Ash & Elm Cider Co.

Rooted in Tradition. Crafted for Today.

Filtering by Tag: tasting room

Designing A Beautiful Space for Cider-Drinking

Without fail, guests that come into our tasting room mention how beautiful the space is. A lot of that is - of course - based on the awesome brick walls and archways that were already here when we got here. But we did make some (many, actually) design decisions, which we wanted to share with you all.

We have always had a pretty distinct vision for our brand (learn more about those in previous blogs about how we came up with our logo and the sign we had made for the building). We wanted clean, modern lines and decor. We wanted to enter the market with a fully-formed aesthetic instead of kind of fumbling into it after several false starts. That meant spending money at the outset on a graphic designer, marketing materials, and interior designers, but it was well worth it.  

The best decision was working with Heidi Lofton, a good friend and design student, who helped conceptualize and bring into fruition the ideas that we had. We had several meetings to talk through our vision for the space and based off of these conversations, she came up with everything you see in our tasting room today.

We started by picking a floorplan that would allow us to add seating in the future and show off some of Matthew Osborn's great furniture (more on that in a later blog).

Heidi helped us figure out ways to maximize the seating capacity while still making a comfortable space for gatherings.

Heidi helped us figure out ways to maximize the seating capacity while still making a comfortable space for gatherings.

Then we got to work putting together some ideas for finishings. Given how rustic and dark the interior of the building was, Heidi encouraged us to go with light, clean finishes, both for contrast and to help the natural features of the space stand out. That meant light, natural wood tables (made of ash, of course), extra-large white vertical subway tiles on the bar, so as not to conflict with the pattern of the brick, and a super-light concrete counter top. Heidi found some great seating options on Overstock.com and included them in her next sketches of the space.

Already surpassing my wildest dreams for the tasting room space.

Already surpassing my wildest dreams for the tasting room space.

We were all still on board with the vision, so Heidi created a complete rendering of the space, including artwork on the wall (hopefully coming soon!) and a window-bar that we will add sometime in the future. Here's the crazy thing - she had never actually been in the tasting room yet because it was still under major construction and we didn't have a key! If you've been in the tasting room, you'll be able to see how spot-on her renderings are.

Heidi's rendering, having never been into the building.

Heidi's rendering, having never been into the building.

The final product. Incredible!

The final product. Incredible!

Heidi also helped us come up with the idea for the light fixture over the standing bar, saving us literally thousands of dollars by using natural elements and building it ourselves instead of buying a more standard fixture. 

Sparse and natural homemade light fixture. Air plants and large Edison bulbs are an easy way to make something really nice!

Sparse and natural homemade light fixture. Air plants and large Edison bulbs are an easy way to make something really nice!

Lastly, our friends Jason and Lara who built us the awesome sign for outside of our space had a great surprise for us right before we opened. They had made the sign once, realized the weight of the aluminum was a little too light, and re-made it with a thicker piece of aluminum. They gave us the original piece to do with what we desired. It was a no-brainer that we had to put it up in the tasting room. Add a little bit of flexible rope lighting and voila - an incredible statement piece of art in the back of our space. 

Perfect place for pictures.

Perfect place for pictures.

So, there you have it - how we came up with such a beautifully designed space! 

Five Things We've Been Working On

Hey cider fans! Things have gotten really busy for us over the last month, and they will only continue to be so. Now, we have great intentions of a few blogs related to the cider-making process, but before we delve in, we’re going to ease back into blogging with a snappy Top Five list so that we can all get on the same page with each other. Deal?

Here are five things we’ve been working on over the last two months:

5. Permits – Truly, ‘permits’ will probably be in every top five list we ever write about our progress. Since the last blog a month and a half ago, we’ve applied for and been granted a sign permit, an encroachment license, a construction permit, and some sort of elusive ‘electrical upgrade certificate’. As of today, we actually HAVE all of these permits!

4. Production Space – Our production space is 90% finished! Right now, most of what we’re waiting on is simple and not totally necessary for the production of cider. For example, we still need to put in a couple of sinks, wire the walk-in coolers, etc. But, our tanks are set, the coolers are built, the floor has been epoxied (twice!), so we’re almost ready to show the space off to visitors.

Look at those pretty fermentation tanks and unfinished floor drain!

Look at those pretty fermentation tanks and unfinished floor drain!

3. Tasting Room Décor – Finally, the fun part of a build-out! We’ve been scouring websites and taking weekend trips to Ikea to get light fixtures, plan out the bar, get the right draft system, and build tables. Our bar and tables are being built by Matthew Osborn (check out his website – he’s awesome!), and seeing them built has been a blast.

Parsons table for the tasting room.

Parsons table for the tasting room.

2. Paint Parties – We have some good friends and family in town who have graciously showed up several times to help us paint our space. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do for a dingy old warehouse, not to mention that it’s really nice to share our business with the people who care about us.

Wes is good with a roller and a ladder.

Wes is good with a roller and a ladder.

1. Test Batches – While we’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for our electrical upgrades that will allow us to use all of our fancy equipment, we’ve been doing some recipe tweaking. Aaron will have a full blog about yeast trails in the next few weeks to outline the process.

Aaron's ideal evening - doing science-y things mixed with alcohol-y things.

Aaron's ideal evening - doing science-y things mixed with alcohol-y things.

0. Merchandise – Woohoo, we have some merchandise! Tasting room glassware, shirts, coasters, and stickers are here and ready for the sharing. Thanks to Amy McAdams for her awesome designs.

Heyyyy...A&E Shirt Selfie!

Heyyyy...A&E Shirt Selfie!

Alright! We're caught up with each other! Stay tuned for some blogs about the actual cider-making process and news about our grand opening!

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