From Home Brewer to Craft Brewery

May 22,  2017

SOUTH BELOIT, Il – An area man’s passion for beer turned a weekend hobby into one of the Stateline’s newest craft breweries. “We are the essence of the craft brew revolution,” Jim Goecks owner of Off-Kilter Brewing said. ‘We are a small company that grew from the home brewer dream of becoming something more.”

“I started like most home brewers in plastic buckets and pails and trying to understand the process of what goes into making beer and how to improve the quality of the beer,” Goecks said. The first beer he brewed was a stout he purchased from a kit and made on the kitchen stove 15 years ago. “It was something I was always curious about and how the process worked and what goes into making a good beer and what makes the different styles of beer.”

The dream of turning a hobby into a business began to ferment at parties hosted by Goecks and his wife Tricia at their South Beloit, Illinois, home. “We have a bar outside the house and we have two big parties each year. One is the opening of the bar in the spring and the other is Oktoberfest,” Goecks said. “The people who would come to the parties enjoyed the beer. Friends and other folks expressed an interest in having it in their restaurants. That is when I started to entertain the thought that this would be something that would be fun long term.”

“As I looked into what I had to do, it became more and more apparent that there were a lot of regulations and permits I had to get,” Goecks said. “I had to establish a fully licensed commercial brewery to do it,” He and his wife founded Off-Kilter Brewing and converted part of their property to a commercial brewing operation in January 2016.

At 800 barrels produced per year, Off-Kilter Brewing is considered to be a nano-brewery. “We are a micro-brewery, but on a smaller scale,” Tricia Goecks said. “Jim is the chief cook and I’m the bottle washer.”

“My focus was more on getting production schedules right and to get the whole production process solid before taking on a bunch accounts,” Jim Goecks said. “What I quickly learned is even just starting with just two accounts, there was a demand out there and people were coming out and requesting for me to have the beer in their establishments.”

“Off-Kilter has a philosophy that is different from the craft breweries in that we create beers that are malt-centric. We brew gateway beers as well as high end beers,” Goecks said. "The high end beers tend to run a little higher in alcohol and really appeal to craft beer drinkers who are looking for something that is more than the tongue-splitting hopped up beers of the IPAs that you see today.”

The company plans to move into a larger brewery with a tap room in Beloit within the next two years and increase its production to 10,000 barrels annually. “We would like to be a brewery that is recognized and owns our home area,” Goecks said. “If we can own and dominate that market, it will lay the groundwork for growth.”

Having a brewery close to home has an additional advantage for Goecks. “When I start brewing, my 7 year old granddaughter races in and she wants to eat the grains. She has become the quality control agent of the grains,” Goecks said. “It is part of the fun of being able to share it with the family.”

“We tell the grandkids that one day they will be the ones to run the brewery.”

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About Off-Kilter Brewing

Off-Kilter Brewing was founded in 2015 by Jim and Tricia Goecks in South Beloit, Illinois. The company’s motto is “old world tradition with a modern slant” as it focuses on brewing traditions of immigrants from the 1800s and early 1900s. The company offers two year round beers and three seasonal beers.



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Off-Kilter Brewing

South Beloit, IL 61080

 


info@OffKilterBrewing.com

Quality hand crafted beer. Brewing the finest styles not found in commercial breweries, rather the same quality beers our forefathers brewed and enjoyed.

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