The legacy of Burkhardt Brewing Company, which made beer in Akron across two centuries, continues with two breweries on opposite sides of the historic building (Ohio law says two breweries may not share a wall) pumping out carefully crafted alcoholic beverages.



Aqueduct Brewing shares the old, renovated building with Thirsty Dog, giving craft beer lovers a short walk/stumble to both.



Aqueduct opened two years ago in the back corner of the old Burkhardt building and owner/operator Robert Hernandez favors high-octane beers.



“It’s kinda my thing,” he says of the bold flavors.



During the summer, the tasting room’s garage-style door goes up and opens into the patio where local food cart king Stray Dog can be found on many Friday and Saturday nights.



Inside, the tasting room’s décor is kind of a contemporary Midwest Eclectic Disheveled. There are about eight tables and a full-size bar at the back of the room, a couch area with a television and some various friendly piles of interesting stuff such as beer-making junk, an old Bowling video game and Nat King Cole box sets and other old vinyl records.



Leana Simonetti brought along her beau and Aqueduct first-timer Andrew Payne recently for a few brews.



“It’s nice, because I like how open it is. Thirsty Dog is kind of closed in, but here you can sit outside and enjoy the nice breeze,” Simonetti said.



Simonetti, a nurse, and Payne, a special education grad student who plans to work with autistic children, were enjoying a day off and Aqueduct was their third microbrewery of the day.



“It’s kind of like sitting in someone’s garage, drinking beer. It’s really comfortable,” Payne said. “It’s really cool, it’s an old building and I knew the river was there but I’d never seen it and today I got to see it.”



Oh, did I mention Wolf Creek runs under the building?



Ask Hernandez nicely and he’ll let you go downstairs, past the spacious bathroom and the huge industrial fan, where you can see the actual creek and a nearby old well surrounded by a new brick wall built to keep patrons safe.



As I said, Hernandez favors bold, booze-heavy beers with ABVs ranging from 6.75 (the refreshing Happi Heffewisen) to 11.5 (the palate-wrecking Red-nosed Winter Warmer brewed for the Akron Zoo’s Christmas in July event) and The Mad Brewer is already concocting a 20 percent beer to celebrate Ohio’s ending the alcohol limit on beer, which takes effect next week.



Aqueduct is open from 4 to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday.



Every second Saturday of the month, Aqueduct transforms into a “sci-fi, surf-rock, stand-up comedy saloon” — another way of saying comedians doing funny stuff.



This Saturday, Aqueduct will play host to the Electric Pressure Cooker Cabaret’s first road show. Hernandez invited the locally based, open-mic style cabaret to Aqueduct.



“You’ll see some truly great stuff and it has a strange side. It’s very interesting and artistic,” he said.



Aqueduct's daily happy hour is literally an hour, from 4 to 5 p.m. when beers are 50 cents off. The jovial Hernandez, who left his career in finance to live his nanobrewing dream, said there is an extra charge to get him to stop dancing. However, if you wait long enough one of Hernandez and his wife/co-owner Sara’s two cute, friendly tween daughters will try and calm him down.



“ ‘Dad, please dear God in heaven, stop dancing!’ is what they usually say,” Hernandez said.



Malcolm X Abram can be reached at mabram@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3758. Read his blog, Sound Check Online, at www.ohio.com/blogs/sound-check, like him on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1lNgxml and/or follow him on Twitter @malcolmabramABJ.