Hot Spots: Something’s Brewing

Hot Spots: Something’s Brewing

By Brian Michael Lawrence

Nepenthe Brewing Co. on Falls Road takes advantage of two big trends: the popularity of craft brewing and the draw of Hampden as a hotspot dining destination.

The space has formerly housed a diner and a short-lived, ill-advised sports bar. Now, the owners have redone everything, from the sharp graphics on the street-side façade…
…to the capacious interiors done in an industrial style, with exposed brick, and shiny hardwood floors underfoot.
The main room contains lots of tables, high-tops, and big wooden common tables for gathering with friends or meeting fellow brew lovers.
Along one wall is a long bar with plenty of taps to dispense house brews, and there is a full bar for cocktail lovers as well. The menu offers lots of solid pub-style grub.
DO NOT SLEEP ON THE DISCO FRIES: thick-cut house house fries smothered in onion gravy and beer cheese—insanely good.
Other tempting snacks include the house wings, beer cheese croquettes, bruschetta, and deviled eggs. Sandwiches include a cheesesteak, a corned beef Reuben, brisket sliders, the house burger and the duck burger.
The fried chicken sandwich is particularly yummy—and huge: two crispy slabs of tender chicken breast nestled ‘twixt delicate brioche rolls.
I washed mine down with crisp white wine, rather than a brew, but my beer-loving friends vouch for the brew quality here.
The kitchen is open to a raised alcove area, for more intimate seating than in the sprawling main room.
Take a peek downstairs and you’ll see the huge brewing tanks used in making the house brews, and you can also visit the home brewing retail shop to pick up supplies, if that’s your bent. (Catering to the home brewer is how Nepenthe got its start in business, down the lane in Clipper Mill.)
The taproom has quickly proven popular, and it’s not uncommon to see it packed to capacity. Nepenthe is yet another solid addition to Hampden’s eclectic, diverse, and bustling dining scene. {Nepenthe, 3626 Falls Road, Hampden}
Brian Michael Lawrence

Brian Michael Lawrence is one of THE Baltimore style experts. After all, he was the longtime editor-in-chief at STYLE Magazine, which specialized in covering everything stylish around the Baltimore area. Brian also served as editorial director for the digital division at Sinclair Broadcasting, and creative director at Blue Sky Design. Currently, he oversees communications & marketing for the department of Tourism, Film & the Arts at Maryland’s Commerce Department.  In his bi-weekly column, you’ll get to see what cool hotspots are piquing the interest of this Baltimore style maven and why - whether it's the fabulous food, cool cocktails or elegant environs.

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