Otter Creek Brewery
The Otter Creek Brewing Tasting Room in Middlebury, Vermont, was the first commercial job Imhotep took on as a design and build company. They asked us to design a tasting room that reflected their funky, dynamic brand, and showed off part of their process. In many ways, this job served as a learning experience, and helped steer our company towards the path we’re on now. We quickly realized that to design the most impactful space for our client, we needed to completely understand the story that they wanted to tell. Otter Creek’s talented brewers are proud of the work they do, and we wanted to design a space where their passion could be clearly seen.
Above the bar, we created a dynamic structure from maple wood, that we stained black. It serves a dual purpose of defining the bar space to make it the focus of the room, and while hiding the sound panels that offset the space’s loud acoustics. The custom light fixtures that Conant Metal & Light designed to look like hop cones are a unique touch that references the hop-focused beers that Otter Creek brews. The tables are custom made to accommodate large groups that visit the space during beer tours, or just for a good time with family and friends. The most unique feature of the room is the large expanse of windows that look onto the brewing process. Having a beer at the bar becomes a richer experience for visitors as they’re able to observe the creative process that goes into producing their beer.
Rather than letting it go to waste, we used scrap wood from all the other custom elements in the bar and repurposed them into an elbow bar that maximized seating in the space. Not only were we able to create an interesting pattern, but also adhere to Otter Creek’s commitment to sustainability. The resulting mix of oak, maple, and walnut woods add much-needed warmth to the space, and its application to the wall protects it where visitors are sitting against the bar.
Otter Creek had a strong identity and an interesting narrative that guides the work they do. Our design successfully translated that story so they can share that passion with their customers. This concept of communicating a brand’s identity through a physical space has become the core of what we do and how we work, and we’ve enjoyed enriching the community in this way. ∆