GENOA – When Andrew Nordman and Brian Matejka were friends in college studying video game programming, they did not like the taste of beer.
But on Monday, they opened Cademon Brewing Co., 217 W. Main St., Genoa, and the brewery had its grand opening Wednesday.
“At first, we actually both didn’t like the taste of mainstream beers,” Matejka said. “It was only after Andrew started home brewing that we realized that there are hundreds of different styles of beers, each with their own style and flavor.”
Nordman, the brewer, said his family and friend’s love of the beer encouraged him to make more.
“So many people were interested in the beer, I decided to sell it,” Nordman said. “I kept sharing the beer with people, and they asked me, ‘Why aren’t you selling this, it’s fantastic?’ And now, three years later, we are finally open here in Genoa.”
Although the brewery sells beer, Matejka is quick to correct anyone who calls the brewery a bar. The brewery is both a tasting room and a production facility. Customers can sit and drink a pint of home-brewed beer while observing the beer production.
The name of the brewery, Cademon, was created when Nordman, 27, and Matejka, 29, merged together their college nicknames, Cadwallion and Demon.
“There was a lot of combining involved when making the business,” Nordman said. “Brewing beer is the blending of art and science, and we didn’t want to make just one type of beer. Each of our beers is made a little differently, each with their own eccentricity to make it unique and our own.”
The owners hope to stock the brewery with at least seven varieties of beer for sale at a time, with limited release varieties that change each season.
By January or February, Matejka and Nordman plan on having a larger brewing system, updating the brewery’s 62-gallon fermenter to one that is 500 gallons. The larger fermenter would allow the brewery to distribute bottled beer to local bars and liquor stores.
“Our goal is to bring craft beer to people without having to go into the city,” Matejka said. “With brewing classes, tours and private events, we hope to educate the public about beer. We were perfect examples of not knowing the differences about beer, and now we own a brewery.”
Kevin McArtor, a member of the Genoa Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Commission, attended the brewery’s open house, happy to see a new business in what used to be an empty storefront.
“Everyone in town is excited to have a new business in town, one that will bring unique experiences to downtown Genoa,” McArtor said. “The brewery is a great example of what can be done and how innovative businesses can hopefully make Genoa a destination.”
Kassi Auman of Sycamore, a friend of Nordman’s since junior high school, said she is not surprised to see young business owners in Genoa.
“I look forward to the business flourishing here so that the community can see that having young people involved in business is good – that it helps the economy,” she said. “If they can open their own business and do it well, then other people in the area can, too.”