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Craft Beer Times | Architectural Insights into Brewery Design and Operations

Architectural Insights into Brewery Design and Operations

Architectural Insights into Brewery Design and Operations

The Joy of Combining Beer and Architecture: A Brewery Visit with an Architect

Craft breweries have been on the rise for years now, and with good reason. The chance to try unique flavors, support local businesses, and even learn a little bit about the brewing process is almost impossible to pass up. But have you ever considered what an architect might have to say about your favorite brewery?

Form Meets Function

The intersection of beer and architecture might seem like an odd one, but they actually have quite a bit in common. Both are based on the principles of form and function – that is, the way something looks and the way it performs. A building designed by an architect must be visually appealing while also serving its intended purpose. Similarly, a good beer must not only taste delicious, but also have the right balance of ingredients to create a cohesive flavor.

On a recent brewery tour with an architect friend, I was struck by how much these two seemingly unrelated fields had in common. As we walked through the brewery, he pointed out how different elements of the space had been designed with both form and function in mind. The brewing equipment had been strategically placed to maximize efficiency, while the lighting and decor made the space inviting and welcoming to customers.

The Importance of Layout

One of the most interesting aspects of touring a brewery with an architect was learning about the layout of the space. While it might seem like a straightforward industrial warehouse, there were actually quite a few design decisions that went into the location of each piece of equipment. For example, the fermenting tanks were placed in a specific pattern to allow for the easiest possible movement of liquids and gases.

Additionally, the layout of the brewery can have a big impact on the customer experience. Is there space for a beer garden or outdoor seating? Is the tasting room easily accessible from the production floor? These are all questions that an architect might consider when designing a brewery space.

Aesthetics Matter

Of course, not all of the design elements in a brewery are purely functional. Aesthetics play a big role in creating a memorable customer experience. From the bold colors of the branding to the handcrafted wooden tables in the tasting room, the design choices made in a brewery can truly set it apart from its competitors.

But as my architect friend pointed out, these aesthetic choices must still serve a purpose. For example, the choice to use reclaimed wood in the tasting room not only looks great, but also supports the brewery’s sustainability efforts.

Bottom Line

While you might not think about the architecture of a brewery while you’re sipping on your favorite beer, it’s clear that there are a lot of design decisions that go into creating a great brewing space. From the layout to the aesthetic choices, every element of the space must be carefully considered to create a functional and enjoyable experience for both the brewer and the customer. So next time you’re visiting your local craft brewery, take a moment to appreciate the design work that went into making it what it is today.


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.

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