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Location & brewery design

What to Consider When Planning Your Brewery : Part II

This article is a continuation from What to Consider when Planning Your Brewery, Part 1.

An all-important part of your facility. Finding a space with all of the appropriate utilities may be difficult. Understanding what you need, and what are costs to upgrade, can allow for planning. Nobody likes surprises. Understand the cost of a utility upgrade should it be required.


  • Water: A 1” water line with 20 GPM flow is preferred. A deficiency in water supply can be offset by a holding tank if necessary, but that takes up valuable space.


  • Natural Gas: A 1 ½” to 2” gas line is preferred. This will depend on brewery fuel type.


  • Electricity: 400 amps (will depend on voltage) is the minimum requirement for most but the smallest of breweries. This is the #1 deficiency we see in a potential brewery space. A load calculation based on your equipment will help determine what your electric needs will be. Then a discussion with your electrical engineer and utility department can help determine what it will take to get the power you need.


  • Drainage: 4” waste line is what you will find in most spaces, and the minimum required for brewery wastewater. Be sure to have the drain lines scoped and inspected to determine the condition, location, size, depth, and direction of flow. This may impact your brewery layout, dictating where your drains tie into the existing underground pipes.


  • Fire Sprinklers. An all important piece of infrastructure that can change what you can do in your space. Fire sprinklers can increase your occupant load and reduce separations required between spaces. While expensive to add after the fact, they can make your life easier if they 


  • HVAC: Make sure your facility has the capacity to keep your customers comfortable. Adequate ventilation is also important, but in most cases, has to be added no matter what.



  • Walkability: How can I attract customers to my brewery? Being in a location that is walkable, bikeable, or generally visible and accessible will increase your exposure and draw.


  • Zoning: Talk to your planning and zoning department. Understand what zones are appropriate not only for a brewery, but also for a tap room. Oftentimes breweries, considered light manufacturing, are not allowed in commercial zones. And, tap rooms, considered bars or retail, are not allowed in industrial zones. Know what zones are right for a brewery and tap room, and what permit implications there might be, such as Use Permits. They will add time to your permit process.


  • Parking: If your guests can’t find adequate parking, they are not coming to your brewery. And, understand your jurisdiction's requirements for parking based on your use. There are different requirements for how and when your space is used and the volume of traffic it draws. If you are short on parking, consider time of use or shared parking with nearby businesses that might have offsetting hours or a surplus of spaces.


  • Permits Required: There are many departments that will want to look at your plans and have a say in what you are doing. Building, Zoning, Fire, Structural, Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical, Health, Industrial Waste, Fats Oils & Grease (FOG), Air Pollution, Stormwater, etc. The list can go on and on. Understand the permits required by your jurisdiction, and the time/cost to obtain those permits. are already there.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when opening your own craft brewery. Setting up your location is just one part of a complex endeavor. It will be an adventure for sure. Understanding the process and recruiting an experienced team will put you on the path to success.


Contributing Author

T. Dustin Hauck                                                 Principal, Hauck Architecture

Hauck Architecture is the go-to architectural firm for breweries, working with over 75 craft breweries to date. Mr. Hauck, an avid home brewer and craft beer enthusiast, possesses the skill, experience, passion and reputation for planning and executing a successful project, while coordinating with all engineering consultants, contractors and governmental authorities. 

Taps in a Tap Room

Planning Your Tap Room
Our Experience, Part I

Carol Cochran

Congratulations on joining us all in the Dream, and thanks for doing some planning on how you can add to the craft beer world! Here are a few things we learned when planning our tasting room, and a bit of a roadmap to get you started on thinking about yours.

One of the first things to consider, when planning for a tap room or tasting room, is to determine what your goal is for your space. I use “tap room” (retail 



  • Own or Lease?

  • Remodel Existing or Build New?

  • Utility Requirements

  • Zoning/Property Restrictions

  • Size of Brewing System

  • Production vs Tap Room?

  • Vision for Growth

  • Research Architect/Design Team

  • Interview/Select Design Team

  • Feasibility Study


  • Secure Location

  • Apply/Secure Permits

  • Apply/Secure Licensing

  • Connect Utilities

  • Contract Design Team

  • Create Design/Layout

  • Create Construction Budget

  • Architecture, Engineering & Permits 

  • Interview/Determine Contractor

  • Build Brewery

  • Install Equipment

  • Pass Inspections

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  • Consider Satellite Locations

  • Consider Equipment Additions

  • Consider Expansion Options

  • Consider Operational Efficiencies

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