Summit Brewing Co. Facility Expansion - Saint Paul, MN

Headquarters for one of Minnesota’s leading craft breweries

Summit Brewing is among the top 35 breweries in the country. The brewery is located on approximately eight acres in the Crosby Business Park adjacent to the Mississippi River. To keep up with consumer demand, the brewery needed to expand its production capabilities. Any expansion along the Mississippi requires strict design parameters and in-depth design review to protect the river and scenic views.

As a trusted partner, VAA’s design sense was integral to provide the architectural and engineering services for the three phases of the project which included a cellar expansion, piping system design to support canning operations and renovation of an adjacent building.

Our Approach

Working closely with Summit and the City of Saint Paul, VAA’s knowledge of building regulatory requirements and municipal review processes enabled the firm to deliver practical solutions for the expansion.

The first phase expanded the existing cellar to house new fermentation tanks that doubled production to 240,000 barrels a year. It involved structural engineering and industrial architecture to match the existing structure and a flexible design allowing room for more tanks to be installed for future production. Next, pipe lines and structure supports were constructed to transport beer from the cellar to the new canning production area in a purchased adjacent building. The building required extensive remodeling to accommodate canning production, offices, conference rooms and a media/hospitality suite to be used as a meeting space with distributors, customers and employee training sessions. VAA’s 3D modeling capabilities were used to allow Summit to view building elements and confirm design deliverables before construction began. The team presented the project to city leaders with confidence that it met exterior design parameters as well as architectural, civil, mechanical and structural engineering requirements.


The expansion occurred annually with client and city collaboration for several years. The relationship Summit and VAA have is invaluable to the project. When business philosophies complement one another the synergy that occurs truly heightens efforts put forth. The multi-discipline team at VAA offered process layout design, industrial architecture as well as civil, structural and mechanical engineering to help Summit enter the canning market and continue to be a leader and well-respected brand in the brewing industry.