Sufficient folks have both posted on social media or talked about going to Nepenthe Brewing Firm that I felt inclined to get a gaggle collectively and go myself. Situated proper off of the Important Road in Hampden, Nepenthe supplied a vigorous environment, loads of seating and, most significantly, superior meals and beer.
We have been capable of sit after solely a five-minute wait regardless of arriving at 7 p.m. on a Friday. Per Nepenthe’s COVID-19 precautions, you rise up and order at a delegated space with a glass-protected counter if you find yourself prepared. Friends should put on masks when away from their desk and stay seated when not ordering. Additionally price mentioning is that Nepenthe gives supply, takeout and outside seating, that are all nice different choices.
Like most craft breweries, the beers had quirky names aplenty — though they have been positively the funniest I had seen with essentially the most amusing descriptions. “Astral Decay,” a wheat pale ale I ordered, was described as, “The right beer for late summer time star gazing. A few of these stars are lengthy lifeless. Don’t assume too onerous about it.”
Totally different beers on faucet are available a wide range of sizes, handily organized on the board in a guidelines so patrons can see which measurement their beer of selection was obtainable in. You can too construct a flight, for these with extra refined palates or a want to drink many various beers with out truly consuming that a lot alcohol. My buddy Charlotte opted to take action, getting 4 4-ounce-size beers since she needed the flexibleness of the flight.
You can too get crowlers or 4 packs to-go of some beers, which I did as a result of I feel the large cans are fairly enjoyable. Crowlers are 32-ounce cans which are across the equal of two and a half common beers. The crowler designs are additionally pretty cool, with paintings by Mike Moses (whose work you may try on Instagram @thedrowntown), so I’m holding onto mine. It’s not embarrassing, unlike the way men in their 20s choose to decorate their room with empty Tito’s bottles.
Their meals additionally was uniquely wonderful. We cut up a big measurement of the Storage Fries (extremely suggest the kimchi aioli; the lemon dill aioli was rather less flavorful) and the Beer Queso Fundido. The choice to order beer queso adopted some uncertainty over what beer cheese truly is, however I can let you know Nepenthe’s rendering was a wonderful tacky expertise. And whereas I didn’t order an entree or a sandwich, my pals who did have been extremely complementary of the Pork Stomach Banh Mi and the Korean Cheesesteak, so I’ll positively be coming again for these.
Brian Arnold (College of Training Class of 2010), who is among the founders, co-owners and the pinnacle brewer at Nepenthe, defined that meals is integral to Nepenthe’s spot in Hampden in an interview with The Information-Letter.
“We’ve a really artistic chef who is ready to function plenty of completely different kinds,” Arnold mentioned. “We form of launched some Asian fusion issues and basic pub fare.”
Arnold, whose brewing origins lie in a homebrew store he opened in 2012 along with his then-girlfriend, now-wife, mentioned what he tries to realize as head brewer.
“We, specifically within the Maryland brewery scene, are very interested by producing advanced, thick, creamy hoppy beers,” he mentioned. “It’s one of many issues we do nicely, and there’s a handful of different breweries within the state which are doing that, however right here in Baltimore we’re form of on the forefront of that model.”
Arnold additionally famous that he’s all the time trying to make new beers with the assistance of an assistant who additionally offers enter.
“I get bored simply,” he mentioned. “We’ve solely obtained 4 tanks so we are able to solely have 4 beers going directly in order that dictates the velocity of creativity, however I take a look at what’s obtainable when it comes to hops. If there are malts I haven’t used but that I’d wish to get extra aware of… I simply put recipes collectively in line with what I’m feeling like.”
Arnold additionally defined the method of writing the descriptions for the beers, taking his experiences as an English main in school and a former English instructor in Baltimore Metropolis.
“Principally we take into consideration what we’re attempting to convey with the beer. Is it a seasonal, are we trying to seize a selected kind of feeling?”
I had been notably curious concerning the naming of Queen Jellyfish, which is an 8.5% Double IPA described as: “The Jellyfish Queen rises from the depths of her alien panorama to feed.” Arnold defined that its description is a reference to the Metroid online game sequence, which he mentioned is expensive to his coronary heart.
I extremely suggest stopping by Nepenthe for many who are 21+ — because of COVID-19, the taproom is restricted to solely these of authorized ingesting age.