Across the centuries, beer has been a consistent presence in any number of human civilizations. And beer has been brewed in all sorts of locations from bakeries to monasteries to taverns to homes. Its popularity often rivaled wine, and the innovations of the industrial age meant that it has been brewed on massive scales for the last couple of centuries. More recently, the popularity of craft brews has led brewing back into the local pub, and even back into the home.
The Brewers Association reports that over 7,000 craft breweries opened in 2018, a list that includes both microbreweries and pubs. And the industry anticipates that 2019 will be another banner year, predicting the industry will grow by 5.7% with revenue that will top $7 billion. It’s a lucrative industry to get into, and if some enthusiasts or companies are looking to get in or expand their business, then they’ll need the help of some well-experienced contractors to get their breweries started.
An experienced brewery builder will have experience with tank sizes, know the importance of storage temperatures, and be able to scale those variables for the space available. We took a look across the country, and these top 25 commercial firms were chosen and ranked for their familiarity with the brewery and restaurant industry, and their ability to meet the challenges related to working on such projects.
Dave Grundfest Company
1221 Westpark Dr., Little Rock, AR 72204
Dave Grundfest Company has been hailed as one of the top construction firms in Arkansas. Its founder, Dave Grundfest III, was ranked one of the top 40 under 40 business leaders by Arkansas Business back in 2000. The firm has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry.
It is committed to nurturing good working relationships with its clients and prioritizes high-performance standards. Dave Grundfest Company is experienced in the construction of various industry structures, including multi-family residential buildings. The firm also likes to build restaurants, including a Little Rock brewery called the Lost Forty Brewing, which is known for its beer selection and ambiance.
Peter Schwabe, Inc.
13890 Bishops Dr. Suite #100, Brookfield, WI 53005
For nearly 100 years, Wisconsin-based Peter Schwabe, Inc has gone above and beyond as a firm that operates on a national level. Its process starts with in-depth planning and estimation, then each project proceeds with maximum efficiency with a priority for safety and quality.
This emphasis on process has resulted in the firm becoming a company that’s trusted by big-name brands to construct multiple franchises across the nation. The firm has also done work on independent restaurants such as the Granite City Food & Brewery in Northbrook. This project featured a highly detailed dining area with a bar and outdoor seating.
Buchanan Construction Services
2800 William H. Tuller Dr., Columbia, SC 29205
Buchanan Construction Services puts great effort into making sure that they’re the best contractor for each job they take on. The firm cites its diligence in keeping up with deadlines, being transparent, and work dedication. Founder and president, Davis Buchanan is involved in all levels of commercial construction and constantly pushes his team to strive for quality performance.
The firm has serviced clients from a number of different sectors, including industrial, healthcare, non-profit, and entertainment. One notable project featured the revitalization of a historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar. The structure was completely abandoned and covered in foliage. Working closely with the owners, the firm transformed the place into a brand new brewery, complete with a small kitchen and a rooftop viewing area.
Pat Munger Construction
750 E Main St. Suite #001, Branford, CT 06405
Pat Munger Construction puts a value on being as cooperative as possible with the people it works with to provide a great product for all of its projects. The firm is a turnkey general contractor for commercial structures and has shown an inclination for sustainable building through its LEED accredited professionals. The development of the firm’s reputation started back in 1968 when it was established by Phillip Munger. Decades later, the firm has expanded its operations, established a solar division, and has kept itself up-to-date with the latest technology for construction and design.
Pat Munger Construction has been involved in the construction of numerous facilities. One notable project located in the Branford River waterfront is the Stony Creek Brewery. The 34,000 square foot brew house was built from the ground up in less than ten months, all while overcoming environmental hazards. The result is a two-story brewery with a beautiful river view that can service 5,000 customers a week.
6511 S Rocky River Rd., Monroe, NC 28112
AMS Contractors is a firm that specializes in financial and commercial projects and serves the states of Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The firm has worked on countless franchises that needed either a full construction or a minor fit up, leading to major brands becoming repeat clients. AMS Contractors is led by Ben and Sharon Hager, who founded the firm in 1992.
