I’d like to talk about beer.
Since Austin is really starving for microbreweries right now, it’s nice to finally see one open up. JOKING. It’s actually quite the opposite. Honestly, I can’t go a day at work without some craft beer snob gloating about this new hops-shop he/she “discovered.”
Bottom line, there’s no shortage of microbreweries around here, so it can be overwhelming to find one that will suit all your needs. That said, I totally want to tell you about this new microbrewery, 4th Tap Brewing Co-op, that I discov…uh…that just opened up in North Austin. #hypocrite
Okay, I may be a hypocrite, but this place is awesome. I’m not just saying that because it’s new. In fact, I’m going to throw you the biggest curve ball at the end of this article, and you’re going to be like, “Whoa, now I DEFINITELY need to check out this place.” Just wait for it. Trust me.
The 4th Tap Brewing Philosophy
4th Tap is a worker-owned brewery, meaning everyone you see in there owns a piece of the pie. It’s the first brewery in Texas to follow this model, and one of the first in America.
This is a huge benefit to us patrons, not only in the effort that’s put into every aspect of 4th Tap’s existence, but also in the atmospheric experience. In talking with the folks who work there, and watching them interact with each other, the family-oriented atmosphere is genuine. I like positive vibes when I’m drinking beer, and this place is chock-full of them.
Going back to the worker-owned aspect, the stakes are high for everyone at 4th Tap with this business model. The result is a shared passion for their craft, and an experimental challenge to keep brews new, interesting and ever-evolving. Again, this serves as another benefit for us folks on the other side of the tap.
This is a brewery and, as you may know, some breweries are more dolled-up than others when it comes to the actual taproom. Luckily, 4th Tap presents a spacious and elegant bar area that offers pleasing simplicity and invites conversation.
Beyond the actual bar, there’s plenty of seating in the way of high-tops and benches. Yet the space to walk around is in no way compromised by the abundance of seating. I really enjoy the open feel to it, and the fact that everything is new and clean makes it all the more enjoyable.
As they settle in, the bartenders assure me there will be frequent live music rolling through. They even have a drum set and piano already set up for use, with a sign that politely suggests you not touch the equipment unless you know what the f*** you’re doing.
Additional amenities include coffee, free Wi-Fi, board games, merchandise for sale and various food trucks, which will be parked right outside. You’re allowed to bring in your own food, as well.
I guess we should talk about the beer. The taproom will typically have 10 beers available to try. 4th Tap puts a heavy emphasis on experimentation, both in flavor and concept.
For example, they currently offer a Sun Eater Rosemary Gruit, which only uses ingredients native to Texas. This means no hops. Surely an interesting concept, but how does it taste? Um, amazing. Dry, yet refreshing, with a hint of fresh rosemary and a lemon-y finish.
Another beer that stands out to me is their grapefruit-infused IPA, Long Walk (made with real grapefruit, mind you). I thought this one was going to be too sweet for me, but the grapefruit flavor is subtle, yet sincere. It has a sort of cloudy essence to it, but is sharp in its overall delivery. That’s a good thing in my book.
My overall favorite is the Supernaut Stout. I love nitro beers, and this particular stout is handed a real complement with the nitro finish. Its sweetness can be noticed in the background of an otherwise dark and powerfully lengthy taste. One’s enough when it comes to this 8-percenter, so it’s definitely a good beer to start with. Wow, I’m starting to sound like a real snob.
I know, I know. There are a million microbreweries in Austin. Like we need another article from some beer snob going on about the newest one. I’m fully aware of the options out there, but I assure you that 4th Tap Brewing Co-op is worth your attention.
There’s no brewery in Austin (or Texas, for that matter) that is collectively owned by its workers. That’s a big deal. No matter who is serving you at 4th Tap, you can be confident knowing they’re genuinely passionate about providing you a fresh experience, a new taste and a welcoming, family-style atmosphere.
By the Way…
THERE IS A WRESTLING RING IN THE BACK. YOU CAN GO IN THE BACK AND WATCH WRESTLING MATCHES ON CERTAIN DAYS! Check the ever-growing events calendar for more. Boom. *Drops mic*
10615 Metric Blvd. – Website
@andychuckchase wants to know:
Have you been to 4th Tap Brewing Co-op yet?