Ferus Artisan Ales – Brewing New Life into Downtown Trussville

Private: Michael Mann

Project Architect, Associate

March 27, 2019

“The arrival of a craft brewery was also often one of the first signs that a neighborhood was changing. From New England to the West Coast, new businesses bubbled up around breweries, drawing young people and creating a vibrant community where families could plant roots and small businesses could thrive.” – USA Today

Ferus Artisan Ales is a brand derived from the Latin word for feral, meaning “wild” or “untamed.” This references a brewer’s use of wild yeast during sour beer fermentation. TURNERBATSON used the brand as inspiration when designing an adaptive reuse of a 1970s warehouse creating a craft brewery equipped with a tap room, restaurant, and event space. What began as a project to kick-start Trussville’s downtown redevelopment is now forging its way to becoming one of the most anticipated elements of the new Trussville Entertainment District.TURNERBATSON Architects Commercial Architects - Ferus Brewery 1The architectural design concept for Ferus revolves around rehabilitating a large open warehouse into a cohesive arrangement of intimate, inviting spaces. The unique brand inspired the design team to adapt elements from nature creating a space that feels rustic and earthy with a modern twist. The theme of wild, untamed nature radiates through the project with the intention of bringing the outdoors inside.TURNERBATSON Commercial Architects - Ferus Brewery76The tasting room hosts a playful balance of conventional brewery materials — reclaimed wood, steel windows and concrete floors. The main bar anchors the tasting room and subdivides the expanse of the warehouse with an abstract tree as its centerpiece. Its branches provide an interior canopy that spreads over the adjacent dining space and lounge area. The brand is further reinforced through a live edge bar top fabricated with locally sourced wood. Copper paneling wraps from the exterior of a speakeasy style door into a green wall of self-sustaining moss located inside the tasting room.

TURNERBATSON Architects Commercial Architects - Ferus Brewery 4The client’s desire was for the space to feel unique but still comfortable and approachable for the entire community. A family-friendly, fast-casual restaurant and dining area will allow people of all ages to enjoy the space. During their meal, guests will have a front row seat to the high-speed canning line and will be able to observe the beer production process.

Along the exterior wall of the brewery, existing metal overhead doors have been replaced with new storefront windows that flood the interior with daylight and provide a connection to the outside. At the far end of the building, an event space is separated by handcrafted steel pivoting doors that can be opened or shut depending on the desired use of the space. A large glass exterior door opens to the public greenspace and adjacent outdoor stage creating a private room for concert attendees.

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Unlike many projects, Ferus will be completed so that beer production can start on the inside before the exterior areas and tasting room are open to the public. The large production area is broken down into rooms for beer and sour beers. These spaces are separated from the tasting room by custom steel windows that provide the customer a visual connection to the beermaking process. On the roof, a Coolship room (the first of its kind in Alabama) houses a fermentation vessel that uses ambient yeast and microflora to generate a special edition sour beer.

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The building design incorporates many innovative systems as sustainability is a high priority for the client. An on-site water treatment system and evaporator have been incorporated to reduce wastewater conveyance by 90% and rooftop solar panels will provide most of the power needed for the building.

Ferus Artisan Ales is just the first step for the Trussville Entertainment District. Throughout the next year, the Trussville community will see new restaurants, retail shops, an outdoor stage, and pavilion bubble up around the brewery providing locals and guests a vibrant, walkable community.

For more information about Ferus Artisan Ales and the Downtown Trussville Redevelopment, please contact the Ferus design team: Michael Mann – Associate; Samantha Parr – Intern Architect; and Mary-Claire Bennett – Interior Design Team