My friends and I have become increasingly conscious of the lost months from March onward and our rapidly approaching graduation this coming May. A month ago, we finally all congregated in our East University home. This has led to a few spontaneous get-togethers as we attempt to explore new socially-distanced and outdoor venues during what may be our final year in Baltimore.
The sensation of lost time most certainly got me up and ready to go on a Sunday night, as one of my housemates suggested we take a group outing to a beer garden or a brewery. We floated various options and settled on Old Goucher’s Fadensonnen. While none of us had ever been, the pedigree was reassuring enough; Fadensonnen is run by Lane Harlan — who you may have heard is the owner of Clavel, a popular spot for $5 happy hour margaritas and queso. While we’re still college students with perhaps undiscerning taste buds, we’re also ready to indulge in slightly more adult beverages.
Restaurants and bars in Baltimore have endeavored to utilize outdoor dining spaces in light of the coronavirus pandemic, and Fadensonnen is no exception. While normally the spot boasts an indoor wine and sake bar in addition to the beer garden, the indoor section being closed is of no detriment to the lovely ambience of the beer garden. The lighting, tent, heat lamps and the lively other patrons all contributed to this cozy and trendy vibe. As my friend Lily mentioned, harkening back to her previous fall semester spent abroad, “It reminded me of Europe; everyone seemed super chill.”
The picnic tables are spread a fair distance apart. Upon arrival, you scan a barcode on your table that brings up the drink menu, and you walk over to a window to order your drink. The beer garden offers a hearty selection of beer and cider, cocktails, wine by the glass/carafe/bottle, sake, and spirit-free drinks such as kombucha. There’s also experimental live music on Wednesdays and Sundays. Lily commented that the live music “let me feel like it was pre-pandemic for a fleeting moment.”
Fadensonnen combines an informal atmosphere with classy vibes and nice (and very strong) drinks. I got the “Lily Pad,” a cocktail featuring mezcal, cucumber and cinchona bark, which was pleasantly strong, while my friends opted for the Basque cider (phenomenal tasting) and the housemate-determined favorite “Lemon Balm Spritz,” made with Rancio Sec, rooftop herbs and cedro lemon tonic.
The service was also impeccable. After my friend Lily knocked over her drink by mistake upon sitting down, the servers replaced it quickly without her asking. Everyone who worked there was friendly and kind, and the other patrons gave off a vibe fitting of a wine bar and beer garden. “Every tiny beanie showed just the right amount of ear and every person looked like they could be played by Zoe Kravitz in a millennial rom-com TV show produced by Hulu in a good way,” my friend Raph commented.
You’re encouraged to bring your own picnic on the days that Fadensonnen does not serve dinner (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays). We jealously watched a group of friends a couple tables over devour a few boxes of pizza. There was also no shortage of cute dogs around.
All in all, if you’re 21+, I highly recommend heading to Fadensonnen for all around excellent energy, great drinks and fun times with friends. This first-time venture into the beer garden scene of Baltimore made me excited to visit more places throughout the semester.