Drygate Brewing Co., the UK’s first experiential craft brewery, has opened in Glasgow’s East End, with a refined industrial aesthetic developed by design studio Graven Images. Housed in a two-storey warehouse built in the 1960s, the brewery comprises a restaurant, bar, roof terrace, events/gallery space, and ‘Studio Kit’ area where beer enthusiasts and would-be brewers can try their hand at brewing and even create their own brand.
The new venture is a collaboration between William Bros. Brewing Co. and the award-winning Vintage gastro-pub in Leith, with exterior interventions and interiors by Graven Images. The visual identity was created by D8, who worked with graduates from Glasgow School of Art to produce artwork.
Adjacent to the Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery, the oldest brewing site in Glasgow, the Drygate building had been used as a box factory, print works, bottling plant, and most recently, as office and storage space, before opening its doors to the beer-loving community.
For the conversion, Graven implemented a design that concentrates on existing eccentricities of the building, bearing traces of all its previous incarnations and unique setting. Shadowed by three urban architectural references – the Drygate tower blocks, Glasgow’s famous Necropolis, and the towers of Tennent’s industrial-scale brewery – the entire building, including the restored roof, has been painted in dark grey to create an imposing silhouette of its archetypical factory shape. With painted cladding and new oversized signage, Drygate Brewing Co. now sits proudly as a fourth recognisable landmark.
Starting with a blank stripped space, the materials used focus on an interplay between inherited fragments of the building’s previous lives and a refined use of an industrial but warm palette. A staircase made of concrete which was uncovered during renovation became a central exposed feature of the scheme, and a beautifully preserved tiled façade welcomes customers at the entrance.
Throughout the interior Graven paired hard surfaces against warmth: mild steel, cast concrete, solid wood, and polished patinated copper in the bar; hardwood herringbone flooring butts up against a steel angle-frame screen dividing the bar from the working brewery; and surfaces of vibrantly coloured resin and paint play off against metal mesh and blackened steel.