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The Tree House Brewing Success Story, Chapter 4: Charlton

Tree House Partners

An article yesterday in BusinessWest Magazine by Joseph Bednar follows the unexpected but gratifying growth of central Massachusett’s Tree House Brewing Co. craft brewery. From a tiny start in Brimfield, to two farm-based iterations in Monson, the three partners are now wrapping up their fourth version in Charlton, MA. Austin Design has been working steadily with Damien Goudreau, Nate Lanier, and Dean Rohan on a fast-tracked, 55K sf production and visitor’s center, planning to be open in the early summer . Stay tuned for more on this eagerly anticipated debut.

    Lawson’s Finest Liquids Begins Waitsfield DRB Permitting

    Lawsons Finest tasting room sketch

    The Mad River’s Valley Reporter recently ran a story covering the beginning of local permitting for Lawson’s Finest Liquids new facility in Waitsfield, VT. An excerpt:

    “Lawson’s Finest Liquids completed its multipart review before the Waitsfield Development Review Board with one accelerated hearing last week.

    On February 14, the Waitsfield Development Review Board heard a change of use, conditional use and subdivision application for Lawson’s Finest before closing the hearing that night. A decision is expected within 45 days.

    Sean and Karen Lawson announced last year that they are moving their award-winning microbrewery from Warren to Waitsfield where they will open a new and larger brewery with a tasting room and retail sales. Their plan, which they presented to the DRB this week, is to move to Carroll Road in Waitsfield to the property formerly occupied by Valley Rent-All.”


    Austin Design is honored to be providing primary design services and consultation with the Lawson’s as they plan and implement this significant chapter in their brewing saga; we couldn’t be working with nicer people! As a springtime toast to that, Sips of Sunshine all around…

      What is a Design Charrette?

      adi design charrette 1

      “The term “charette” evolved from a pre-1900 exercise at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in France. Architectural students were given a design problem to solve within an allotted time. When that time was up, the students would rush their drawings from the studio to the Ecole in a cart called a charrette. Students often jumped in the cart to finish drawings on the way. The term evolved to refer to the intense design exercise itself. Today it refers to a creative process akin to visual brainstorming that is used by design professionals to develop solutions to a design problem within a limited timeframe.” [definition source]

      Bryan Louisell brought in the design challenge: to develop an exterior facade scheme for the former Rollerdrome building on Putney Road in Brattleboro, VT. The large non-descript building guards the entry approach to a large complex at the north end of the West River bridge, owned by Dennis Smith, encompassing The Marina Restaurant, an active commercial marina with a boatlaunch ramp, offices, repair shops, the Brattleboro Outing Club boathouse, the West River Trail southern trailhead, and much more. There is a need for an attractive, welcoming waymarking concept, to alert and inform potential visitors of the opportunities available out-of-sight down the slope and around the corner. Other than the Retreat Meadows ramp on Route 30, this is the primary public access point to the West and Connecticut Rivers, and the Meadows themselves. Austin Design has thrown itself into the fray… it’ll be interesting to see what results!

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      All photos by Bill Austin!

        WMAIA Tour at UMASS Amherst Design Building

        UMASS Design Building Mass Timber 1

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        UMASS Design Building Mass Timber 3


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        Several Austin Design staff members joined the Western Massachusetts AIA chapter for a tour of the brand-new UMASS Amherst Design Building on Friday, Feb. 3rd. The 87,200-sf mass timber building, one of the first of its kind in Massachusetts – indeed, among American universities overall – was designed by Leers Weinzapfel and opens this month. Thank you to ADi’s Timberly Hund for the superb photos!

          That’s Yuge – Aerial View of Tree House Brewery Charlton 1-22-2017

          tree house charlton aerial

          Tree House Brewing Co. Twitter account posting, Jan. 22, 2017, RT’d by partner Nate Lanier @TreeHouseNate, saluting co-owner Damien Goudreau @TreeHouseDamien.

            The Alchemist Generates Local-Centric Economic Ripples

            alchemist stowe visitors center

            A story by Caleigh Cross in the Stowe Reporter describes the wide-ranging benefits that can come from a local-centric commitment to your employees, your region, and your roots. Jen and John Kimmich of The Alchemist “walk the talk” at their new brewery and visitor’s center on Cottage Club Road in Stowe, Vermont, and the impact is spreading.

            When The Alchemist brewery opened last July in Stowe, it dropped a big red pin into online maps and GPSs, and beer voyagers began pointing their cars directly for Cottage Club Road. Its Heady Topper lures beer lovers the way the mountain woos skiers.

            Those beer lovers — on a busy day, up to 1,200, says Jen Kimmich, who co-owns the operation with her husband — are having a significant impact on the local economy, according to owners of businesses in the Alchemist’s splash zone.

              Portland, OR: Miller-Sealy Residence Sparkles in the Snow

              miller residence portland oregon

               The compound ringing the courtyard of Austin Design’s recently completed Miller-Sealy residence in Portland, Oregon, snugly shelters its occupants from last week’s big storm.

                Alchemist Awesomeness

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                From the Twitter account of proud owner John Kimmich, @alchemistbeer

                  A Tree House in the Charlton Woods


                  Tree House Brewing’s new facility is taking form, rising from the forested hillside in Charlton, MA. With the aid of a 12-ton crane, the primary steel frame is going up quickly on a clean, well-managed site just south of the Mass Turnpike, seen in this drone shot  from yesterday – November 1, 2016.

                    Getting Tree House Off the Ground in Charlton, MA






                    Progress photos from Tree House Brewing’s new facility, just getting out of the ground in Charlton, MA – taken in mid-October by Tom Chalmers. The access road is laid out and the foundation nearly complete. The concrete crew is pulling out this week and the primary steel frame begins to arrive onsite next week.