Here's the story on Aldus Brewing Company in Hanover
Aldus Brewing Company
Location: 555 Centennial Ave., Hanover
Cuisine: BBQ, hot dogs, smoked pork, brisket
Parking: Off-street parking is available in front of the building, in the lot located at the corner of Granger Street and Centennial Avenue.
Hours: Open 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. Open noon until 8 p.m. on Saturdays.
Price range: $4 to $7.79 for menu items; $2.65 to $7 for beer.
Accepts: Cash and credit
Details: Call 717-634-2407. You can also "like" the Aldus Brewing Co. Facebook page. Website is in the works.
It was a huge leap of faith that brought Jason Mininger and Jeff Groves together to start Aldus Brewing Company in Hanover this year.
Mininger, tired of driving from Timonium, MD to the Annapolis area to work as an information technology specialist, was looking to start a new career making beer. He had placed an ad for a head brewer on brewingwork.com , a website for folks seeking jobs in the brewing world.
"My wife looked at me one day and said, 'Well, you're obviously miserable with what you're doing,'" Mininger said. "'What's your next move?' I half-jokingly said I wanted to brew beer. She said, 'If it's going to stop you from being miserable, go brew beer.'"
Groves, living in Indiana at the time, was one of the respondents to the ad.
"I interviewed several people for the job," Mininger said. "It was at least a month until I decided on Jeff. We had an initial interview, a second interview and then a final interview where we used Facetime for a face-to-face meeting. After that, I offered him the job."
Experience was a key factor.
"There are a lot of schools opening up that hand you a fancy certificate that says you are now a brew master," said Mininger, who was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Kutztown University. "I interviewed some of those kids. They were nice and smart, but what made me choose Jeff is he has the actual hands-on experience. That is so much more valuable to me. It's one thing to read about the process and having dealt with it. Jeff's been in boots inside a mash tun scooping grain out when it was stuck."
Aldus Brewing hopes to bring quality beer to the masses in September.
Groves, a Purdue University grad, took a few days before deciding to move his wife and child east. He left his job with the Lafayette Brewing Company in Lafayette, IN to begin the journey with Mininger.
"He didn't know me from Adam," Mininger said. "I could be a complete screw-up. It took a lot of guts to do what he did. I think he saw the potential of what we are doing."
Mininger and Groves opened up business in the old Snyder's of Hanover pretzel factory on Centennial Avenue, where they have their brewing operations as well as a pub than can hold about 40 people. They got their brew license in July and brewpub license in October.
"We looked at Philadelphia and Baltimore," Mininger said. "My wife is from Hanover and one day, she said, 'What about Hanover?' I said to myself, 'Right, what about Hanover?' It never occurred to me. It looked feasible the more we looked at it. Real estate was cheaper. The cost of living was cheaper. It seemed perfect. People have been very receptive to it."
American Blonde Ale is the flagship beer of Aldus and presently on tap in the pub, along with an Olde Factory Amber IPA, a Belgian Double IPA and a Scottish Wee Heavy.
"We've brewed 36 barrels of beer so far (out of their 8 1/2-barrel system) and I think we have four left," Mininger said. "That's not bad for just a few months."
Mininger said a "Frankenbeer", which is half cider and half sour ale finished with maple syrup will be out next year along with a rye ale aged in a bourbon cask for six months.
"The rye ale will be out next November as a winter warmer," Mininger said.
Aldus got its name from Aldus Manutius, a 15th-century printer whose legacy includes inventing italic type and the modern comma as well as standardizing the use of the semicolon. Manutius also produced small, pocket-versions of classic Greek literature using the italic font to save paper and space, the forerunner of the paperback. A sign about Manutius hangs in the pub.
"I'm a huge history nerd," Mininger said. "We are trying to do the same thing with craft beer. Make it more accessible to people. While his driving force was cost, ours is that nobody should have to drink crappy, watered down beer."
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