovated, and city officials have labeled it a public safety hazard.

But the Galveston Historical Foundation has listed the brewery, which was built in 1905, as one of the city’s most endangered historic structures. It’s sat vacant since 1981. Eighteen years later, brewhouse tanks from the complex were yanked out and shipped to China, where they were put to work churning out Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Filming for Hellstorm is scheduled to begin this fall at the site — Galveston’s film liaison has assured the crew that building is “okay” for shooting. Look for the brewery’s star turn in theaters — or dimly lit living rooms — next spring.

Photos: Candace Garcia

17 Comment

  • Great photos! I hope they include more shots of Galveston in the movie. We’re not horror flick fans but would watch this just for the scenery.

  • Nothing hurts my heart more than an empty brewery. I hope Brock and the boys can resurrect this dusty gem one day when St. Arnold’s goes “big, big time”. I wasn’t fond of Falstaff’s taste but loved the old print ads when I was a little kid. I thought it was cool that Santy Clause liked to drink beer on his free time.

  • we did one of these in high school (mid-90’s) for film class at the old rice mills off montrose. in addition to being creepy, you had the added allure of it being very dangerous b/c of the gangs in the area. there was some pretty good grafiti back then at the enterance–it had a well drawn beavis and butt head, with one of them stating that if you entered, you will die.

  • wilf, I don’t think there’s much hope for this cool old brewery. I love old factories and I like it when folks manage to repurpose the buildings into something new after they have become obsolete as factories. (I lived in the old Stanley Home Products factory in Easthampton, MA, for a while. It’s now called Eastworks and features a combination of lofts, small businesses, and stores.)

    But in this case, it sounds like the cost of environmental remediation would be too high to be paid back by renovating and repurposing it.

  • I never imagined that complex had been a Falstaff brewery! Everything comes and goes.

  • Looks like Chernobyl. Oddly cool.

  • “Eighteen years later, brewhouse tanks from the complex were yanked out and shipped to China, where they were put to work churning out Pabst Blue Ribbon.”

    God, that is truly terrifying…

  • Pabst PVC Blue Ribbon?

  • Pabst PRC Blue Ribbon.

  • That would be Pabst PRC “Red” Ribbon. :-)

  • “PRC PBR please”, he said.

  • Falstaff?! F^&$ that s$*@! PABST BLUE RIBBON!!!

  • Now with even more formaldehyde.

  • “He sure does like
    His Falstaff Beer
    He likes to chase it down
    With that Wild Turkey Liquor”

  • In this case it looks like he’ll be chased down by an asbestos-laced zombie and a bunch of screaming former catalog models turned actors.

  • I live here in Galveston and a while back me and my friends went inside of this building. It’s for sure creepy. Like people have recently been in their attempting to fix part of what we call the sand room. It’s the biggest room in the brewery and it has nothing but sand piles in it. Also where we saw a cayote. Many weird things about that place we also found name tags in there but dropped them while running out the building. I would love to go back but during the day.

  • tear this thing down