“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” -Ursula Lequin.
After getting hooked on craft brewing in 1997 at a brew-on-premise establishment in Chicago called Brewing Company #9, Dave Toth and a small group of seasoned homebrewers established the Sandy Bottom Brewing home brew club in Munster, IN in 2003. For the next 10 years Sandy Bottom devoted itself to the art of crafting and drinking fine beers.
While a career in commodities remained an exciting one, Dave became passionate enough about craft beer to devote the 4th quarter of his life to building and running a microbrewery. In the summer of 2014, after an exhaustive vetting of Northwest Indiana towns and buildings, good friends Branko Sajn (Munster) and Tom Duszynski (Chicago) added their expertise in industrial instrumentation, an upscale restaurant and accounting to the mix and a business plan was formed. Family members Phil Sajn (Taproom General Manager) and Angie Toth (Marketing & Sales Manager) run the day-to-day operations.
It only took a few meetings with a rock star team of Hammond officials to know that Oxbow Landing at the I-80/94 & Kennedy Ave interchange would be the best location for the brewery. Given all the location twists and turns of the previous months and years and then naming rights, the owners wondered what kind of winding road they had taken. When Tom mentioned something about “highways and byways”, the light bulb went off. Byway Brewing Company opened on February 13, 2016.
The Byway Brewing team has certainly had its fill of twists and turns along the way while trying to get the brewery up and running. But so does everyone else trying to navigate life. And that’s where the brewery’s motto came from: ”Life’s about the journey…”.