by Zane Foley
We had the pleasure of speaking with Matt Cisz of Third Space Brewing for this article, to give you a complete rundown on the One in Four IPA and the past, present, and future initiatives of the project.
Even after all these years of covering the craft beer industry, there’s never a shortage of breweries who continue to amaze us with their initiatives to support causes that go far beyond the tap room.
Today, that’s precisely why we’re excited to share with you a recent announcement by one of our favorite breweries, Third Space Brewing, who’ve put into motion a fall release of their One in Four IPA. The new brew is a response to domestic violence, as a way of bringing awareness and spreading support for those affected by domestic violence.
As written on the Third Space Brewing website, “the One and Four IPA aims to raise funds to help combat and boost awareness of domestic violence.” The name itself, One in Four, is derived from the shocking statistic that one-in-four women will encounter domestic violence in some form and at some point in their lives.
“We chose this staggering statistic for the name of the beer to help start conversation within local communities about the prevalence of domestic violence,” says Third Space’s Lead Brewer Matt Cisz, who spearheaded the One in Four project after personally suffering from a domestic violence tragedy.
We caught up with Matt to answer some questions for us, as the brewery begins sharing the label art and beer recipe with other craft brewers who are willing to craft the One in Four IPA and donate a portion of profits to fight domestic violence. Third Space Brewing itself will donate all its profits from the One in Four IPA, donating its sales to Sojourner, Wisconsin’s largest nonprofit provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services.
We had the chance to catch up with Matt to ask him just exactly what it means to him for Third Space Brewery to not only support him personally through this journey but the One in Four IPA Project.
“It really feels quite amazing,” says Matt. “I remember going into one of our offices where our brewmaster Kevin Wright and our director of brewery operations Brandt Stewart were having a conversation. While fighting back tears, I let them know what was going on and they were super supportive. They told me to take the time I needed and to not worry about work. During tragic times, it’s great to work for an organization that can empathize with its staff.
Can you maybe shed some light on when you asked them and the conversations that unfolded?
“This project became a thought shortly after the murder of our niece. I had been thinking about it for quite some time and finally emailed our owners talking about the idea and whatnot. There was no hesitation on their part. They basically said, “Let us know what you need from us to make it happen.”
“We all have experienced the nerves that come with pitching ideas at work, and the rejection that can come along with that. It was a cool experience to have them buy into the idea so quickly.”
A Letter from Head Brewer and One in Four Project creator, Matt Cisz:
As I sit here writing this letter, I wonder how much awareness and funding can we raise for this seemingly normal occurrence for too many of our friends, family, and colleagues to endure? How many more individuals must suffer before we as a collective community take a stand? How personal do I want to take our story? A story that too many others out there can relate to?
Last fall I received a phone call from my wife at work. Maybe I am unique, but anytime I get a phone call during work hours from my family, wife, or close friends, I always assume the worst. Typically I would answer, “Is everything alright?” I do not respond this way because I actually think anything is wrong, but more so because those close to me know my working hours and wouldn’t call me if it wasn’t an important matter. This has to be important is always my thought.
“Bryan has Karissa”… I still remember those three words. I will always remember those three words. Always. To hear the fear and tremble in the voice of the person you love the most is truly knee-crippling. Wait what? What do you mean he has her? Is she okay?
To not get into too many grueling details, our family suffered a loss that day, a loss other families across the world feel all too often. To sum up the tragic events, our niece was murdered by a man who shot her multiple times and then took his own life. A man who Karissa learned gave her a false name. A man she had dated for a short amount of time. A man who had served time for false imprisonment. A man who stalked her repeatedly. A man with abusive behavior. It didn’t matter that she broke things off. It didn’t matter that she installed security cameras. It didn’t matter that she would stay the night at friends’ houses. It didn’t matter that she purchased a firearm.
This beer collaboration idea started with Karissa but is truly about all of the millions of people out there that experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetime. We in the brewing community have a strong history of coming together and promoting causes, I encourage all of our fellow breweries to join us in this endeavor.
Who is Third Space Brewing?
