Urban Chestnut cofounders Florian Kuplent and David Wolfe call their brewing philosophy “beer divergency” — a blending of modern innovation with reverence for the past. This old-meets-new style is on full display at their sweeping new bierhall in the Grove. Walk inside, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you had stepped through a wormhole and landed in Germany. Mammoth, rustic wooden tables large enough for a medieval feast line the room, the smell of wurst and brewer’s yeast fills the air, and a raucous din imbues the place with jovial energy. Yet there’s no beer wench or lederhosen in sight. Instead, what stands out is how decidedly modern the bierhall feels. Polished concrete floors and industrial details look more like a contemporary loft than the Hofbräuhaus.
Urban Chestnut has reinvented the classic German bierhall for its mammoth Grove Brewery. As a local craft-brewing institution, patrons come to the facility, first and foremost, for the beer, though the food gives the suds a run for their money. Chef Andrew Fair draws upon his German heritage and time living in Europe to create a menu of traditional German cuisine that has been updated so as not to be a caricature. Offerings consist of small plates, sandwiches and wurst boards with highlights such as salt cod brandade beignets, poutiness and dumplings of the moment. The indulgent “strammer max” sandwich is a must-try. Thinly shaved Black Forest ham, luscious Comté cheese and an over-easy farm egg are piled atop butter rye bread for a German version of a croque madame. Urban Chestnut features a selection of excellent G&W sausage served with rotating side dishes such as marrow beans and sauerkraut. It’s the ideal food for a day of drinking.