Kyle Wilson
In Episode 003 we discussed with Trent Yackzan, owner of Sudwerk Brewing Company, his marketing strategy of opening multiple tap room locations. We’re going to drill down on this idea with our guest, Kyle Wilson, Senior Designer with hda Architects.

Kyle has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Webster University. He is a Registered Architect in several states including Missouri and California. As Senior Designer, he creates solutions for clients and coordinates with the hda project team.

hda architects
hda Architects has just celebrated 30 years in business, offering a broad array of product types: office buildings; multi-family; and commercial. They have been designing beer distribution facilities since the early ‘90’s – many facilities in many markets – which led them to the brewing side of the craft beer industry.
Recent projects include:
O’Fallon Brewery Exterior
O’Fallon Brewery – completed project
O'Fallen Brewery Interior
O’Fallon Brewery – completed project
BREWhub Rendering
BREW Hub – currently in production

Taproom Design Considerations


  • Starts with an understanding of the brand
  • Design should reflect the brand to customers and the staff
  • Ideation begins to look at what is the desired tone and feel to determine possible elements; finishes; and materials. Kyle’s example: A taproom near an airfield bringing in aeronautical inspired components such as propellers, airplanes hung from the ceiling, airplane parts, and airplane wings as the bar.

hda Process

High Level Overview


  • Interview where we get to know each other get a feel for the brand
  • Having the space and the parameters of the space: is it an existing space or will it be new construction
  • Present an initial 3D model to the client
  • Get feedback from the client, draw together, sketch together, and look at reference photos. Kyle said, “it typically takes 3 iterations of this back and forth to really hone in on the big idea. What is it going to look like; what is it going to feel like; how is it going to layout.”
  • Complete the design big idea, capturing the quality and the value of the taproom needs to be.
  • Once the big idea concept is done then construction documents are developed.
  • With the construction documents, contractors can begin to give an idea of the cost to build out.

Kyle’s thoughts on how to identify and develop a relationship with an architecture firm:


  • Word of mouth – ask others.
  • Contact the local chapter of the American Institute of Architecture (AIA).
Develop Relationship
  • Review the firm’s website for examples of their work.
  • Importance of experience in the craft beer industry depends on size/scope of the project. The larger the project the more complex it becomes.

“It’s not about the plan,

 it’s about the planning.”

Steve’s Additional Resources

Brewers Association article:

The Rise of the Microbrewery Tap Room from Sept 2014 by Bart Watson

Determining Your Taproom Capacity (Video) from Beer & Brewing Magazine:

Kyle’s gateway beer to craft, Boulevard Wheat, led to hanging out at Free State Brewing Company with his architecture school community.

Guest’s contact info:


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @thekylewilson

Instagram: @kylewilsonarchitect


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Promote the Brew’s Clothing Styles and Design Workshop for Fall/Winter 2018


July 18, 2018

at Lakefront Brewery from 8:30 to 11:30am

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