By Shane Nicholson
Take a quick cruise down Cherry Valley Road to Genoa and you’ll find one of the area’s best kept secrets offering up choice selections on tap.
Cademon Brewing Company, 217 W. Main St., has taken over the space formerly occupied by the award-winning Prairie State Winery (since moved just across the street) and is continuing on its small-town tradition of producing top-quality products.
Its copper-lined bar and cozy leather stools surrounded wagon wheel-sized tables make for a comfortable setting to enjoy a couple of their craft pints in while walking the historic downtown district.
Having only opened its own doors last year, Cademon is nearing the end of a massive renovation as it prepares to broaden its distribution throughout the area.
Sycamore-native Andrew “Cad” Norman, co-owner along with Brian “Demon” Matejka, was behind the bar the past weekend and I had a chance to ask him about Cademon’s choice brews and where the home-grown business is going next:
TRRT: So give us the background of Cademon. What brought your brewery about?
Norman: I started the process about three years ago. Originally it was something I wanted to open in Sycamore but there were building problems and a lot of red tape to go through.
Unfortunately after going through an extensive process with the city we ended up losing our building. We ended up finding a new location and luckily enough the winery told us they were planning to move out of their production facility and they had an open spot for us.
I did some research on Genoa, decided it would be a good fit, and we went ahead with starting to open the store last June and we finally opened our doors in December.
TRRT: How’s the support been from the local community?
Norman: It’s been really great. We’ve had a lot of people coming in wanting to know what we’re all about, how we started, and we’ve been very happy with the response.
We don’t do food; we want to focus on the beer. But we want to allow people that come in to sit and have a bite so we allow outside food in the bar. The Corner Grill (137 W. Main St.) will take orders over the phone and walk them down if you’re in the tap room. It benefits them, helps them generate a little more business, and we get to let our customers have something to eat while they’re enjoying our beers.
TRRT: So what’s next on the horizon for Cademon?
Norman: We’ve just scaled up production. When we originally opened we were making just 62 gallons to a batch and we had a total capacity of about 450 gallons.
Now we make 250-to-500 gallons per batch and we can do about 3,000 gallons at a time.
We’ve just started distributing to bars and we’re planning to expand to liquor stores. We actually started bottling our soda before our beer; there’s a lot more hurdles to cross to get the bottled beer out in stores. But our root beer will be hitting stores in the next month.
Our beers are currently on tap in Dixon at Abbi’s Hideaway and PJ’s in Sycamore recently took delivery of their first keg (Cademon’s is also available at The Brass Tap in Orland Park). Now that we’ve expanded our capacity we’ve got a lot of really exciting beers in the pipeline.
Check out Cademon Brewing Company at 217 W. Main St. in Genoa or on the web at Cademon.com.