Brewery boasts its food is on par with its beers

What began as Stacia Familo-Hopek’s decision to reinvent herself is now a brewery and restaurant in Avondale Estates.

The Lost Druid Brewery, Taproom and Kitchen opened this summer on Washington Street in the Rail Arts District and is the result of Familo-Hopek’s leaving a 20-plus-year career guiding corporations in executive succession planning, leadership development and performance to find fulfillment in a new endeavor.

She and husband, Rob Hopek, designed and built the establishment from the ground up. The two-story 6,684-square-foot building features an outdoor dining patio, indoor dining space, brewery and upstairs event space. Furnishings and designs are modern with four large garage doors that can be opened during fair weather.

“I think we are a hidden gem,” she said. “We put out a really great product with our beer…and our food is equally good.”

Familo-Hopek explained that her husband had been dappling in home brewing for years and had a technology company with clients in the beer and hospitality industry. While looking for a space to rent, she came across a property for sale in Avondale Estates and decided to go all in.

The brewery currently produces eight craft beers on tap, including Of Myth and Legend, a Kentucky common; The Fire of Beltane, an American IPA, and Natural Remedy, a rye pale ale. The couple is planning to offer as many as 21 beers. Hopek is the establishment’s brew master.

Chef Chantel Mines creates dishes to keep patrons thirsty and satisfied.

Familo-Hopek explained that their brewery doesn’t have flagship beers that patrons can expect to order every time they visit.

“Once a beer empties, something different comes up,” she said. “People like the variety, like knowing there’s something new to try.”

Familo-Hopek said the brewery’s food—small plate shareables—is on par with the quality of its beers.

Among the offerings: flatbreads, smoked wings, vegan chalupa, shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles made with spent grain and lechon tropical tacos.

Lost Druid chef Chantel Mines explained that she tries to create dishes that will make patrons thirsty and pair well with the brewery’s beers. Many of the menu items include beer as one of their ingredients.

“I try to make things that are versatile,” said Mines, noting that the selection of beer changes often.

In addition to the menu items, Mines said she comes up with four to seven specialties each week.

Mines describes her culinary style as Spanish/Southern fusion. She said living in Santiago, Chile for five years and sampling her grandmother’s flavors influenced how she cooks.

Mines also has undergone a transformation.

The Baltimore native was once a paralegal who disliked her career and reinvented herself as a chef by attending classes, getting certified and learning the ins and outs of the culinary world from a Maryland chef. She credits chef Jeff Keeny, who took her under his wing, with instilling in her passion and dedication.

Mines recently took part in a cooking demonstration at the Georgia Seafood Festival in Atlanta. She also placed second in the Mason Dixon Master Chef competition.

In addition to food and drink, The Lost Druid offers live music on Saturdays, trivia on Wednesdays, and comedy performances three times a month.

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