Unearthing the Vision
When the owners of South Texas’ newest microbrewery, Paradigm Brewing Co., interviewed the Ziegler Cooper team, the discussion was as much about the Brew Team understanding the capabilities of our firm as it was the Design Team understanding Paradigm’s philosophy and vision.
Paradigm’s vision came in two parts and was refreshingly simple; “get back to basics,” and “focus on the family.” In a beer-scene cluttered with orange chocolate milk stouts and “big-box” breweries, we saw the potential to shift the paradigm toward a few simple, delicious beers, and to rekindle the “pub” environment that has welcomed patrons for hundreds of years.
The concept and term “Pub” (short for “Public House”) originated in small towns and villages in England before the Industrial Revolution and designated the establishment as open to the public without membership. In those times the only beer available was that brewed by the pub owner himself, thus the origin of the community based “brew-pub” so popular in our own time.
Crafting a Strategy
A site was selected for the new brewery in Tomball, Texas – one of the fastest growing communities in the state – and a community that has retained its small-town family-oriented values. Our design challenge was to carefully craft a welcoming, functional, and cost-conscious facility capable of bridging the community and fitting within the business park location. The brewery site was wooded and previously undeveloped, with dense pines and no existing utilities. Orienting the building footprint along the street frontage minimized the impact on existing trees, kept the restaurant closely connected to the landscape and provided a buffer to busy street traffic.
Important to communities as social and recreational centers where men could meet, exchange news, and cooperate on local charitable events, pubs did not allow women until the 1970’s, or children under 14 until 1995.
Building a Community
The site and brewery building blend together to create a wonderful collection of distinctive design elements resulting in lasting impressions for patrons of all ages to explore. A tall colonnade leads guests toward the entrance and the traditional beer-garden, well away from cars. Upon arrival, a 20-foot-high showcase window frames the giant stainless-steel fermenters and invites guests to come take a look. Carefully placed eye-level windows give guests a moment to peer inside the 10,000 square foot manufacturing facility. The industrial feel continues with expansive openings connecting the interior with the outdoors. An indoor/outdoor bar streamlines service and plays on the theme of outdoor connections.
The calculation pays off, and as popular as Paradigm Brewery is for brunch, lunch and dinner, guests don’t mind waiting for a table! Kids play cornhole and frisbee golf while the “big kids” grab a pint, hang out in the lounge, or tour the brewing facility. Children have a play area with line-of-site of shaded picnic tables, and an elevated stage makes Friday night concerts a regular occurrence. Paradigm Brewery is diversely programmed and that gives visitors a reason to stick around and come back for more!