Our latest blog takes a look at the phenomenon of contract brewing across craft beer. To find out more, we talked to Isaac Showaki, President of Octopi Brewing which was established in 2015 with one goal: “To be the gold-standard in contract brewing and to cater to the craft beer community”.
Isaac is no stranger to the brewing world, beginning his career as a management consultant who specialized in beer and spending over eight years working to help breweries before deciding to start his own.
It was after working with several contract brewers, Isaac discovered a lack of quality and commitment to customer’s brands. Having spotted the opening in the craft beer market he then made the leap from craft brewer to contract brewer and from this Octopi was born.
Starting with only six employees, Isaac has grown the business exponentially over the past several years, now employing around 50 people, who together, have a combined total of over 70 years of brewing experience. This team has helped Octopi distribute and supply beer to 45 states in the US as well as seven European countries.
Quality is everything
For Isaac though it isn’t about how large the company grows, it is about providing quality for the customer:
“Our focus is quality and the client. You need to be flexible, you need to do what is best for the client and listen to what they want. At Octopi our philosophy is ‘Brewing your beer, propelling your brand’ it’s all about them, we’re just here to help make that happen.”
“I want to cater to the craft beer community, at Octopi we help with every aspect of brewing: Consulting, beer recipes and flavours, suppliers, design, packaging and merchandise as well as designing and helping to equip your own brewery.”
The state-of-the-art facility at Octopi contains equipment such as their oversized Lauter Tun for working with higher gravity brews, a Hopback for greater hop flexibility and a centrifuge which allows the team to work with ingredients that would usually cause a significant amount of haze, such as fruits.
Quality doesn’t just stop with the beer. With their wealth of experience and knowledge, Isaac and the team don’t just observe trends – they react to them and deliver this to their customers.
It is this that has created even greater growth and as part of their upcoming expansion Octopi are responding to the increased popularity of cans by including a fully automated canning line, which is capable of handling the canning and packaging side. This investment will provide customers even more choice on pack styles and formats – matching the quality of the brew, with the quality of the packaging delivered.
But it’s not just the quality that put Octopi at the top of their game. Octopi are taking away the confusion of taxes across the USA and thereby making it simpler for their customers.
Being based in Wisconsin means Octopi can deliver the significant commercial benefits of the state’s low taxation to their customers across the country.
“Our location ensures we not only produce quality beers for shipping around the country but also allows us to deliver significant savings as an integral part of the total package, which is a real help for those smaller craft breweries.” concludes Isaac.
So, when it comes to delivering quality craft beer, from brewing through to design and packaging, you’ll find that the solution is often all in the contract.