GREENCASTLE, Pa. (WHTM) — A new locally owned brewery named Hidden Key Brewing Co. held its official grand opening earlier this week.

The new brewery is owned and operated by two brothers, Rick and Tim Houck, and their mutual friend Steve Bandstra. According to Houck, the two brother grew up over in Pottstown, Pa. and Bandstra is originally from New Jersey.

The three friends first met when they all attended Messiah University – two of them for mechanical engineering and the other for biomedical engineering.

Years later, the three engineers turned brew masters decided to begin experimenting with brewing different traditional styles of beer.

“We all enjoyed brewing and were intrigued by the science of brewing, and the artistic side of brewing as well,” Houck said.

After years of experimenting with different brewing styles and techniques, the team of three decided to begin searching for opportunities to create and open their own brewery.

Back in the Spring of 2022, after leasing a previously vacant space on West Baltimore Street in Greencastle, Pa., the three owners began constructing their own brewhouse next to their brewery location. According to Houck, the newly constructed brewhouse is approximately 450 square feet, and equipped with five stainless steel barrels for the brewing of their traditional style beer.

The new brewhouse also features windows on the outside of the building to allow patrons to get a behind-the-scenes look, so they can see where the magic happens.

“We just wanted to primarily brew traditional styles of beer – something that everyone can enjoy,” Houck added.

Hidden Key Brewing Co. also has a 1,200 square foot main space for patrons to sit, drink, relax, and eat. Though Hidden Key doesn’t cook their own food, the brewery is in an ‘informal partnership’ with their next-door neighbors, called Belle’s Kitchen, who does all the cooking for the brewery’s hungry patrons.

According to Hidden Key’s website, the unique name choice of their brewery is meant to represent how beer “has been the ‘Hidden Key’ helping us let loose, bond with friends, and celebrate life’s victories.”

Hidden Key Brewing Co. first held a soft opening to friends and family back on Jan. 29 to make sure their systems were all working properly – then they recently held their grand opening on Monday, Feb. 20.

Currently, the new brewery’s hours of operation are:

  • Thursdays // 4p.m. to 9p.m.
  • Fridays // 4p.m. to 10p.m.
  • Saturdays // 11a.m. to 10p.m.

According to Houck, the owners plan to announce additional hours in the coming weeks – with plans to add two additional days to their lineup.

The owners also plan to create a dog-friendly, ‘outdoor beer garden’, which will go in the back of their establishment to give patrons an option to enjoy their food and drinks outside.

Hidden Key Brewing Co. is located at 101 W. Baltimore Street.