Before 4th Tap Brewing Co-Op ever poured its first beer for the public, the brewery had already hosted a wrestling show.
The brewery invited Party World Rasslin’, a local entertainment group, into its warehouse in October 2015—one month before 4th Tap held its soft opening—and has been holding quarterly shows since.
Management at 4th Tap said the wrestling night, combined with programming that includes video game tournaments and live podcast recordings, serves to give all members of the community a home to hang out and have a beer.
“One of our mottos here is ‘Brew, share, party, repeat,’” said John Stecker, CEO and co-founder of 4th Tap. “It’s a callback to that original philosophy we had.”
Stecker opened the brewery alongside head brewer Chris Hamje and cellar master Mike Olfers with a co-operative employee model. Other founding members of the brewery include 4th Tap General Manager Erin Stecker, Recipe Designer Dariush Griffin and cellar and taproom worker Robbie Barber.
“Everybody who works here has the option and pathway to gain equity,” Stecker said.
Hamje retains control over 4th Tap’s beer recipes and production, overseeing a system that pumps out more than 40,000 cans of beer every month. The brewery also prioritizes keeping new beers pouring, providing customers something fresh to taste.
Currently, the brewery is working to roll out variations of beers it has on tap, including a strawberry watermelon brut IPA and a cinnamon chocolate truffle-flavored imperial stout. Also returning this fall is 4th Tap’s House of Torment Collab—a light pumpkin ale made in promotion with the Austin-based haunted house company.
Stecker said the brewery will soon begin aging its beers in barrels acquired from the Garrison Brothers Distillery for its sour beer program. The aging process will take up to a year to produce the wild fermentation beers the brewery aims to produce.
“We’ve been going pretty hard,” Stecker said. “It’s sort of the name of the game—produce as many variations as you can. Keep it fresh.”
4th Tap Brewing Co-Op
10615 Metric Blvd., Austin
512-904-9817 | www.4thtap.coop
Hours: Sun.-Wed. 4-8 p.m., Thu. 4 p.m.-midnight,