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NoHo brewery brings cozy atmosphere, tasty beer

Right in the heart of downtown Northampton sits the Northampton Brewery Bar and Grille. Located at 11 Brewster Court, it is one of the best places to go when you’re looking for classic American cuisine with a twist. This establishment is the oldest brewpub in the northeast that is still in operation and it prides itself on serving up some of the most outstanding food to go along with one – or many – of their home-brewed fine ales and lagers.

The setup of the restaurant includes an outdoor, rooftop beer garden as well as a sunroom. It’s made up almost entirely of windows, and where there isn’t glass, the walls are made of beautiful wooden plank framing. Although there’s often a wait to be seated, the customers are encouraged to walk right up to the bar and grab a drink while passing the time before getting a table. Once you grab a seat, feel free to ask your server for a game, such as dominoes, checkers or cards, to name a few, to play while you wait.

In the evenings, the Brewery’s dim-lit interior, coupled with the warm glow of the two giant fireplaces, is a great place to get cozy with a significant other at a small table for two. Once the food is served, however, the night can only get better.

The Brewery is known for having a wide selection of menu items, all at reasonable prices, including dishes like freshly made soups, sandwiches and Black Angus burgers on locally-baked breads, and entrees that range from plates of slow-roasted pork prepared with beer brewed in-house, to a heaping bowl of chicken and tiger shrimp jambalaya complete with smoked andouille sausage, vegetables and long-grain white rice.

The eatery also has a chef’s page, which changes seasonally and includes items such as roasted vegetable quesadillas in the early fall and an akara and hummus wrap in the winter, which is made with Nigerian bean cakes in a spinach tortilla with roasted red pepper hummus, mesclun greens, carrots, tomatoes and red onion.

Still, among a multitude of delicious options, the Brewery is most famous for one thing on its menu, other than the beer: their chili.

Unlike the normal ground beef and bean chili that is often found at other restaurants, they slow-cook generous chunks of stew beef with a variety of spices, plump red beans, and their very own amber beer. Serve it up with some tri-colored tortilla chips and you could very well turn your starter into a meal.

As for dessert, you can choose from one of the many classic items such as homemade apple pie, seasonal cheesecakes, or their specialty, the Black Cat Chocolate Stout Cake, made with their very own Black Cat Stout. No matter what you order, the servers are friendly, always ready with drink refills on hand, and willing to answer any questions you might have.

The Northampton Brewery is a great place to go if you’re searching for appetizing food, flavorful beer, or even food items that are prepared with beer, served all together in an eclectic and warm environment that is just a few minutes away from campus.

Alex Tillotson can be reached at atillots@student.umass.edu.

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