If there’s a trend criss-crossing the country, it’s the growing popularity and ubiquity of craft breweries. Nearly 1,000 new breweries opened in 2017 and the numbers for 2018 have remained steady. Friede & Associates joined the party in 2018 with the construction of the new, 26,000-square-foot Vintage Brewing Company Sauk Prairie that opened in January 2018.
The Vintage Brewing Company joins two other locations in Madison, Wisconsin and is one of the latest additions to the state’s growing craft beer scene.
The facility features panoramic views of the Wisconsin River, 40 tap lines in the main bar, and a posh 250-seat wedding and banquet facility. Plus, it’s expected to “pave the way for a hotel, bring more business to the village’s downtown, and draw customers from Madison, Wisconsin Dells, and nearby Devil’s Lake State Park, which drew nearly 3 million visitors last year,” noted the Wisconsin State Journal.
The heart of the operation is a 30-barrel brewhouse in the facility’s basement, capable of producing 8,000 barrels of beer a year. This tops the 2,000 barrels being produced at the Vintage Brewing Co. location on Whitney Way in Madison, Wisconsin. And the beer will keep flowing as their newest restaurant and taproom called Tangent just opened in East Madison.
For Friede & Associates, the Sauk City construction project was a 13-month commitment that began in November 2016 and was completed at the end of December 2017, at a contracted cost of $5.4 million. The project would go on to win a 2018 Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin Projects of Distinction Gold Award in the $2-10 Million Commercial Category.
Every Type of Construction — and Then Some
The new brewery and associated facilities involved nearly every type of construction, including 16-foot poured concrete walls in the basement and a pre-cast floor system, structural steel framing for the upper two levels, exposed wood floor trusses, panelized wall framing, masonry elevator shafts, and stairwells and EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finishing System) and metal building exterior skin.
The Friede project team spent much of the Summer of 2016 working to develop an overall design for the building that would not only create a pre-cast “vault” on the lower level for the brewery operations, but also create an overall look and feel for the upper levels of a structure that would fit in character with the older buildings in the area. Ultimately, the design centered on creating a structure that would resemble an older multi-story warehouse, complete with extensive masonry and glass.
As the project grew in scope, the project team also spent hundreds of hours value engineering the structure and all the finishes to find products that captured the aesthetics Vintage owners were seeking, all while meeting the project budget and schedule. Our team selected a structural system that would allow crews to install panelized wall sections that had been constructed off-site, that would then be covered by faux brickwork as part of the EIFS installation.
Planning Includes Special Roofing Construction and Energy Considerations
Breweries are unique commercial businesses. For the Friede team, that meant careful planning and execution of the installation of the brewery tanks and equipment. Coordination among the project team members determined that the large brewery tanks would need to be installed through the roof structure by cranes because of their size and final location. Planning for future tank installation and potential removal also required creating sections of the roof that could be shifted later should that be necessary.
We also introduced opportunities for energy efficiency and the overall performance of the building for the owners. Vintage Brewing Co. received an energy efficiency excellence award from Focus on Energy for their custom refrigeration system for the brewery, as well as incentives for its kitchen ventilation control system. Looking to the future, the building was also designed for possible installation of solar panels on the rooftop should the owners ever choose to do so.
Outside, we constructed an outdoor beer garden and expansive decks, taking advantage of the proximity and charm of the Wisconsin River.
A Brewery That’s a Boon to the Region
Construction of the Vintage Brewing Co. facility was a highlight of the year at Friede & Associates. For Sauk City and the entire region, it’s also a boon for the local economy. It’s yet another tourist attraction for Wisconsin, too, where craft brewing has become a statewide trend. Careful planning and expert construction created a spectacular brewery that will serve the community well for years to come.