February 20, 2019 Robin Shepard  The Isthmus

Going Up

Third Space Brewing, which opened in the fall of 2016 in Milwaukee, is being introduced to the Madison market a series of local tappings and parties over the next few weeks. Co-owners Kevin Wright and Andy Gehl are expanding distribution throughout 19 southern Wisconsin counties. The brewery is known for a variety of styles including its IPA.

What is it? Upward Spiral from Third Space Brewing of Milwaukee.

Style: IPAs are medium-bodied and golden- to copper-colored. They range from intensely bitter to juicy and tropical depending upon the hops that go into them. IPAs often finish between 6.3 to 7.5 percent ABV and 50-70 IBU (International Bitterness Units).

Background: Upward Spiral features a big hop bill of six varieties. Among them, it’s the Citra that stands out the most, with notes of orange and grapefruit. It has a light malty background designed to allow the hops to shine, yet is robust enough to contribute body and alcohol warmth at 6.5 percent ABV.

Third Space Brewing is located in the Menomonee River Valley. The brewery’s name “Third Space,” comes from the idea that after home and work we all need a third space that makes us happy.

After adding additional equipment and a pilot brewing system over the past year, Third Space is well-positioned to take on added territory. The brewery sold 5,300 barrels in 2018.

In addition to Upward Spiral, Third Space is sending Happy Place, a pale ale that features Mosaic, Simcoe and Cascade hops. It’s the brewery’s overall best seller, accounting for more than 50 percent of sales. Similar to Upward Spiral, it’s bright and full of tropical flavors, only lighter in body and alcohol at 5.3 percent ABV. Also, the brewery’s most awarded beer, Unite the Clans Scottish ale, will soon be in local stores. And within the month look for Acres Edge toasted oatmeal stout; That’s Gold, a kölsch-style beer; along with several seasonals and special releases. Most of Third Space’s core brands sell for around $9-$11/six-pack of 12-ounce cans.

Special launch events this week include tap takeovers, special tastings at liquor stores and visits by Gehl and Wright.

Tasting notes:

  • Aroma: Tropical citrus notes.
  • Appearance: Golden color and slightly hazy. A thick, soft, white head.
  • Texture: Medium-bodied with softness.
  • Taste: The tropical notes of orange and grapefruit are up front. Eventually more piney and resiny flavors emerge. There a firm maltiness to the background.
  • Finish/Aftertaste: A blend of tropical and resiny hoppiness with alcohol warmth that builds.

Glassware: The Willi Becher glass is a wonderful way to appreciate the beer bright golden color while gently focusing the tropical-hoppy aroma.

Pairs well with: burgers, brats, pizza with a touch of spice, and semi-soft cheeses such as Muenster and provolone.

The Verdict: This was my beer of choice for when attending Brewers’ games last season. There is bright citrus aroma and flavor up front, with piney, resiny notes in the background that lend a touch of West Coast character. I really like this flavorful IPA. But at, 6.5 percent ABV it’s strong. For something a little more sessionable, go with its sibling brew the Happy Place pale ale.