Amber Waves is getting to know the brewers who will be in attendance in a series called Who’s the Brew. Today we got to sit down with Dave Hellwege, Brewer and co-owner at Off Square Brewing in Crown Point, IN. Dave has won several local awards and likes to think and brew outside the box. His passion for exploration and imagination come through every beer on tap at Off Square, and we are excited to have them at Amber Waves.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
The reason I got into this and the reason we built off square brewing is I homebrewed for 20 some years and always talked about opening my own place. I got to the point where my wife said to me “get off the schneid and either do it or don’t do it.” So, along with my business partner who is Phil Logan, we set up a 1-barrel system in his garage where we formulated most of the recipes for Off Square. We expanded to a 20 barrel and now running a full restaurant.
It started with a passion for craft beer, and I wanted to scale up and make a living at it somehow. That’s what we’ve been doing for the past year.
Why did you choose Crown Point?
We looked at all the communities in Northwest Indiana, and we looked at a lot of existing buildings. We would have had to re-engineer everything. Crown Point seemed like a perfect fit because where we were located on the 109th corridor, we were on the first non-industrial businesses. We are on a section of 109th Avenue close to the Sportsplex. Crown Point is adding a lot of retail and redoing a lot of this area next year, so we got in at the right time. We built the building from scratch and engineered it the way we wanted. I think we offer what Crown Point is looking to provide as far as new business development.
Tell us a little bit about your beers. What might you bring out to Amber Waves?
Long Day is kind of our flagship IPA. It was an original recipe that Phil and I developed in his garage. It’s also our best seller. It’s a classic IPA with Citra and Amarillo hops, 6.3%, a delicate balance between malt and hop character.
We might also bring out our Angry Betty Stout or a rendition of it. We have Bold Betty which is a coffee stout and our Bitching Betty which is the double version. Angry Betty is our corporate name, so that’s another one we developed.
Long Day and Angry Betty our flagships we keep on tap year-round. We also have a lot of, so I’m sure we’ll also bring something out of the ordinary when we come to Amber Waves in September.
Check out their current beer list here.
It looks like you’ve been doing some expanding.
Yeah, we’ve just installed a canning line and a couple new fermenters. We’ve been distributing through mobile canning where they can on demand, but we’re hoping to up production and get more in the retail market so it will help with the distribution in the long run.
If you come here and try something then come back the next week, you’re usually going to find a new beer. We’re really focusing on our pilot system to do several different kinds of beer because that’s where my passion has always been. I don’t like to go into a brewery two weeks in a row and see the same beers over and over. My mantra has always been let’s try new things and always have new things. I think anyone that has been to Off Square knows we do all different styles.
We’re lucky with our location just off I-65 we get travelers and new people in all the time as well as our regulars. It’s nice to see. We try to cater to everyone. Anyone who says they don’t like craft beer just hasn’t had the right craft beer.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this Dave, looking forward to seeing you out there!
For more information on Dave Hellwege and Off Square Brewing click here.
To purchase tickets to Amber Waves BrewFest, Click Here.