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In its first year, Third Space Brewing has become a huge part of the Milwaukee beer scene in many more ways than simply by brewing beer.

The scene inside Third Space Brewing (1505 W. St. Paul Ave.) during the Wisconsin IPA Fest in early August was a pleasure to witness. The judging area in the massive warehouse was filled with brewers from all over the state, a few beer experts and a handful of extremely grateful beer writers. The group of beer aficionados traded stories, tasted beer and passed around a barrel-aged bottle or two. It was a show of community that simply wouldn’t have been possible a year or two ago.

Brewery owners Andy Gehl and Kevin Wright at the bar

Third Space Brewing owners Andy Gehl and Kevin Wright (photo courtesy of Third Space)

The Milwaukee craft beer scene has blown up and Third Space has been one of the catalysts. And it’s not just because of tasty brews like Happy Place Pale Ale. The brewery, founded one year ago by brewer Kevin Wright and Andy Gehl, has helped in other ways.

Mike Doble hauls his kegs from Explorium Brewpub to Third Space to wash them, 1840 Brewing Company founder Kyle Vetter has brewed wort there, and while it was getting started City Lights borrowed a key ingredient or two.

“We’re right down the road from Third Space,” said head brewer Jimmy Goshman shortly after City Lights opened. “They helped out when we were getting up and running. How you borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor, we borrowed 1,200 pounds of base malt at times. It’s a very cool group. Everyone’s helpful and willing to lend a hand.”

A group of new breweries all finding their footing in city the size of Milwaukee could easily lead to adversarial relationships. But that’s not what’s happening here and Third Space deserves some credit for fostering cooperation.

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“We are strong believers in the ‘rising tide lifts all ships’ mentality and in general Kevin and I are pretty community-oriented people,” explained Gehl. “We want Third Space Brewing to be a positive contributor to the whole Milwaukee community, craft-beer related or otherwise, so we will always pitch in to help others when we can. To that end, we are active members of the Milwaukee Craft Brewery League and the Wisconsin Brewers Guild and always try to help our fellow brewers when we can. We are thankful that there is a very collegial feeling among all of the local craft brewers, and we all really try to work together.”

The Anniversary Party

Cheers to Third Space for being a huge part of Milwaukee’s beer renaissance. To celebrate, the brewery is throwing a one-year anniversary party on Saturday, September 16.

The fun starts at noon and includes food trucks, live music and the release of a limited Wisconsin IPA appropriately named You’ve Said It All. The beer combines a hint of sweetness from corn, lactose and wheat with a trio of hop varieties. It will be available on tap and in four packs to take home. A triple dry hopped version of the IPA will be tapped at 2 p.m. There’s just one keg of it, so get there early if you want to try it. Some of the proceeds of the celebration benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Southeastern Wisconsin.

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