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New brewpub Nepenthe Brewing Co. set to open in Hampden Friday

Nepenthe Brewing Co., a brewpub, brewery and relocated home brew supply store, opens in Hampden on Friday.

The brewery begins a new adventure for husband-and-wife co-owners Brian Arnold and Jill Antos, whose Nepenthe Homebrew supply store opened in Woodberry in February 2013, but was forced to relocate following extensive flood damage. The new location at 3626 Falls Road, in buildings that once housed David’s First and 10 Sports Bar and, going back a century or so, several meat-packing operations, includes enough space to serve their customers food as well as beers brewed on-site.

“We wanted to make our own beer and serve it to people,” said Arnold, emphasizing that Nepenthe will be “a brewery with food, not a restaurant with beer.”

Arnold and Antos brought in Brendan Kirlin, a former partner in Hampden’s Le Garage, as a business partner.

The brewery has a 10-barrel capacity, Arnold said, which translates to being able to brew 310 gallons at a time. Nepenthe will be offering four beers initially, he said, with plans to add more.

The menu includes burgers (beef, duck or veggie) plus chicken and bacon sandwiches, along with an assortment of appetizers.

The brewpub has a seating capacity of 160, with additional room for an outdoor eating space when the weather gets warmer, Arnold said. The building, which had been vacant for about two years (and some parts even longer), needed a “monstrous” amount of work, he said, noting that renovations began in June 2017.

But the work paid off, he said. “It looks better in here even than we thought it would.”

And even better, Arnold noted, the new location appears flood-proof. “We’re a solid 70 feet uphill.”

Nepenthe Brewing Co. opens for business at 4 p.m. Jan. 25.

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