Octopi Brewing — Untitled Art

Octopi Brewing and Untitled Art logos
Address

1131 Uniek Dr, Waunakee,
Wisconsin 53597

Phone

(608) 218-5917

First Visited

May 15, 2022

Founder, Isaac Showaki knows first-hand how hard it is to build a successful business from the ground up. He started out with a love for beer after working as a management consultant specializing in breweries for 8+ years, including a project with Heineken at its Panama brewery. This left him with a dream to launch his own brewery. In 2011, he did just that and relocated from Mexico City to launch his first brewery in Chicago, IL.  5 Rabbit Cervecería, with partner Andrés Araya, along with minority investor Randy Mosher who created the recipes for the beer. Originally the beer was contract brewed at Argus Brewery.

Isaac grew that brand, tripling volume every year, by working with seven contract breweries in the first 18 months. He encountered many stumbling blocks surrounding the poor aspect of contract brewed beer. There was not one contract brewery he worked with that could fulfill the vision he had for his brand and create the desired high-quality product for his new business. Taking these lessons to heart, Octopi was born with one simple goal: To be the gold-standard in contract brewing and beverage co-packing.

Why name the brewery Octopi? The beverage industry is going through a transformational phase in which it is reinventing itself every day. Just like an octopus, Octopi is in constant motion, adapting to the needs of the industry. We have the ability to move with market demands and trends to meet the needs of our clients. The octopus possesses qualities that symbolize our objectives in the world of beverages. We are our client’s extra limb, helping them to grow their business through us.

Octopi decided to brew in Wisconsin as many of its suppliers are located nearby. Briess (malt), Quad Graphics, the bottles are bought in Wisconsin, Quality Tank Solutions is in Oconomowoc, the German company Krones which makes packaging lines located in Franklin, and KHS, also a packaging machinery is in Waukesha, WI.

Built from the ground up to meet the needs of the modern beverage client, and to make the most technically sound beverages possible, Octopi Brewing opened on October 24, 2015, with one client: Madison’s One Barrel Brewing and the plan that about 15 percent of the production was to be for Octopi’s own label, 3rd Sign Brewery, the name being taken from Gemini, the third sign of the Zodiac, symbolizing duality in its astrological figure of twins. Although the company discontinued its own 3rd Sign line of beers (only brewed 6 different beers), the brewery added three of their offerings. Its Untitled Art is a high-end brand that showcases different brewing styles from around the world. It is being sold in Milwaukee and Madison, an Octopi brand that comes in cans, and Dachs, which means badger in German, that is Octopi’s value brand.

Since then Octopi has expanded many times to keep up with customer demands. The brewing system can handle just about anything, from a classic Czech-style Pilsner to cold-pressed coffee and everything in between utilizing brand-new state of the art German equipment featuring an Esau & Hueber 50-Barrel 3-vessel German Esau & Hueber brewhouse, a GEA centrifuge to produce great quality beer, and a KHS 30-head bottling line with the ability to fill multiple styles and sizes of bottles and cans for maximum flexibility in packaging.

Today, Octopi mainly serves as a contract brewer for other craft brewers, including MobCraft and Eagle Park . They also brews beer for supermarket chains such as the beers Hopping Nomad IPA, Brecken Bock, Ryder No. 8 that can be found in Aldi stores. Octopi has many other clients that can’t be named due to confidentiality agreements. Octopi’s business is about 50 percent beer. Other products include wine, cider, soda, seltzers, and CBD products.

Octopi opened a taproom at the location in 2016. The 17,000-square-foot facility is a spacious, light-filled room with reclaimed wood nearly everywhere you look. The wood encasing the tasting room’s cooler area behind the bar is wood that came from the old Navy Pier in Chicago. Communal tables measuring ten and twelve feet long are meant to encourage larger groups and conversation.

As of 2022 Octopi is constructing two new additions, including a three-acre one, should be completed this year, which should allow them to be producing 350,000 barrels in a facility with a capacity to make 500,000 annually.

UNTITLED ART

Untitled Art was formed in 2016 by Levi Funk, who runs Funk Factory Geuzeria, and Isaac Showaki of Octopi Brewing. Funk provides the creative direction on the beer — formulating recipes and sourcing ingredients — while Showaki brings his expertise in production and bringing beer to market. The Untitled Art beers are made 50 barrels (the equivalent of 100 kegs) at a time by the staff at Octopi. The brewery concept came out of a desire to drink beer styles Funk described as at the “leading edge” of modern brewing that aren’t being made by many breweries in the Midwest.

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.”

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.

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.

Currently Untitled Art is distributed throughout Wisconsin and to over 15 other states in the U.S., as a result 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 Octopi – the fifth-largest production craft brewery in Wisconsin –  is currently investing in another expansion of its contract brewery facility. “I knew the growth was there; I just didn’t expect it to be this fast,” Showaki says.

Untitled Art Brewing (Octopi) produces a wide range of beer styles, both full ABV and non-alcoholic, along with a range of hard seltzers and CBD-infused beverages. They can be seen as a brewing art collective, bringing together ‘liquid artists’ and ‘visual artists’ to produce both the beer and the can designs. Each beer is simply named as whatever style the beer happens to be, therefore remaining ‘untitled art’ and letting the taste of the beer/design of the can speak for itself. (over 250 unique beers according to their Untappd profile).

At Untitled Art, we are all about bringing you the newest drink concepts and styles, showcasing our amazing artists, and collaborating with our friends around the world. Whether we’re making sparkling water or craft beer, we are evolving the art of that beverage to create something you’ll love. Every can or bottle that is brought to your lips has been wrapped with artwork one of our artists made just for that drink. We truly hope you enjoy the experience of drinking Untitled Art. Support Artists. Drink Untitled.

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