Online Exclusive - Dryhop Brewers, ChicagoJun 26, 2013
With everything brewed in house, the brewing process defines the layout. A custom steel glass partition showcases the brewing room as well as the wood-paneled fermentation room. “It’s about as fresh as you can get,” says Perkins. The bright tanks behind the bar hold the final product—which is served directly from the taps.
Brewing lessons carry into the restrooms. “The wallpaper was a fun process,” comments Perkins. Using vintage documents provided by the owner, the designers created a custom covering depicting the original brewing process, as well as wood working drawings.
To complement the display of brewery equipment, the owner wanted to reference his father’s woodshop. “He wanted that feeling of relaxing comfort⎯⎯primarily a communal sense,” Perkins says. But with only 3,000 square feet of space to work with, the challenge was maximizing seating for a vast demographic. “There’s a neighborhood [dinner and lunch] environment, but we also wanted to account for the late night bar,” explains Perkins.
For a modern appeal, the exposed ceiling reveals a semi-domed space lined with pipes and concrete. “It looks almost like exposed beams, only made of concrete,” says Perkins. “It has a raw, rough nature but with polished elements.” Exposed Edison bulbs hang above the bar, illuminating a pop of red-tiled wall behind the beer tanks. “We drew a little bit from the industrial, which goes with the craftsman vibe,” says Perkins.
A red and gray plaid banquette plays into the red behind the bar and “allows the bright tanks to sing,” comments Perkins. “It’s a little more masculine but with polish.”
As for the 50-foot long bar topped with a live-edge slab sourced from one lightning-struck white oak tree, Perkins says she wanted it to look like a stack of lumber sitting in a workshop. “There are no seams, so it looks like a continuous, huge piece of lumber,” she says. Meanwhile, tables with white oak butcher-block tops and cold-welded steel bases mimic modern sawhorses.
“As a designer you can visualize these things, but it takes the collaboration that makes it come to life,” says Perkins. “It turned out beyond what I had imagined.”