Dorchester Brewing Co.

In 2016, Dorchester Brewing Co. became Boston’s first-ever contract brewery. The 12,500 SF facility, dedicated to all things beer, truly represents the community of Dorchester, one of the country’s most diverse neighborhoods in the city of Boston and the entire country.

With this in mind, the design team set out to establish it as an iconic landmark. Outdoor seating was placed in front of the building, drawing pedestrian attention to the space. Previously sealed front-facing windows were re-opened, allowing a connection between the action inside and the community outside. A steel and aluminum sign produced by local metal fabricator Salmon Studios, LLC, was added that simply reads, “Dorchester”, symbolizing the notion that The Brewery represents more than its brand—it represents the community itself.

There was no template for a facility of this kind, so the process was highly collaborative between the client and the design team, driven by the goals for the future of the space—to create a place where everyone feels welcome; reflects and preserves the community; helps local, minority-owned businesses; and supports other New England breweries.

The adaptive reuse project was completed in two phases. Phase one renovated the existing HVAC warehouse into a:

  • Contract brewing incubator space with equipment for brewing, bottling, packaging and storing beer

  • Tap Room

  • Game Room

  • Commercial Kitchen

  • Retail Space

In 2019, phase two added the glass and steel solarium. Aptly named, “The Hopservatory”, the structure was inspired by the building’s original industrial skylights and resembles a greenhouse, providing 360-degree city views. A large fireplace makes the space usable year-round. The result of the project is a multi-faceted facility that has had enormous positive impacts on Dorchester and surrounding neighborhoods. 

2020 AIA New England Design Award winner

1250 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02125

Completed: 2016 / 2020 

Photo Credit: Christian Borger / Nat Rea Photography

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535 Albany Street #405

Boston MA 02118


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