Building a Brand: Taproom or Brewery Design

Having grown up in the world of hospitality it just seems natural that I gravitate towards wellness, restaurant and hospitality in my design work. Pair that with my love of competitive sports, healthy foods, artisan cocktails and craft beers and you end up with a designer who is passionate about helping brewers build their brand and dream brewpub. Today It seemed like the perfect subject for my inaugural blog for my new website. So let’s get started.

Your Design and Brand

Before decisions are made on any definite ideas about how the space should look and function, the planning begins by defining an overarching vision for the project. Have your team talk about the building and it’s use. Is it a facility that would be a gathering place for the community, with distinct yet visually connected spaces? Where do you want the brewery to be located in town? 
Areas to think about, is it near lodging and with access to multiple modes of transportation, including light rail, bus routes, and bike paths. 

The purpose, is it in an area that will help connect people with the brewing process and the brand, but also with one another? On the brewing side, will you be able to maintain the consistency and quality of the beer while increasing production and efficiency should also be paramount.

Although the location is the highest priority, the process of first establishing a clear vision for the project will help all involved to see a site’s potential.

Seek advice from those who know

When planning a new facility talk to as many brewers and brewpub owners as you can. One thing about the industry is most people are pretty eager to help and tell you about their experiences—both good and bad.

Rather than focus primarily on equipment and technical specifications, however, there is nothing better than the kind of practical advice that’s only gained by doing. What have other brewers and owners learned from the process? What, if anything, would they have done differently? What didn’t go as expected and how did they recover?

Allow for some give and take

Budget allocating can be a deciding factor in a new project. We recommend tight control of your financial budget, yet there are some necessary compromises to be made during the process to keep project costs from ballooning.

For example, the cost of restoring a site to a state that could safely support the your building and its infrastructure can be substantial, even with the help of public grants. And don’t forget about the hidden costs and inevitable delays that come with any construction project.As costs can escalate be prepared to react quickly and,revisit some things that might need to change. As long as the end result still get you to where you need to be, yet maybe without everything being in place immediately.

Some of those decisions may include dedicating more space for the public areas at the expense of building more offices right away. Or maybe your plan to outfit a two-acre outdoor garden with furniture and plantings can also get scaled back and purchases spread out over time.

If you have skills on your team to install or fabricate, do as much of this yourself as you can. It will allow you to invest in higher quality tanks and other equipment.

The more bobbing and weaving you do throughout the process the better.

Strive for design that personifies your brand

When it comes to the design itself, planners should keep in mind that they need distinct separation between the public and manufacturing areas, but also you want to visually connect the two with strong moments of transparency. Your visitors will love seeing the how and where of the production and manufacturing.

Think about how your visitors will arrive either, by bike, bus, train, car, or on foot. The visitors approach should taken into consideration and lend a touch that’s also consistent with the brand. Will you have views from the main entrance into the fermentation cellar? Is a retail store possible and where will the restrooms be located, we recommend near the entrance. These are just a few of the items to think about as you set about planning your design.

Choosing colors and textures, and when do we introduce them—whether it’s red in the restaurant or wheat in the event center or stainless steel in the brew-house and other places—those elements pop and create an overall ambiance that needs to be consistent with the brewery’s brand.

The entire experience needs to be choreographed to immerse visitors in what we at SoulBrand Design Group call “ Your Brand Destination Experience,” with lots of social interaction and energy throughout. You set the mood and orchestrate the experience from the beginning.

Plan for future growth

The planning and foresight that went into building the current build needs to let you comfortably and sustainable grow its footprint for years to come without overextending its reach in order to recoup costs. What you have created should keep your team busy making the most of the new facility and entertaining visitors for years to come.

Bring it all together will take dedication of you, your time, your resources and more time. If your ready for the deep dive give me a call. I will help you sort out the details and get the design ball rolling.