Beer Studies

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Ian Hummel atop the brew kettle, where beer begins.
Ian Hummel atop the brew kettle, where beer begins.

After Ian Hummel graduated from the VLB, a prestigious German beer-making school in Berlin, his dad, Harry, a York, PA-based architect, offered to help him establish a place to ply his trade. The result is the revitalized former Station 16 firehouse at N. Calvert and Read, in which the architect has packed a brewery, a bar, dining tables and a kitchen into the 25-foot-wide space. The Hummel family— including his sister, Sophea, a former Fleet Street Kitchen manager, who will oversee the front of the house, and mother Jyl Hummel, who is supplying the inspiration for the rustic bread—have pulled together what will surely be a go-to for the Mt. Vernon neighborhood—including Center Stage audiences—and a destination for everyone else.

Beer and libations. Ian Hummel, 26, is a certified beer brain, but all you need to know is that beer from three carbonating tanks will be piped under the floor to taps at the bar. Hummel plans to have about six varieties a month, such as double IPA, chocolate stout and brown ale. Three taps are reserved for “guest” beers (look for other Baltimore brews), and there will be lots and lots of bottles—both local and imported. Hummel plans on a punch-packing Christmas Ale for the holidays. He also hand-picks fine wine.

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The long bar shares a 25-food wide space with a kitchen and fermenting tanks
The long bar shares a
25-food wide space with a kitchen and fermenting tanks

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Tilghman Island striped bass; roasted cauliflower
Tilghman Island striped bass; roasted cauliflower

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Fresh brewed paw paw ale
Fresh brewed paw paw ale

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The converted firehouse on Calvert Street.
The converted firehouse on Calvert Street.

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The space. The 1908 firehouse, an industrial-modern designer’s dream, boasts original decorative tile on the high walls, soaring windows and exposed everything. A collection of beer steins—collected by father and son—are displayed on windowsills and molding.

The food. Though the Hummels found him through an industry contact, Baltimore-born Adam Snyder grew up in York County and coincidentally attended Susquehanna High School a couple of decades before the Hummel offspring went there. Snyder, who has worked locally at McCormick & Schmick’s, Cunningham’s and the Café at Nordstrom, claims that when he says “farm-to-table, I really mean it.” He expects a few items on the grazing-friendly menu to be permanent—the bacon oyster pie, for example, the duck fat smashed potatoes and, of course, the burger made with local Roseda beef. Josh Saunders, formerly of Atwaters, is baking breads–some made with spent grain from the brewery.

Family. As a student at Montana State University 40 years ago, Harry hankered for the hoagies he grew up with. To solve the problem, he opened a sandwich shop, Pickle Barrel, in Bozeman, which he sold a few years later. Recently, Ian surprised his dad with Pickle Barrel memorabilia. The guy who bought the place turned it into franchise that extends to South Dakota. “My dad builds things to last,” says Ian.

Final verdict. If Pickle Barrel is any indication, this concept may be built to last.

Brew House No. 16
831 N. Calvert Street
443-659-4084

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