The firm was responsible for the construction of the Sweet Union Brewing Company, a brewhouse that presented numerous challenges and a limited budget. However, AMS Contractors overcame those challenges with their expertise, and the end result is a welcoming pub.
32 Market Ave. SW Suite #200, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Orion Built is a general contractor with a big heart that focuses on creating a positive impact on every project it undertakes. Founded in 2000, the firm slowly grew into one of West Michigan’s premiere commercial firms. It offers construction, real estate solutions, and general contracting services, and can even implement eco-friendly, sustainable building solutions that are LEED certified.
As for real estate solutions, Orion Construction provides its clients with resources that promote minimal risk and maximum viability for any project. In 2015, Orion Built worked on the construction of a brewery called the Cedar Springs Brewing Company. The 8,000 square foot brew house featured a commercial grade kitchen, a 15-barrel brewing system, and a unique brick aesthetic.
South Coast Improvement
13 Marconi Ln., Marion, MA 02738
Tom Quinland had been in the construction industry for a long time, working as a laborer during his college years and building his reputation and career from there. After a decade of renovating historic brownstones and managing projects for Harvard, he formed South Coast Improvement in 1998.
South Coast Improvement soon made a name for itself as a dependable construction and renovation company in Pennsylvania. It has gained a reputation as a leader in senior living and health care construction. It’s also adept with commercial establishments and other project types. It turned an abandoned 4,300 square foot property into a place of social revelry. South Coast Improvement was responsible for the construction of Moby Dick Brewing Company in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The firm conducted considerable work on the building, including the removal of hazardous materials, plumbing, and new utility hookups. The novel-inspired pub features bistro and bare areas and can seat 100 customers. The result is a beautiful pub and restaurant that seats up to 100 customers, serving drinks that are inspired by the American epic.
1100 Pinnacle St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
As one of Arizona’s leading contractors in the construction industry, Loven Contracting has proven itself to be capable of a range of complex projects. The firm offers all sorts of construction and management services, each delivered with the highest quality.
The firm has maintained this level of service since its founding in 1983 thanks to its founder, Mike Loven. Loven makes an effort to be hands-on with his firm and his clients, as he intends to inspire a culture of quality for his team. Loven Contracting was trusted with the renovation of an 1890 historic lumberyard building and turning it into the Lumberyard Brewery Taproom and Grille. The building was extensively remodeled, and Loven turned the once vacant masonry site into a popular Flagstaff brewhouse restaurant.
1840 S Walnut Ave., Freeport, IL 61032
Winter Construction is one of the largest General Contractors in Northwest Illinois. The firm has operated for over 60 years and has an annual revenue of over $10 million. Its team of experts has worked on multiple project types over the years, repeatedly demonstrating its commitment to providing excellence. One of its projects is the Generations Brewing Company, an 8,300 square goof facility in which the firm was in charge of providing a fast track design-build service.
Winter Construction has been recognized for its excellence by Star Building Systems, who honored the firm with an Outstanding Builder Award and a Western Region Master Builder recognition. The firm was also given an award for Excellence in Architecture by the NAIA Northern Illinois Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture.
8526 Vidor Ave., San Antonio, TX 78216
Guido Construction is an award-winning firm that has won recognition for construction excellence and safety. The firm had its start in 1927 and has been guided through the decades by four generations of the Guido family. Its goal has always been to provide quality construction services through superior value, cost savings, and strong relationships with its clients and workers.
It’s worked on projects in multiple industries such as religious buildings, institutions, and offices. The firm has been involved in the construction of three Texan breweries, the Alamo Beer Brewery and the Pearl Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery in San Antonio, and Altstadt Brewery in Fredericksburg. Alamo Beer Brewery featured a production facility with a solar paneled roof design and a beer garden, while Pearl Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery and Altstadt Brewery were built as entertainment venues. In addition to this, Altstadt Brewery won two gold medals for the Best 2018 Brewery from the American Brewers Association.
4600 E 53rd St., Davenport, IA 52807
Jim Russell started his construction firm with only two employees and $10k. Fast forward 36 years later, and that small firm grew into a success with over $180 million in annual sales and over 150 professionals on its payroll.
