4th Wave Craft Looks to Make Imprint on Brewing Culture

Julian Arena’s vision has always been to be able to make an imprint on the culture of brewing in America.

“I do believe it has the potential to really become an agricultural product and an institution that everyone can approach and care about,” said the co-founder of Outsider Brewing near Asheville.

With that, Arena wants to build business solutions for breweries and brewers who want that as well. Arena has introduced an intellectual property holding company called 4th Wave Craft, a brewing equipment and design company with Outsider Brewing being the working showroom for the innovative transparent brewing equipment.

“4th Wave Craft is a brewery experience solution company that is going to be able to make brewing solutions for brewers like me who were burned out on the grind, and want to just scale down to have their own thing and do it their way with every single brew,” Arena said. “I know that there are other brands that are already established that want to see craft beer continue to thrive and grow, and they don’t know necessarily how to grow in this really kind of shrinking market.

“This is something that can be a small-batch system in a brewery that wants to grow in a completely different way, and maximize that taproom experience and the cultural experience that they’re already doing. This is just a new tool to do it better.”

The glass-built design can show consumers exactly what is happening throughout an entire brew day, allowing a brewer to share information in a whole new way. For Outsider, Arena said they only brew while the taproom is open and the system is front-and-center for consumers to be able to have the brewing experience. Now, with 4th Wave Craft, others can have a similar system, be it as their main system or a pilot-batch-making brewhouse.

“The cool thing about it is we designed it all to be very modular,” Arena said. “It’s a lot of flat parts, laser cuts that are welded together, so there’s a ton of custom parts, which is awesome. That really helps smooth out the whole production process.

“I’m definitely not setting out to become an industrial manufacturing company. We really want it to be like, you’re not a customer, you are essentially a partner in a movement that we are all participating in, and we all benefit from. If you need a solution, based upon this concept that’s going to benefit your business or your business goals, we will help you put that solution together — whether that’s a one-barrel or 10-gallon system, or whether you want to have a stack of glass fermenters in the tap room, the sky’s the limit.”

Arena said if a brewer or brewery wants to know more or see the process, he welcomes them to come to Asheville and do a collaboration in this space and capture a snapshot of brewing culture on a brew day.

“It means a lot for us to do collaborations with breweries that put the customer first and the craft first,” he said. “If there’s anyone that this resonates with — anywhere in the country or wherever — that feels as though a chance to brew here with us, and share that love publicly, they’re absolutely welcome to reach out to us, we can line up something awesome.”

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