Beer, Booze, and the Beauty of Industrial Architecture

Many breweries like to keep things simple, doing minimal work to get the brewery looking nice. Taking advantage of the industrial “warehousey” feel of the buildings which house many breweries is crucial for many breweries. By using and accentuating exposed concrete, brick, piping, and dark muted colors, breweries can create a very modern and welcoming aesthetic. One such example of this is Capitan Central Brewery in Argentina.

Capitan Central Brewery in Argentina

Capitan Central Brewery in Argentina (Source: http://retaildesignblog.net/2015/12/16/breweries-capitan-central-brewery-by-guillermo-cacciavillani-cordoba-argentina-2/)

Not all industrial design in breweries tends to be as modern or colorful as the interior of Capitan Central Brewery. Magnolia Pub and Brewery in San Francisco, CA kept with the aesthetic of surrounding buildings, keeping the years of history in tact, while taking a fresh take on the drab concrete and creating a homey atmosphere. Magnolia uses wood paneling and tables to bring a very rustic, comfortable feel to the concrete buildings of the cannery district which houses the pub.

Magnolia Pub and Brewery in San Francisco, CA (Source: http://d5u7p1d7v7rwy.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ol49ydtXXM977nSufSrYjMj5BqNLjez7F96mvaEYZ80Bk9jsNg7Zy-RwTaI-ijcTbkxGj933DHzbFAUI42tw0c.jpg)

Magnolia Pub and Brewery in San Francisco, CA (Source: http://d5u7p1d7v7rwy.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ol49ydtXXM977nSufSrYjMj5BqNLjez7F96mvaEYZ80Bk9jsNg7Zy-RwTaI-ijcTbkxGj933DHzbFAUI42tw0c.jpg)

Breweries produce thousands upon thousands of bottles, kegs, barrels, and cans of beer every year. However, much of this material tends to end up in landfills or recycling centers after its primary purpose (holding beer) has been served. But, recently, breweries have begun to reuse these emptied containers to decorate or build furniture; not only helping to preserve the environment, but creating an aesthetic that is unique and fits perfectly within the industrial style design that many breweries have.

New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins, CO embodies this idea of environmentally friendly brewing. They run completely off of green energy and try to save the environment however they can. If you visit the brewery, you’ll find many pieces of artwork built using old beer cans or bottles.

Chandelier made out of beer cans at New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, CO (Source: http://hookedonhops.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/20130329-160542.jpg)

Chandelier made out of beer cans at New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, CO (Source: http://hookedonhops.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/20130329-160542.jpg)

While New Belgium’s chandelier doesn’t necessarily serve much purpose outside of its own beauty, many smaller breweries are taking advantage of the waste products of their business to decorate their breweries. This brewery uses light bulbs inside of beer bottles to create a unique and beautiful rustic and industrial light fixture. The exposed wood and metal on the light fixture compliment the exposed brick and keep with the industrial aesthetic.

Beer bottle light fixture (Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/18/7d/c9/187dc9725f0665de2400cf2b02a54c71.jpg)

Beer bottle light fixture (Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/18/7d/c9/187dc9725f0665de2400cf2b02a54c71.jpg)

Hillcrest Brewery¬† in San Diego, CA advertises itself as “The World’s First Gay Brewery”. In addition, to being LGBT friendly, they also prove that not everything made from upcycled beer bottles needs to look “industrial” as can be seen in the picture below.

Figure 2: A chandelier at Hillcrest Brewing Company built using upcycled bottles.

A chandelier at Hillcrest Brewing Company built using upcycled bottles (Source: http://www.gaytravelherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Gay-Travel-Herald-hillcrest-Brewing-Company-San-Diego-Chandelier-beer-bottles.jpg)

Companies have even begun cashing in on this trend of using upcycled materials like beer bottles to decorate industrial and rustic interiors. This fixture, created by Zal Creations, has all the makings of the perfect industrial, upcycled, light fixture. The iron pipes and the “Edison” light bulbs look right at home against an exposed brick backdrop.

Beer bottle light fixture by Zal Creations (Source: http://www.trendir.com/archives/2015/10/09/edison-light-ideas-beer-bottle-sconce-zal.jpg)

Beer bottle light fixture by Zal Creations (Source: http://www.trendir.com/archives/2015/10/09/edison-light-ideas-beer-bottle-sconce-zal.jpg)

This industrial aesthetic can be enhanced by using upcycled materials, a concept which has been embraced by breweries around the world and will hopefully catch on with other businesses to reuse the materials we already have on this planet.

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2 Comments. Leave new

Nice look Roshan! I love this interior aesthetic, it’s becoming more and more popular in modern stylings, especially in restaurants. I had never thought of it in specifically a brewery context, but you’re right, almost every one I’ve been to has some element of industrial architecture. It’s really interesting too the type of variety you can get while using seemingly similar materials; I’ve been to one that uses old whiskey casks and makes them into chairs (using a lot of supplemental comfy material, obviously). One final thought, just a personal experience. I just finished making a lamp for my mom’s birthday that looks really similar to your last picture by Zal creations; making things in this industrial style looks cool, sure, but is also super easy actually. The parts already come “made to assemble” – a lot of these materials are sort of like legos used for different applications.

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Joseph Yoshimura
January 24, 2016 12:01 am

When I first read the title of your blog, I was not expecting to be so wowed by the content of the post! The ways that these alcoholic beverage containers have been used are mind blowing and I love how you showed so many different types from beer bottles to wine glasses. Are you considering doing something like this for your upcycle project? It seems like there are a great deal of upcycled light fixtures. It would be interesting to include other types of uses for these beverage containers! (if there are any)

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