Boser Construction has helped many businesses find their own style through architecture. Though they have faced many unique design challenges, none is quite the same as working with a Brewery. The design-build process it takes to create a fun, laid-back atmosphere of a brewhouse is something altogether different.
What Makes Brewery Construction Unique?
Mechanical wise, architects needed to think about plumbing systems, cleaning efficiencies, and water demand. Equipment sizing and the demand in which the beer is being produced is important. Setups and designs are unique to each brewery, including steam pipe fittings, boilers, brew kettle systems, chillers and more.
These needs are often on an industrial scale but added to a small, condensed space. Even simple things like water, heating, and electrical needs have their own design challenges.
Breweries and Taprooms and Brew Pubs, oh my!
Urban Lodge in Sauk Rapids is a brewery. They sell their beer on site, but they are also a restaurant. Lupulin Brewery in Big Lake is a taproom; it can’t produce food. It can, however, brew beer onsite and sell it off site. A brew pub, on the other hand, cannot sell beer outside of their walls or serve food.
Each one presents their own challenges in design, building, costs, and regulations. There are also different health and safety standards to take into account if the brewery includes a taproom, restaurant, or sells their brews offsite. Having a building partner that understands these differences is important.
The Construction of Lupulin Brewery
Jeff Zierdt and Matt Schiller are co-owners of Lupulin Brewing in Big Lake. They started brewing together in a garage. When first considering moving into a brewhouse, they talked to friends and family about how to move, where to buy land, etc. Within a week, three separate people told them, “You should talk to Boser Construction.”
Lupulin was the first brewery Boser worked with. The Lupulin guys gave the Boser crew a crash-course in brewing to better assess their needs; details like the kinds of pipes they would need, what kind of drains to install, and how much power the system required were discussed collaboratively.
These processes also needed to be approved by the proper agencies, which Boser said were the biggest hurdles they needed to overcome.
Weekly construction meetings were held over beer and pizza. The Boser crew enjoyed having these conversations over something their client had passionately created. Simple details like this helped them feel emerged in the culture of this industry.
Urban Lodge Brewery Construction
Roy Dodds is a local entrepreneur in Sauk Rapids and is well known in the area. At the time, Roy was making great pizza and wanted more. Enter Urban Lodge Brewery.
The Boser guys say their favorite thing about the construction process was the same as with Lupulin: meetings with beer and pizza – this time with Roy’s famous pies.
Construction for this building was unique in that Boser had to install an elevator to obtain access to the basement and the rooftop patio. Developing the foundation was initially a concern because of the proximity to the river. The elevator pit (which needed to be 5 feet lower than the basement) was at the same level as the river.
Working with the city was also a hurdle. Urban Lodge’s rooftop patio includes a fire pit and open flame tiki torches. This took a lot of conversations with the Sauk Rapids fire marshal to make happen.
The ultimate goal of Urban Lodge was to bring a craft beer dining room to Sauk Rapids. Dodds knew he had great pizza and wanted to add a friendly, fun atmosphere to the area. Right now, Urban Lodge is among the few rooftop patios in the St. Cloud area.
For someone that is looking to get in the brewery game, the important thing is to know that you need a champion for the process – someone who knows what they are doing and has gone through it. We consider ourselves members of a team – just as important as the brewery designers and the owner. If there is a dream a brewer wants to achieve, we can help them prepare.
While it’s important to design and build a great brewery restaurant or taproom, it’s just as important to have fun. Most importantly, remember to leave room for beer and pizza meetings.