Smartmouth Brewing Co.


313 32nd St in Virginia Beach


Interior: 9,800 SF
Covered Patio: 1,500 SF

Completion Date

Fall 2017


The adaptive reuse of a former U.S. Post Office at the Virginia Beach oceanfront has created a dynamic second location for Smartmouth Brewery, long a fixture in Norfolk’s Chelsea neighborhood. Many features made the old Post Office a natural choice for the new Pilot House brewery and tasting room: tall ceilings, wide open bays, ample windows for day lighting, terrazzo and hearty concrete slabs, and a wide, covered loading dock perfect for brewing operations but also for outdoor seating. The property spans an entire block, so it has a formal presence with great pedestrian access on 32nd Street, while also providing ample parking and an ability to program the site in many fun ways. (The brewery’s 33rd Street Party events are wildly popular). The building previously had been converted to a cross-fit gym and an office space, so elements from each of these were available for reuse, including interior storefront glass, natural wood doors, and perforated sheet metal details.

The primary design challenge was to organize the space so that it would be optimal for both its small-batch 10-barrel brewery system and a large Tasting Room that could be divided to accommodate private meetings and an event space. This would allow flexibility for simultaneous programming that wouldn’t limit normal tasting room and brewing operations. The design solution was aa roll-up glass garage door to divide the space, and a concealed barn door to divide the bar so that both spaces have access to taps and space for the beertenders to serve.