Wild Beer Co was established in 2012 with the aim of challenging people’s expectations of what beer can or should be. It has since grown into one of the largest producers of craft beer in the UK, through a steadfast commitment to excellence and a creative approach to brewing, fermenting and flavour. Following the establishment of restaurant bars in Bristol and Cheltenham, Wild Beer Co began the search for a site to house a new custom built destination brewery and headquarters.
Connolly Wellingham have been appointed to develop concepts for the 1,000m2 brewery visitor centre which is set to include a bar, restaurant, shop, tasting rooms, offices and external gardens.
The visitor centre is conceived in the tradition of Somerset’s vernacular farmsteads; a collection of structures grouped together to describe a central yard of activity, from which all aspects of farm life flow forth and return. Architecturally the wider industrial structure of the brewery is treated as a ‘found space’, inhabited with smaller pockets of enclosure and establishing a loose complex of more intimately proportioned interiors. The arrangement manifests itself as a timber plinth surmounted by a collection of lightweight translucent pavilions. The materials and details are agricultural in their simplicity; economic, flexible and accommodating to growth and adaptation.
A covered garden sits beneath an over-sailing roofline mediating the threshold between the industrial brewery and it’s rural landscape. The garden is arranged informally around a central stove and hearth, creating a space to linger and enjoy a glass of beer with friends, whilst watching the sun descend beyond the Somerset levels.
Planning permission was granted in Autumn 2017 with construction due to commence in 2018.