Published November 25, 2015
A surprise awaits those
who venture into the
industrial park on Metric
Boulevard in North
Austin: a warehouse filled with
gleaming, silver vats producing a
delicious, golden beverage. It’s the
4th Tap Brewing Cooperative, the
newest brewer on the local scene.
4th Tap was conceived four years
ago when six like-minded friends
decided they wanted to take their
love of craft beer to a more personal
level. One of the founders, John
Stecker, committed to the project
full time two years ago.
The tap room had its official opening
on November 7 of this year and 4th
Tap’s three main beer varieties are
now available on the shelves of such
retailers as Whole Foods, HEB and
Central Market, Wheatsville Food
Co-op and the Sunrise Mini Mart.
"Brewing is a meeting of art and science, that's what appeals to me about it," said co-founder John Stecker.
As a cooperative, 4th Tap is 100
percent worker owned; the first
such brewery in the state of Texas.
The process begins with a year-long
apprenticeship during which new
workers learn all aspects of the
business. At the end of the year, they
can buy in as owners. One of those
who has signed on is Laura Christie,
who left her job in IT sales to join
the 4th Tap team.
“It’s exciting to be involved in a local
business that is a co-op,” she said.
With a degree in entrepreneurship,
she felt that this new venture was
more in line with her interests. So,
three months into her tenure, she
works as an office assistant and as a
server in the tap room, with an eye
to the future.
Attracting motivated personnel
like Christie is part of the 4th Tap
plan. Because of the co-op concept, Stecker has been able to surround
himself with other dedicated beer
craftspeople. 4th Tap already has
five full-time and four part-time
“We have a triple bottom line,” said
Stecker, “People, planet and business.
Our core value is to succeed at
But it also has to be about the beer,
and Stecker, who has a Master’s degree
in Cell Biology from Texas State
University, has dedicated himself to
creating what he calls, “a unique but
accessible and drinkable” product.
Getting the right flavoring is paramount.
4th Tap’s IPA is infused with
real Texas grapefruit and its wheat
beer is flavored with tamarind.
“Why is nobody else using tamarind?”
wondered Stecker. “It’s delicious!”
For a venture as unique as a cooperatively
owned brewery, 4th Tap
turned to a bank that understands
unique entrepreneurial undertakings:
Amplify Credit Union.
“Amplify is the reason we exist,”
said Stecker. “They know how to
engage the cooperative community.
We are not your typical LLC, but
they helped us navigate the process
of getting an SBA loan.”
As 4th Tap looks to move into other
major Texas markets, they know
they can rely on Amplify Credit
Union to help make
4th Tap Brewing Cooperative
10615 Metric Blvd.