before and after

Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery

by Annie Werbler

Able Seedhouse + Brewery, started by “a few guys who decided at an early age that they wanted to make things together,” according to founder Casey Holley, is now open and crafting beer in the Logan Park neighborhood of the Northeast Arts District in Minneapolis, MN. “We hope to drive attention to our small grains grower and farmer network, and highlight upper midwest grains,” he adds.

The 10,000-square-foot operation is set in a 1915 building formerly used as a lightbulb manufacturing plant for General Electric, and later a service garage for the City of Minneapolis Public Schools where maintenance was performed on its fleet of vehicles. Yellow parking stripes on the concrete floor remain from that era. The historic space also offers high ceilings for vertical growth potential, a large production area, and proximity to a strong brewing community. To transform the factory into a proper taproom, Casey brought Hank Butitta on board to refine his vision for including local materials and manufacturers, and seeking out high-contrast opportunities with lighting. “We tried to focus on the beauty in the negative spaces,” Casey explains, “As well as creating thoughtful and impactful moments for our guests as they enter the space and engage with the product. Our goal, with our beer and our space, is to try to capture a time and a moment.”

The resulting design employs simple forms to frame existing original elements of the structure, while adding warmth and personality to the rough surfaces. Defining the material palette early on in the process inspired a cohesive design across individual zones. Casey remains grateful for the opportunity to see his dream carried out. “I’m thankful for the team that put it together, and getting to spend nine months of hard work together every day to capture an ethos,” he says. “I’m most thankful for that time.” —Annie

Photography by Brandon Werth and Ryan Lodermeier

Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
1/15
At the Able Seedhouse + Brewery in Minneapolis, a back bar area was built in the larger former factory space of shou sugi ban pine - a Japanese charring technique performed by Hank Butitta in his driveway before assembly in the taproom. The paint-washed teal chevron is a nod to the brewery's logo by Travis Olson of Acre.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
2/15
Artisan details fill the 10,000-square-foot multipurpose space, including custom concrete and spelted maple standing bar tops by Concrete Pig, and handmade tap handles from Solid Manufacturing Co.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
3/15
Owner Casey's two favorite seats at the end of the bar, where he gets a lot of work done. The 100-year-old Douglas-Fir wooden top was salvaged from a furniture manufacturer in Chicago. Parallel Series hand-blown glass lighting from Hennepin Made accents the tall ceiling height. "Making sure we could warm the space with light was at the forefront of the design guide in the taproom," Casey shares.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
4/15
All the fine custom wood pieces in the brewery were built by Hank Butitta, including the Douglas-Fir bar top, long wood LED Light, shou sugi ban back bar, long ash community tables and benches, patio benches, long bench seating, and tables.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
5/15
Hank's angular picnic table design utilizes materials found elsewhere in the material palette.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
6/15
All the concrete in the building slopes toward existing floor drains, so the brewery was able to save a huge amount of money by reusing those forms - typically a large expense for an upstart brewery.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
7/15
The long communal tables are made of 10-foot bookmatched slabs of American Ash.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
8/15
Smaller tables are made of the same salvaged Douglas-Fir as the bar top.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
9/15
A variety of seating options - high and low, communal and private - for all types of gatherings.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
10/15
The Pollard Brothers shop stools received a custom paint job.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
11/15
Hank also designed and fabricated the screen wall, which separates the taproom from the production area but maintains visibility into the brewhouse.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
12/15
There was formerly a large pit where the brewhouse sits today, where the city would service school buses above the pit with mechanics working below. The 20-barrel system comes from JVNW in Canby, OR.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
13/15
The building's main entrance received a new entryway and vestibule, with painted signage appropriate for the historical context.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
14/15
Hank also designed and fabricated the steel and teak cantilevered benches for the exterior patio area.
Before & After: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, on Design*Sponge
15/15
The glowing brewery entrance at night.

Suggested For You

Comments

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.