Recently, when I asked Third Space Brewing co-owner Andy Gehl when we could expect a dunkel from the Menomonee Valley brewery, he said, “Funny you should ask...” and proceeded to tell me about a new beer coming soon.
Zing, Boom, Tararrel, which is released on tap and in four-pack 16-ounce cans this week, is, in Gehl’s words, “sort of a cross between a Vienna Lager and a true German dunkel,” and it’s a great example of the kinds of beers you can find on Third Space’s ever-changing Beers About Nothing Innovation Series (named in honor of that classic ‘90s show about nothing, “Seinfeld.”)
While you can always find stalwarts like Happy Place and Unite the Clans at Third Space and at retail, visiting the taproom, 1505 W. St. Paul Ave., gets you access to sometimes as many as 23 beers brewed on Third Space’s five-barrel pilot system, which was installed in December 2017.
“We use the pilot system to explore beer styles our brewers are excited about and to develop new flavor profiles and brewing techniques that may lead to full scale Third Space releases,”says Gehl. “We then put our creations on tap and monthly we put one of our favorites into cans so that our customers can join in the fun.”
A new beer is added to the list every few weeks on tap and each month one of them is canned, as is the case with Zing, Boom, Tarrarel, which arrives in cans on Friday, May 20. (I’m getting a preview taste of it later today and can’t wait.)
The same day, a hazy blonde ale in the series will hit the tap lines.
Zing, Boom, Tarrarel is a perfect example of the kinds of things you’ll find on the Beers About Nothing beer menu, which hangs above the bar. What began as a Vienna lager, which tweaked and tinkered until it became an interesting experiment.
“Playing with recipes to create beers that are uniquely our own is a large part of the innovation process” says Gehl.
“A dedication to continued innovation has always been a cornerstone of our brewing philosophy at Third Space,” adds co-founder and brewmaster Kevin Wright. “We recognize that the tastes of craft beer drinkers are always evolving, and we want to continue to offer them new and exciting beers to enjoy.”
As you can see in the photo at right, which shows just part of the Beers About Nothing list from last October, you can expect to find things like a hoppy kviek wheat beer, a grisette, CBD hop water, a kolsch, a hoppy lager and collabs like Incognito Mode, a zero vegetative matter IPA made with Naperville’s Solemn Oath.
While some beers in the series are one-and-done, sometimes the experiments strike and gold and, like the Frog Weiss Fruited Sour, have become year-round regulars.
“Our team came up with the flavor concept for Frog Weiss while eating biscuits with ‘FROG Jam’ at the Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville a few years ago,” Wright recalls.
“We all thought the fig, raspberry, orange and ginger flavor profile could translate well to a beer, so we put together a pilot recipe, and Frog Weiss was born,” he says, and it was a hit.
Lavender Lemonade, another fruited sour that first appeared last year as a Beer About Nothing will be added to the market-wide seasonal rotation in 12-ounce six-pack cans on May 27.
Gehl says that other upcoming Beers About Nothing Releases this summer include the tapping of an IPA brewed with tea to coincide with the launch of a new summer outdoor live music series June 9 in the brewery’s recently upgraded beer garden, and a Cherry Gose that will be canned in four-packs.
You can pre-order four-packs of Zing, Boom, Tararrel beginning Friday morning at shopthirdspace.com.
If you prefer to stop by in person, remember that Fridays at 5:45 p.m. Wright leads the weekly Brewmaster’s Toast and beer from the dedicated toast keg are $1 while it lasts.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.