The building is steeped in history, so it was important that we kept as many original features and finishes as possible. Brick work was stripped back, original timber floors were stripped and polished and steel work kept on show. The existing warehouse doors were swapped for large glazed panels to flood the room with natural light. The concrete floor received a clear seal, and a reception/check-out counter was formed using reclaimed timber parts of the original conveyor machine belt from the warehouse. The check-out desk counter top is formed from Arkell’s beer caps inset in resin to give a lasting impression for customers as they make their purchases.
The shop was then brought up to date with industrial light fittings and shelving solutions. The shop also sells a vast assortment of spirits and wine so inbuilt into the shelving are tasting tables and a copper spittoon.
Upon entering the shop, you are met with impressive bottle chandeliers that hang from the first-floor ceiling above – as part of the works we cut an opening into the first floor to create a double height space with an industrial metal balustrade. The light from these give a welcoming glow through the new glazing.
Head up the stairs past a bespoke piece of artwork depicting the brewery process and you are met with an interactive screen and illuminated display cases showcasing the history of the brewery. Original portraits and artefacts line the walls and floors with the ceiling proudly displays a timeline of the brewery’s history.
The ingredients room to the side of this continues the interactive experience with tangible displays for the main ingredients of beer including a bespoke water feature which we created from Arkell’s beer barrels. This room also houses a meeting table built from the original coopers work bench which can be used for informal meetings and tasting sessions.
We kept, re-used and re-purposed as much brewery equipment as possible. Even existing factory lights were re-wired for use in the shop.
Overall the site has a perfect balance of originality, industrial finishes and bespoke quirks. It perfectly represents the unique personality of Arkell’s beer and emulates the warm and friendly welcome received in any of their pubs.
Recently Arkell’s Grape and Grain Brewery Shop has been shortlisted in the 2018 Local Authority Building Control Building Excellence Awards.