Russell Construction has operated with professionalism and integrity while working on high-value projects. The firm is committed to excellence and safety, with its Director of Safety winning an award. The Davenport-based firm has worked on numerous large-scale projects such as institutions and residential buildings. When it comes to breweries, the firm has worked on an expansion of Backpocket Brewing, increasing its capacity and production. The project uses innovative eco-friendly designs that reduce carbon consumption and other waste products.
88 Technology Park Way, Suite 2, South Burlington VT 05403
Founded in 2003, ReArch Company, Inc. is the fastest-growing construction management firm in Vermont. The company provides clients a comprehensive suite of services, including development, construction, and property management. The firm aims to foster meaningful relationships with clients by taking a hands-on approach to every project—ReArch gets involved in the earliest design phase to ensure that the most cost-effective and efficient end-product is delivered upon completion.
The driving force behind this hands-on approach is founder John Illick, former Chairman of the Vermont Community Development Board and Middlebury Planning Commission. He leads a team of skilled project managers that hold various industry certifications, including OSHA certification to ensure the safety of their employees, clients, and everyone else they are working with on-site.
ReArch touts a vast portfolio featuring work across all industries, from healthcare projects such as medical renovations and industrial construction to news studios and educational facilities such as K-12 schools and universities. It also has projects in the food and service industry, working on restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries among others. One example is the renovation of the Switchback Brewing Company, which ReArch completed on time and with strict adherence to the project budget. The end result was a desirable and well-built community entertainment venue for music and beer enthusiasts alike.
517 Hagan St., Nashville, TN 37203
For over 30 years, Lee Carter built his reputation in the construction industry by learning the tricks of the trade through hands-on experience. In 2004, Carter founded Carter Group in Nashville, where his knowledge and connections in the industry helped it become one of Tennessee’s most respected firms. Some of the firm’s affairs are managed by McGriff Irby, who has over 25 years in the construction industry. Carter Group provides general contracting, design-build, and construction management services, and has completed commercial and residential projects. The firm also promotes sustainable building and is committed to minimizing waste and prioritizing energy-efficient construction.
This firm is responsible for Jack Daniel’s Barrel House in Tennessee. The firm has also worked on a Fat Bottom Brewing, an industrial taproom that serves beer and comfort food.
REDCOM Design & Construction
433 North Ave., East Westfield, NJ 07090
REDCOM Design & Construction is a second-generation general contracting company that was established in 1982. Leading REDCOM is Gregory J. Redington, who became president of the firm in 1997. Thanks to his leadership, the company has seen extensive growth through the years, and the firm was granted a Future 50 award by SmartCEO Magazine as a result. REDCOM takes the time to find creative and cost-effective designs for a variety of project types, including automotive dealerships, industrial facilities and institutions.
REDCOM Design & Construction was hired for Carton Brewing, a brewery that was ranked among the top breweries in New Jersey by NJ Monthly. REDCOM’s excellent architectural design and construction services came into play, and the result is a 2-story brewhouse with a tasting room.
Landau Building Company
9855 Rinaman Rd., Wexford, PA 15090
Landau Building Company is one of Western Pennsylvania’s premier general contracting firms and is a fifth-generation family-owned company that has been in business for over a century. Over the years, Landau has received multiple building excellence awards from the Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania for interior craftsmanship, renovation construction, and new construction.
Landau served as the construction manager for the popular New York-based microbrewery, Southern Tier Brewing Company’s first satellite location in Pittsburgh, PA. The new brewpub features rustic design elements, such as whiskey barrels and aged wood, which won an interior craftsmanship award in 2018. The project was completed in two phases. The first 6,300 SF phase completed the interior bar, restaurant, and brewing areas that opened to public while the second phase finished the 8,500 SF outdoor beer garden. Pittsburgh eagerly anticipated the brewpub’s arrival, making it a popular spot on the Pittsburgh North Shore.
Richard & Richard
234 Venture St. Suite #100, San Marcos, CA 92078
Richard & Richard Construction is a construction firm whose strengths lie in its ability to form good client partnerships, make efficient use of modern technologies, and its adaptability. What the firm wants isn’t just a project that’s functional, it wants to build something that reflects its client’s ideals. Its passion for construction has given the firm experience in a variety of projects including restaurants, tenant improvements, residential ground-ups, and retail. The firm’s familiarity with breweries has seen its involvement with the construction of several Californian breweries.
