The Bench Brewery is a 2,026 square metre craft brewery facility at the base of the Niagara escarpment in Beamsville Ontario. The planning for the project involved acquiring municipal consent to sever and acquire a portion of neighbouring vineyards for hops production, rezoning of the school and neighbouring church properties to agricultural use and merging of the three parcels of land under one site plan agreement. The 50HL brew house production facility is housed in an economical 1,529 sq.m. pre-engineered steel building. Enhanced with additional horizontal siding and an abundance of high efficiency glazing. Glazing that provided both natural light and a visually connection between the brew floor and the unique agricultural landscape that the client was hoping the beer produced would embody. The production building was subdivided into two production styles, a climate-controlled barrel/ foeder cellar, and one of North America’s largest koelship lofts that exploits natural ventilation for spontaneous fermentation.
The production facility is an addition to the historic Maple Grove Public School. The renovated school building houses Bench’s hospitality and tasting room facilities. The modern aesthetic of the production building was used as a foil to accentuate the historic qualities of the masonry four room school house built in the early 1940’s. Though not a designated heritage building, we were always conscious to preserve the school’s exterior appearance and would argue it was enhanced through the project’s renovation process.