Untitled Art brings beer styles to Wisconsin that keep craft drinkers on the edge of their seats
Untitled Art joins breweries to make new beers
The backstory: Madison was ready for Untitled Art, the beer collaboration label that brings to town the hazy/juicy/milkshake IPAs of New England, the pastry stouts of Florida and German-style sour ales that Wisconsinites might not have tried before. Co-owners Isaac Showaki of Octopi Brewing and Levi Funk of Funk Factory Geuzeria teamed up with some of the hottest breweries in the nation to create one-off limited-edition beers that have taken the Wisconsin beer scene by storm. “This brand has been growing insanely,” says Showaki, who launched Untitled Art with Funk in December 2016. “We started doing a batch of 500 cases. Now we could do up to 3,000 cases of one style of beer.”
The beer: Showaki and Funk bring a brewing team to the Waunakee brewery to come up with a recipe and to brew a new Untitled Art beer multiple times a year. A few weeks later, a beer is released that needs no fancy name, because its contents are exciting enough. Past beer styles have included a mango milkshake IPA, a waffle stout, a barrel-aged hazelnut imperial stout and an over-fruited Berliner weisse. One beer’s secret ingredient was nearly 1,000 pounds of Tang. Showaki and Funk have teamed up with notable breweries including Mikerphone Brewing outside of Chicago, Angry Chair Brewing of Tampa, Florida, and Bottle Logic Brewing of Anaheim, California. “We’re bringing styles of beer that are super hot somewhere else and bringing them back to Wisconsin.” Untitled Art was the first to brew a hazy IPA in Wisconsin three years ago. “Now, everybody does it,” says Showaki.
The label: Funk, who heads the only lambic-style, beer-focused brewery in the state, suggested “Untitled Art” for the name. “We wanted the beer to speak for itself,” Showaki says. Credit for the labels goes to two women: Stephenie Hamen of The Vintage Prairie creates the one-of-a-kind artwork; Christina King is the designer who takes Hamen’s artwork and turns it into a beer label.
The next batch: Untitled Art’s latest collaboration is with Eagle Park Brewing of Milwaukee for a February batch. “That’ll be a really fun one,” Showaki says. Untitled Art is distributed throughout Wisconsin and to 15 other states in the U.S.
The bottom line: Breweries that Showaki and Funk have approached now jump at the chance to do a collaboration. The success of the label has also been great for the nearly 4-year-old Octopi – the fifth-largest production craft brewery in Wisconsin – which is currently investing about $10 million in an expansion of its contract brewery facility that is set to be complete in mid-2019. “I knew the growth was there; I just didn’t expect it to be this fast,” Showaki says.
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Andrea Behling is managing editor of Madison Magazine.
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