Text description provided by the architects. On a 10 acre site adjacent to the French Broad River, New Belgium Brewing Company has integrated its first East Coast brewery into the vibrant culture of the River Arts District of Asheville, North Carolina. Rather than importing a foreign brand aesthetic, New Belgium and Perkins+Will looked to the qualities of the site and surrounding context to craft an authentic response.
The design for the brewery aims to create a "machine" for brewing beer and to celebrate the idea of craft by exposing functional elements of the brewing process. The brewery derives its industrial aesthetic from the site, which was home to several barns and warehouse structures. Materials from these structures were salvaged and repurposed as cladding and interior finishes. The site – a brownfield – was regenerated, revitalizing the river front and activating the site by providing pedestrian and bike access to the brewery. These and other sustainability initiatives contributed to the project tracking for LEED Gold Certification.
The brewery contains workplace/office environments that are vibrant, foster collaboration, and maximize openness and views to the river. In addition to the use of salvaged materials, the interior’s local character is achieved by supporting local artists and artisans. The interior represents a “blank canvas” for the interpretation of the New Belgium brand by the local community through commissioned pieces, and it will organically evolve as the brand is layered throughout the space over time. The result is a brewery that is sustainable, locally rooted, and representative of both New Belgium and the distinct culture of Asheville.