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Vermont Brewery Architecture: The Alchemist in Planning

Austin Design is working with John and Jen Kimmich of The Alchemist, to design their new brewery and retail outlet in Stowe, Vermont – just up the road from their headquarters in Waterbury. The award-winning makers of Heady Topper, Focal Banger, and The Crusher – to name a few of their justifiably lauded brews – made a decision late in the winter of 2014 to build a second facility, specifically designed to accommodate the multitude of beer fans seeking to score a few four-packs for themselves. The cannery in Waterbury, where all of their current offerings  are produced, was not set up to adequately handle the onslaught of demand generated by the wild success of their flagship brew Heady Topper. An American Double (or Imperial) IPA, this intensely flavorful and remarkably well-balanced hopped-up ale has been on top of the charts for awhile now, ranked by Beer Advocate as a perfect 100. This, in a nutshell, is what has precipitated the current state of affairs: a new location consciously (and conscientiously) created to give the people what they want, in the quintessential Alchemist style.

Alchemist Brewery Stowe original architectural concept front

Original exterior conceptual design, street side elevation. Coming soon: the updated look!

ADi staff Bill Austin, Peter Webster, and Aaron Cusimano are the primary design team working on this exciting brewery project, with able oversight by construction manager Mark D’Angelo. The second brewery will have a 9000 barrel annual capacity, the same as the existing brewery at 35 Crossroad in Waterbury. The planned structure will house production facilities for some of John Kimmich’s other styles, with the current cannery being devoted exclusively to supplying  Heady Topper. With a tasting room and retail front, the new operation will be set up intentionally for on-premise sales, with plenty of parking and inventory on hand. An outdoor patio with hop-laden arbors facing the grand mountain view to the southeast will welcome visitors  to the glassed-in, vaulted space, with views both outward and into the brewhouse and cannery, and space above for staff and storage on the mezzanine level. Per the Kimmich’s vision, the building itself is derived from a melding of the Vermont agricultural vernacular with the industrial/processing feel of a brewery. It’s the past and present pulled together: a re-envisioning of the state’s agronomic heritage brought forward into the modern-day. Clean, light-filled, honest, and welcoming, it will be evocative of the company, its people, and the amazing beer they make. The landscape will augment and complement the scene, with a hopyard, plots of barley, and a grove of cherry trees, the harvests of which are destined to become a part of future batches. We suspect it’s all going to work out quite nicely…

Alchemist Brewery Stowe original architectural concept back

Original exterior conceptual design, visitor’s entrance elevation. Coming soon: the updated look!

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