Sustainable Design and Build Strategies for Craft Brewers

Craft brewers are an innovative and rapidly expanding segment of the greater brewing industry; therefore, it is no surprise that creative strategies and solutions for designing, building, and commissioning facilities are gaining greater attention.

Many things need to be taken into consideration when planning a new brewery or brewpub, or when expanding or renovating an existing operation. One topic that moves to the top of any checklist is how to construct a building that not only serves your business objectives, but is also constructed and operated in the most affordable and sustainable manner possible.

Sustainable Design and Build Strategies for Craft Brewers outlines important considerations both for brewers who are just beginning and need some guidance on how to design a sustainable building for their operations, and for brewers and pub owners who are looking to enhance, expand, or renovate their operations and wish to incorporate green building elements into their designs.

The Manual

Design and Build Toolkit

Design and Build Manual (6M file)


Basic Site Selection

Detailed Site Selection

This manual has been organized to share sustainable design and build considerations in the craft brewing segment with a wide range of potential users. Brewers will find big-picture considerations relevant to selecting the right site to process-level considerations to minimize water, energy, and waste on a daily basis. The manual can be utilized from start to finish, or brewers may choose to focus on particular sections. The manual is organized into five sections:

  1. Site Selection & Characteristics: Successful site selection projects result in the identification of a location with the optimal balance of brewer and/or pub owner-specific operating costs, business conditions, infrastructure, and risk.
  2. Major Utilities: The type of utility service, capacity, and potential for future growth will need to be determined and incorporated as early as possible within decision-making processes, including site selection.
  3. Building Envelope: How the building envelope is engineered and constructed will inevitably impact the overall functionality of a brewery, as well as the energy and water resources needed to supply and operate the structure.
  4. Operating Systems: Implementing the most efficient operating system, process equipment, and maintenance during design, procurement, and construction phases will ensure that a brewery or brewpub operates at the lowest sustainable cost possible.
  5. Case Study: Transition from Small to Mid-Sized Brewery: A detailed case study of one brewery’s experiences is include so that other brewers can benefit from their successes and mistakes.

A basic site selection checklist is included in Appendix A, while Appendix B dives deeper, detailing greenfield vs brownfield locations, traffic and transportation complications, structure rehabilitation and development, etc. For brewers considering LEED certification, Appendix C offers guidance on potential benefits and additional resources.


Brewers Association (BA) staff and a core review team of BA member craft breweries worked in close concert with the sustainability management consulting team from Antea® Group to develop the manuals and tools found in this sustainability resource. Antea Group’s team has nearly a century of cumulative experience in the brewing and beverage industries, specializing in delivering sustainable results from strategy through implementation, with an emphasis on integrating sustainability into core business practices.

For more information on this toolbox or assistance in implementing these sustainable practices in your brewery, please contact BA Sustainability Mentor, John Stier.