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A taproom is a way for a brewery to showcase its personality through precise design choices including the brewery’s location, theme and décor. Five breweries across Canada explained their design choices and the small details that make their taprooms unique.

Blood Brothers Brewing

Toronto, Ont.

Blood Brothers Brewing started in 2015 in an 800-square-foot unit located inside a larger industrial building, but by 2016 it had already outgrown the meagre space. The team knew that to make the brewery profitable, they would need to move.

Luckily, they found a post-industrial space in a century-old horse barn-turned-automotive-garage down the street. Pulling from their network of friends, and a shoestring budget, they hired Borien Studio for the buildout. Leaning into Blood Brothers Brewing’s request of cult, church and horror elements, Borien Studio built a bizarre yet gorgeous alter using brass, reclaimed materials and the Japanese technique of preserving wood through charring, called Shou Sugi Ban, to create a unique, grand space.

After a year or so, the Blood Brothers Brewing team added a large altarpiece of timber and brass behind the main bar, and a custom brass chandelier designed by friends and neighbours, Sixpenny Architectural Fabrication.

Submitted by Blood Brothers Brewing

Kilter Brewing Co.

Winnipeg, Man.

Kilter Brewing Co. creates tropical, exploratory beers. They wanted their taproom to reflect those elements in every possible way through the design.

Customers are welcomed into the taproom by lush greenery and a wide variety of seating and décor options that cater to different preferences.

Their space features cozy couches, papasan egg chairs that swing and floor-to-ceiling wallpaper with tropical plants and flamingos. Their bar is completely canopied with green vines, plants and string lights. The back of the taproom features mix-and-match coloured tables surrounded by barrels filled with different beers that have been aging for several years.

The presence of a large glass overhead door at the front of the taproom creates an open-air environment that allows for a seamless integration between the indoor and outdoor space.

Submitted by Kilter Brewing Co.

Container Brewing Ltd.

Vancouver, B.C.

Container Brewing Ltd., located in East Vancouver, opened on Nov. 22, 2019. Container is a brewery that blends passion for craft beer with a commitment to community and diversity.

It was built largely in part by its co-founders Terry Brown and Dan Webster. The design’s intention was to create a bright, minimalist space with a West Coast feel. Incorporating reclaimed wood from the demolition and overhaul of the building, along with indoor planters, helped to realize this vision.

Hand-built tables and benches give warmth to the space, which is made up of unique socializing opportunities through a “nook,” group seating, a bar top and built-in tables for smaller groups. Exposed brick and rafters help bring an old-time industrial feel to the space and connect the lounge experience with the production that takes place on the premises.

Throughout the lounge there are artifacts from the construction of the brewery, which include photographs of found objects and equipment, old bottles and office items left behind. Anything of interest or novelty was incorporated into the aesthetic.

Behind the bar is the sole literal nod to the name of the brewery. A corrugated cladding embodies a shipping container and serves as a magnetic menu board.

Submitted by Container Brewing Ltd.

Steam Whistle Brewing

Steam Whistle Brewing tasting room
Photo courtesy of Steam Whistle Brewing

Toronto, Ont.

Steam Whistle Brewing’s taproom creates a rustic feel that is authentic to the brand. The team used natural materials like wood to create a rustic and warm ambiance along with industrial elements like exposed beams, metal fixtures and concrete surfaces to reflect the idea of traditional brewing. They installed warm and ambient lighting to create a cozy atmosphere and showcase artwork of past beer cans along with memorabilia from the brand’s history.

Submitted by Steam Whistle Brewing.

Quidi Vidi Brewery Co.

St. John’s, N.L.

Quidi Vidi Brewery Co. was founded by Dave Fong in 1996. Before that, the brewery was a fish plant, a history which inspired the theme of its taproom.

Quidi Vidi Brewery sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and is a 15 minute boat ride away from cod fishing. Fresh cod caught by the brewery’s team are prepared and served in the taproom, which can seat 220 people and consists of three sections: the main and original taproom inside the brewery – which includes the main bar with 16 beers on tap – the upstairs patio and deck, and the seaside deck.

The upstairs patio and deck has a clear roof and is weather-proofed with heaters so customers can sit “outside” 365 days a year and overlook the water. The seaside deck is the brewery’s lower deck, which is at water level.

The light fixtures took some effort to source, but the ropes and hooks tie together the taproom’s connection to the sea.

Submitted by Quidi Vidi Brewery Co.

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