Richard & Richard worked with Hauck Architecture to build North Park Brewing Co. for the award-winning home brewer, Kelsey McNair. This 8,000 square foot project features a tasting room and a basement. The firm installed several fermenters and serving tanks in the brewhouse.
5200 Grantswood Rd., Irondale, AL 35210
Founded in 1930, Rives Construction Company (Rives) is a privately held, full-service commercial construction firm that seamlessly manages one or all stages of the custom-building process before, during, and after each project is complete.
Rives’ award-winning approach is built on strong client relationships, integrity and a high standard of excellence. The company’s work has garnered significant recognition, including the 2018 General Contractor of the Year award from the Alabama Chapter of the American Subcontractors Association as well as multiple accolades from the Alabama Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors.
Rives has completed projects throughout the United States, including in the Southeast, Midwest and Rocky Mountain region. The firm’s work is customized to the specific construction goals and operational needs of clients in industries including, but not limited to, automotive, commercial, financial services, healthcare and industrial.
In this feature, we recognize the firm’s leadership and experience in building breweries, namely Birmingham District Brewing Company and Cahaba Brewery – two of Birmingham, Alabama’s top social destinations. The success of these projects reflects the company’s understanding of how to build spaces that perfectly balance functionality and aesthetics, creating a community-centered environment for residents of all ages.
10 Harvey Rd., Bedford, NH 03110
As one of New Hampshire’s oldest construction firms, Harvey Construction Company has exceeded expectations and repeatedly surpassed its own reputation to become one of New England’s most awarded contractors. Since its founding in 1939, Harvey Construction has amassed goodwill and trust from its clients, which in turn gave the firm a long-lasting relationship with Anheuser Busch in Merrimack.
That experience would later give the firm the experience to work with another brewer, The Smuttynose Brewing Company. Harvey Construction was contracted by Sustainable Ales to turn a 14-acre farm site into a low-impact brewery, with a special focus on sustainability and the preservation of the site’s surrounding environment. The care put into the project was so great it became the second brewery in the nation to be certified as LEED Gold. The firm was also awarded an Environmental Project Award from the Associated General Contractors of New Hampshire for building excellence.
Neagley & Chase
66 Bowdoin St. Suite #100, South Burlington, VT 05403
Since Neagley & Chase Construction Company’s founding over 35 years ago, the company has grown significantly in both depth and experience. Their team of experienced construction professionals, with quality and integrity always in mind, develop long-term personal and business relationships with their clients, making even the most demanding projects an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Neagley & Chase works in a region with some of the most innovative food and beverage producers in the country. Their team leverages deep expertise in food and beverage processing to build hardworking, energy-efficient facilities that maximize production efficiencies. One of their recently completed brewery projects is located at the world-famous Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Von Trapp Brewing produces an array of year-round and seasonal lagers, with a capacity of up to 50,000 barrels of beer annually. Adjacent to the sustainable brewery space, Neagley & Chase also constructed the beautiful timber-framed von Trapp Brewing Bierhall Restaurant pictured above.
6712 N Cutter Cir., Portland, OR 97217
For 60 years, this Oregon-based company has provided excellent customer service and built good relationships with its clients, and it’s become one of the state’s most trustworthy firms. Andersen Construction was founded by a man who took it upon himself to build its reputation from the ground up. Its goal was to become the ‘Builder of Choice’ for anyone looking for a construction firm it could depend on.
Today, Anderson Construction is managed by the founder’s son, David Anderson, who continues to maintain the company’s quality. You can see all of this in the firm’s expansive portfolio. One project, the 10 Barrel Brewing Company, was a 6,200 square foot remodeling job that called for new ceilings, support sandblasting, and a custom built hostess desk. For its continued dedication to quality, the firm has earned numerous awards from the industry, including National Awards and Excellence Awards for its work on several notable projects.
