Why Architectural Design is Important for Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries

The brewing, distilling and winemaking industries continue to grow and thrive across the country, and the Midwest is no exception.  As more and more companies enter the industry, competition is increased and each company is seeking a unique edge or advantage to help them stand out in a growing sea of similar businesses.  Most firms spend significant attention on the design of labels and logos, but what about your facility and tasting room? 


The most important reason to invest in professional design is to make the most of the experience your customers will have at your facility.  The more they enjoy it, the more often they will visit, the more friends they will refer, and the longer they will remain on-site and purchase items you are selling. 


Industry Trends

The journal Craft Brewing Business has published a number of articles on business management, and in particular Tasting Rooms.  In their article “Tasting Room Tips: Build, Run, and Brand Your Brewery Showcase,” author Jason Morgan pays special attention to the importance of designing a Taproom and Tasting Room to extend your brand.  While this article was written for the brewing business, the material included should also be of significant interest to wineries and distilleries.


Morgan says in his article, “Designing a tasting room isn’t as simple as building a bar into your brewery and pulling up a couple of bar stools. Tasting room factors that most appeal to customers include getting an inside look at the brewing operation, tasting limited-run beers and being in close proximity to the brewers — all of which should be in the forefront of your mind when building or reorganizing your tasting room.”


SDS Architects couldn’t agree more.  The tasting room of your establishment needs to bring together a number of important aspects including look and feel, visual access and physical proximity to your production operations, functionality, and opportunities for potential expansion.  In order to do this well, it pays to bring in a professional designer to work alongside you.


The physical environment  (the appearance and feel of the space)  and circulation (the flow of people through your facility) are both aspects of design that architects can take advantage of to help promote your brand’s unique personality.  You want your space to be so good that even though your customers have visited before, they can’t wait to come back to share with their friends, take the tour repeatedly, and purchase additional items from your gift shop.  The architects at SDS are passionate about creating spaces that deliver exceptional functionality and style.


What Does an Architect Do?

An architect is a unique individual with very strong artistic skills paired with highly developed analytic skills.  Architects are trained to very thoroughly study spaces, plan for various uses and develop a plan that is functional and efficient yet also very comfortable and attractive when the artistic design is applied.


An architect will meet with you, usually for a no cost consultation at first, to learn about the project you have in mind.  In addition, they may wish to see the space (if you have leased or purchased an existing building) or the land where you plan to build.  They are likely to have a number of questions about your operation including specifics about your current and future equipment, processes, volume, and plans for future growth.  As creative thinkers, Architects will want to be exposed to a wide range of items related to how you do business: everything from examples of your logos to what you consider to be the defining characteristics of your most loyal customers --  whatever they can get their hands on to begin to help you to best portray your brand as a whole.


An architect will not only be useful for taproom and other public area design, but may also be of considerable assistance with production, warehousing and distribution area planning and design. 


Is it Expensive?

While it’s true that architects charge a fee for professional services rendered, an architect’s service fee is often recovered quickly due to savings on project or construction costs, lack of change orders, smart design opportunities to make the best use of space available and maximized energy efficiency.  A professionally designed space has a more welcoming and cohesive feel and encourages people to visit more frequently and stay longer.  Beyond immediate measurable returns, an architect’s fee is an investment in the future of your business.


When do we meet with an architect?

The easy answer:  as soon as you realize you might need to expand or move forward with a new project.  It is never too early to have an architect involved in the process.  An architect can help you determine cost estimates of your project and facility projections to help you obtain financing.  An architect can help you evaluate spaces you are considering leasing or buying, and can analyze and compare building sites for new construction.  To use an architect’s talents for your maximum benefit it is best to work with them from the very beginning of a project. 


We know what we want, can’t we do it ourselves?

Just as you, as brewers, distillers, and winemakers, rely on a combination of art and science to create your products from a wide variety of ingredients, architects use both creativity and practical experience to find new ways to put together the variety of puzzle pieces related to the built environment, and we are efficient professionals in this realm.  Architects can help you expedite the process, make the most of your budget, and help ensure that your vision is realized.  We respect the creativity and knowledge you bring to your craft because we bring a similar combination to ours.  SDS Architects designs for you. DESIGNED FOR LIFE