Surly Brewing Company

This multi-venue destination brewery grew out of a vision and hard-won legislative lobbying to change Minnesota law to allow breweries to have taprooms where beer could be served. So active was Surly in this movement that the bill became known as the Surly Bill. The result is a 37,150 SF multi-experience facility with a beer garden, beer hall, fine dining, and a private beer hall. The concept was inspired by touring similar facilities in the US and Austria where food that complimented the beer was also served and invited guests to extend their stay.

The urban brownfield site didn’t leave much room for the central kitchen needed to serve all venues. One central traffic aisle allows deliveries to flow from the loading dock through the central kitchen corridor to the storage areas; from the storage areas, food flows perpendicularly to the prep areas and then continues to the a la carte cooking areas. Servers pick up food in the service window for delivery to the beer hall or beer garden. An elevator connects the central kitchen to the second-floor event space and restaurant kitchen. We determined the space needed to prep and serve the food and used the balance of space for storage. The kitchen includes a smoker, a pizza oven, and a 40’ long a la carte cook line.

A 60’ long bar in the beer hall is one of four bars, and there are seven pouring stations – each with 20 taps all feeding from a 750 SF beer cooler. Surly fans can have their favorite Surly beers they enjoy at home as well as a number of brews available only at the taproom.

Equal attention was paid to the cleaning and preparing of glassware for the beer. Glass washing is segregated from dishwashing and an Electrochemical Activation (ECA) system, that turns water and salt into a detergent and sanitizer solution, allows the glassware to be washed and sanitized without the use of chemicals; as a final step in the process, the glassware is rinsed with filtered water just before serving the beer.

With a “brutalist” architectural design, the interior boasts exposed concrete, steel, and glass which fit the industrial area surrounding the brewery. Reclaimed wood from downed trees from a local tornado was used for tabletops, and the chairs were made from recycled plastic coke bottles. Views of the beer garden and brewhouse can be seen from the two-story beer hall.


Location: Minneapolis, MN
Opening Date: December 2014
Equipment Cost: $1,300,000
Peak Meal Volume: 1060-1125
Overall Project Size: 37,150 SF
Beer Hall: 300 SF
Beer Garden: 500 SF
Restaurant: 125-150 SF
Event Space: 135-175 SF


Foodservice Design

“frk has had the good fortune to with Rippe Associates for more than 20 years on many projects together. Our focus is the K-12 market and we have always appreciated the deep knowledge base, attention to detail, and extensive experience the team at Rippe Associate provides for educational design. We have also greatly valued the professional, yet personal approach, their designers take with our clients. When working with Rippe, we are always confident the project will be a success!”

Thomas C. Wollan, AIA, LEED AP

Partner at frk architects + engineers

“When it comes to dietary planning, Rippe is always first on my list when team building. They have a strong understanding of all the issues, are creative problem solvers, and are consistent with their execution.”

Daniel J. Rectenwald, AIA, ACHA, NCARB

Vice President, Principal at HGA

"The development of Elmhurst Hospital’s replacement campus was complex. The Rippe team supported our vision to transform healthcare foodservice. The result was exceptional reviews from our patients and staff, along with a facility that supported efficient operations."

David E. Reeves

Past President of the Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF)

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