2101 Washington Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21230
Plano-Coudon Construction was founded with the goal of becoming the contractor of choice for any potential client. Plano Coudon Construction has completed a wide variety of projects, and each project has sharpened the firm’s skills and helped it improve over time. Handling the firm’s affairs are Ryan Coudon and Brett Plano, two men with a background in leadership and the construction industry. Together, they’ve guided the firm to greater heights, earning awards from the American Institute of Architects and the Baltimore Business Journal for their excellence and growth.
Perhaps its most notable work is the Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House. This 70,000 square foot project consisted of renovating two existing buildings to create two custom brewhouses. The expansive work featured multiple bars, a tasting room, a restaurant, and even a gift shop for visitors and guests. The project was envisioned as a landmark property and a place for Guinness fans to hang out, and it has exceeded expectations in every way.
3528 Precision Dr. Suite #100, Fort Collins, CO 80528
Though Brinkman Construction has a diverse portfolio full of projects from multiple industries, it’s interesting to note that the firm has completed quite a number of breweries in Colorado. These breweries feature designs that are quite distinct from one another, proving the firm’s flexibility. Take for instance the Tivoli Brewing Company. Brinkman Construction revitalized the 150-year old structure, and the result is a beautiful brewhouse tap that’s visited by both consumers looking to have a beer and interested enthusiasts looking to study the brewing process.
The firm itself has been providing its services since 2005. Its success can be attributed to the relationships it has built with its clients, and many have come back to the firm for new projects. Brinkman Construction strives to be innovative and adapt to new challenges that will help them accomplish more in the future. With such determination and distinction, the firm has been recognized as one of the best companies in terms of projects, growth, and safety. Outside of work, Brinkman Construction gives back to the community, participating in nonprofit organizations and events.
12 Price Ave., Erlanger, KY 41018
In recent years, the Northern Kentucky Chamber and the Cincinnati Business Courier has recognized Furlong Building as one of the fastest growing companies in the state. The firm was also honored as a Tri-State Success Award winner by Cincy Magazine for its growth and development.
As for the firm itself, Furlong Building has been in business since 2010, providing design and construction services with the utmost efficiency. The company can provide 3D rendering, schematic modeling, and even project programming for any of its clients’ needs. Furlong is extremely experienced in the food and entertainment projects and has come to be known as Cincinnati’s brewer builder. One of the six breweries it’s completed is the Rhinegeist Brewery, which features a simple design and a huge open space to accommodate good times. In regards to recent projects, the firm built a Samuel Adams Cincinnati Tap Room that Cincinnati Magazine featured in its pages.
691 Parsons Ave., Columbus, OH 43206
Compton Construction started out as a small residential construction company that worked mostly on rough framing homes. Thanks to the hard work of the Compton family, the firm overcame a number of trials. Even when the company temporarily closed in 1994, the founder’s sons, Blake and Harold Jr., continued its legacy through a revival. Their leadership has resulted in Compton Construction being ranked #10 on Columbus Business First’s Fast 50 list. The firm has also won an award for Corporate Caring and a Spark Award from the Better Business Bureau.
Compton Construction provides quality service via thorough client coordination. The firm works to keep open communication between the client and the firm’s expert craftsmen to ensure that the outcome of the project is satisfactory. Alongside its assortment of commercial restaurants and residential condos, the firm has also worked on a mid-sized brewing company. One building was renovated in its entirety, using reclaimed materials to give the building a unique feel for a drinking establishment.
R & H Construction
2019 NW Wilson St., Portland, OR 97209
Here’s a toast to R & H Construction for being one of Oregon’s most accomplished commercial firms around. R & H Construction has made waves all over the state and has been featured in publications like Oregon Business Magazine. It’s also won numerous awards and honors for excellence, health, safety, and sustainable building. Behind its success is a reputation established through a history of steady growth since the firm’s founding in 1979. Its team of professionals has been involved in industries which include retail, housing, commercial, institutional, and religious projects. Many of these projects have been certified LEED Platinum for sustainable building.
R & H Construction is especially experienced with breweries and wineries, and each structure sports different styles and architecture. A popular example of their work is the Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House. The property itself used to be an auto body shop and was listed as a historic site. Up for the challenge, R & H Construction refurbished the place and reconstructed the hostess stands, bars, and dining cubes with old timber, all while maintaining the integrity of this historic property.