Third Space Brewing was founded by Milwaukee’s very own Kevin Wright and Andy Gehl. Brewmaster Kevin Wright earned his brewing certificate from the University of California Davis, with their world-famous Master Brewing Program. Wright won the 2009 JS Ford Award which is given to the world’s top performer in the Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s annual Brewing Exam. Talk about impressive… He took his talents straight out of university, spending 7 years brewing award-winning beer at Redlands’ California brewery, Hangar 24.
Director of Sales and Marketing and Third Space Brewing Co-founder Andy Gehl, is a self-declared recovering attorney, who has taken his legal, business, and relationship-building skills from practicing law, to the technical and operational expertise needed to run a brewery.
Fueled by their passion for crafting great beer, Third Space Brewing had its grand opening on September 15th, 2016, distributing its great-tasting beer throughout the greater Milwaukee area. In just two years since its grand opening, Third Space Brewing was named one of the 50 fastest-growing craft breweries by the Brewers Association. By 2019, Third Space Brewing expanded its beer distribution to Madison and the Southwestern portion of Wisconsin. Now, since 2020 and 2021, Third Space Brewing now serves its delicious craft beer across the entire state of Wisconsin.
Currently, the Third Space Brewing team is made up of brewers, sales reps, bartenders, managers, and administration staff. Their lead brewer Matt Cisz is the one who spearheaded the One in Four IPA project after he and his family endured the tragedy of domestic violence.
What is the One in Four IPA?
Simply but profoundly put, the One in Four IPA project is a brewing initiative against domestic violence from a collaborative effort between Third Space Brewing, the NCADV, Malteurop Malting Company, Yakima Chief Hops, and Blue Label Packaging.
The collaboration is set to release the One in Four IPA this October, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, bringing awareness to the fact one in four women and one in nine men will experience domestic violence in some form in their life. The statement on their website is as follows: “We refuse to sit back and watch another loved one be harmed. We all need to take a stand against all forms of domestic or intimate partner violence.” – We couldn’t agree more.
The industry partners are all lending a hand with the recipe, the labeling, and the promotional material for all who wish to participate. They ask participating breweries to release their version of the beer sometime in October, as they write: “Fill the bar and retail shelf with the color purple,” the color of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Third Space Brewing in return asks that the breweries donate their proceeds to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) or a local organization of their choosing to help those who have been affected by domestic violence.
If you would like to participate or want to send this project to a potential brewer, you can follow their webpage here. A list of all participating breweries will be updated weekly as well.
This is where the tasty Malt and Hops come into the One in Four IPA. As expressed by the Third Space Brewing website, the IPA is inspired by the good old-fashioned midwest. The midwest you might experience during a cross-country road trip.
The IPA is neither too bitter nor too sweet, making for an approachable craft beer choice and not just for the die-hard IPA crowd offered by traditional IPAs.
But how do they do it?
The recipe incorporates Idaho 7 and Simcoe in the whirlpool, blending generous amounts of HBC 630 within the dry hop to invoke flavors of citrus, berries, and stone fruit. The craft IPA enjoys a solid foundation with Pilsen, Munich 5L, and wheat malt, complementing its sweet fruit flavors with subtle nutty and bready notes from premium hops.
While the recipe is officially provided and crafted by Third Space Brewing, the recipe is a product of a completely collaborative effort from industry partners Malteurop Malting Company and Yakima Chief Hops. The Malteurop Malting Company is offering 30% off their malts while Yakima Chief Hops is offering 28% off their hops for the recipe. You can download the recipe here.
The Label artwork is a heart-led design from a family friend close to the brewery and created locally by a branding company in Milwaukee, which will donate the labels for this project to participating brewers. The only cost the participants are responsible for is shipping, luckily labels aren’t too heavy. All you have to do is let the Blue Label Packaging Representative know you’re placing an order for the One in Four IPA and they will apply the discount.
The label art is instructed by the design files to be used for both the 12oz or 16oz cans sizes. You can download it by clicking the link on this webpage, otherwise, any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call at 866-506-2583.
Third Space Brewery also has a supply of promotional graphics available for participating breweries and encourages breweries to create their own. More graphics and information will be promoted as October approaches. In the meantime, Third Space Brewery asks you to share and promote content using the hashtag #OneInFourBeer