Type to search

Thompson Island Brewing Company Announces Culinary Team


Clam Pasta./Photo courtesy of SoDel Concepts

Keep up with the latest local food and restaurant news by signing up for our FREE email newsletter here.

The culinary team for SoDel Concepts’ newest venture, Thompson Island Brewing Company, has been announced.

The hospitality group’s 12th restaurant is next to Bluecoast Seafood Grill + Raw Bar, another SoDel Concepts eatery, in Rehoboth Beach. The new eatery is set to open in October.

Chef Doug Ruley, vice president of culinary operations, will lead the team. Lou Ortiz is the executive chef. Sous chefs include Efrain Martinez, Brenton Lyman and Joe Charles. Pastry Chef Dru Tevis will supervise the dessert menu, Scott Kammerer, president of SoDel Concepts, announced in a news release.

“With Jimmy Valm heading up our brewing operations—and assistance from Tröegs Independent Brewing—we will make world-class beer,” Kammerer said in a news release. “The food is equally important, and Doug, Lou and their team have created a spectacular menu that will pair perfectly with our beer.”

Ruley, who joined SoDel Concepts in 2006, is an award-winning chef who’s been invited to cook at the internationally renowned James Beard House in New York five times, a record, according to a news release. Thompson Island Brewing Company will be the seventh restaurant he’s helped open for SoDel Concepts.

Ortiz is a U.S. Marines veteran, New Castle County native and graduate of the University of Delaware’s hotel, restaurant and institutional management program. Ortiz has worked in restaurants—and brewpubs—in Delaware and Denver.

“I love the brewery vibe and eating pub-style food,” Ortiz said in a news release. “No matter the cuisine, a beautifully prepared meal can turn the day around for someone, which inspires me to do better every day.”

(From Left): Grilled octopus; Crab rangoons./Photos courtesy of SoDel Concepts

All of the sous chefs joining the restaurant have previous SoDel Concepts experience. Martinez comes to Thompson Island Brewing Company from Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria in Fenwick Island, where’s he’s been the executive chef. Brenton Lyman moves to the new brewpub from Matt’s Fish Camp in Bethany Beach, where he’s been an executive chef and general manager. Charles was previously at Bluecoast Seafood Grill + Raw Bar in Rehoboth Beach, according to a news release.

Tevis, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York (now known as the International Culinary Center), is the corporate pastry chef for SoDel Concepts.

“As with all of our restaurants, the menu will focus on ‘beautiful, simple food,’” Ruley said in a news release. “We look for fresh ingredients and then highlight their flavors with interesting combinations.”

Expected menu items include sloppy Joe egg rolls with beer cheese and buttermilk ranch dipping sauce. Other items include fried chicken, tater tots topped with bulgogi short rib, kimchi and beer cheese, house-made Cracker Jack-style caramel corn, roasted mussels; Thai-and-peanut-smoked yard bird, pork shoulder meatloaf and house-made beer bratwurst.

The brewpub will also offer wood-fired steaks and chops, lobster and rockfish, according to a news release.

Desserts will include birthday cake, a classic vanilla cake with rainbow sprinkles and vanilla cream frosting, served with ruby chocolate ganache.

The custard in the Cold Brew Cream Pie, a version of chess pie, incorporates Thompson Island Brewing Company’s stout and cold-brew coffee. It’s topped with whipped cream and served with malted milk ice cream, which will also contain some for the brewpub’s beer, according to a news release.

More information:
Thompson Island Brewing Company
​30133 Veterans Way, Rehoboth Beach • Opening soon