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2841 Riviera Drive Suite 200
OH, 44333
United States
(330) 836-2343
(330) 836-7359
Melanie Friedman

Studio Wine by FMD Architects

Studio Wine by FMD Architects

Creating great buildings and great relationships

FMD Architects is an Ohio-based architectural firm with national reach. Leaders in the design of veterinary facilities, breweries, wineries, and educational buildings with a long history of diverse projects, we've discovered the key to a successful project is to listen. It enables us to respond to each client's unique vision.

 We are a family of professionals founded on creativity, sustainability, innovation and flexibility. We want each client of FMD to enjoy their experience, as we create great buildings and great relationships together.












Browse our Grain and Vine Design by FMD Architects Portolio!


FMD Architects provides a full-range of services from master planning through construction administration that encompass over 20 years of experience. Each owner's vision is important to our continual success, and to the longevity of their venue. We want clients to enjoy their experience, as we create great buildings and relationships together for program efficiency, owner capitalization, and user operation. Our award-winning solutions allow innovation; aesthetically and functionally complementing the elements necessary to achieve our clients' dreams. FMD ensures a thoughtfully designed, well-enhanced facility, incorporated and openly received into the community. Finally, you have an architect that listens.

What We Do:

  • Provide knowledgeable, experienced design services through our Veterinary, Winery and Education Studios.
  • Build great relationships with clients, consultants and industry professionals
  • Focus on sustainable designs as LEED APs and USGBC members
  • Provide a wide range of services from pre-design through post-occupancy
  • Have fun throughout the process

Our team's success is based on:

  • A relationship driven, collaborative approach that brings a high level of comfort to our clients
  • Providing a broad range of services to the wine industry from design consulting to business plans
  • Understanding the wine making process and the integral part it serves in every winery design
  • Meeting the client's design needs from the most basic structure to elaborate, award winning projects
  • National experience with strong Midwest values

We design with intregal features to address:

  • Sustainable winery design
  • Greenhouse gas emisison
  • Heat/ gain loss
  • Daylighting levels
  • Outdoor views
  • Natural ventilation



FMD Architects
FMD Architects
Laurita Winery
Laurita Winery
Including our exclusive partnership with winemaker and architect.
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
FMD Architects Gervasi Vineyard
Wedding Pavillion
Wedding Pavillion
Wedding Pavillion
Wedding Pavillion
The Pavillion
The Pavillion
Retail Market
Retail Market
Villa Grande
Villa Grande
Conference Center
Conference Center
Overnight Accomodations
Overnight Accomodations
The Regency Wine & Bar
The Regency Wine & Bar
The Regency Wine & Bar
The Regency Wine & Bar
The Regency Wine & Bar
The Regency Wine & Bar
The Crush House
The Crush House

News Archive

Going Up and Coming Down – Construction Season
26 September, 2018

FMD is excited to provide updates on several projects underway as we round out the third quarter of 2018.  The Gervasi Distillery and 24-room luxury Hotel are ground up brand new Construction in Canton, OH and are coming along at a great pace. The distillery will be serving unique craft spirits distilled and bottled right on site.  The bar will serve as a double use, so you can watch all the activity in the production space in the morning as they serve expresso and coffee, and in the evening for cocktails, wine, and beers.  Meanwhile in Akron Ohio, Rshea is well underway with their brewery expansion into a 50,000 SF space and chipping away at the non-structural demolition.  In order to open up the space that will eventually become the tap room, the CMU wall separating it from the double-height space is being taken down, and a new mezzanine deck will extend out from where the wall used to be.  Last but not least, Lockport Brewing Company in Bolivar, Ohio is working on their renovations for their expansion into their production facility.  The space Lockport chose is an old restaurant that FMD Architects and Blaire Construction is working with them on to transform it into their new distribution space and event space.


Look for more new information on these projects and others as they continue to grow and build out their new facilities.


Brian Grafton

Project Architect


Congrats to UnHitched Brewery!!!
11 September, 2018

Congratulations to our client UnHitched Brewery on their feature in the Akron Beacon Journal Beer Blog. We are excited to be a part of a team driving to be a “catalyst for change” in their city.  Look forward to seeing more news on these guys as their vision becomes a reality over the next few months.

Please follow the link to read all about the new brewery:

Ignite Brewing Company Opening
28 August, 2018

Ignite Brewing Company in Barberton, Ohio recently celebrated a milestone with a special event to thank everyone that have helped them along the way.  Although, they have been open for several months with limited hours during construction, the work is complete, and their doors are open.

Michael Angelo's Winery Update
15 August, 2018

We were able to take a private tour of the completed Michael Angelo's Winery this week. It's beautiful!!! We are excited for them to have thier grand opening in the next few weeks. 


31 July, 2018

Many breweries find themselves making decisions on the fly and only reacting to what is in front of them. It can be difficult to balance all of your wants, needs, and desires with your budget and within the necessary timeframe. What if we told you that there is a better way? What if you could choose to ACT instead of REACT to common pitfalls as you grow and expand your brewery? Designing an expansion for your brewery is an intricate recipe that requires a balance between big dreams, function, time, and money. Poorly executed planning makes great business plans and good breweries fail. So what can you do?


Know Before You Grow

A major milestone you will need to establish is to develop your list of wants and needs. A critical component to keep in mind is that you are going to continue to grow, and you don’t want to accidently paint yourself into a corner. As part of your planning, develop a masterplan that aligns with your business plan for the next 5-10 years. Are you going to add additional cellar space? Think you’ll update your brewhouse and drop off brew days? Plan for those now so that they can happen later. By developing a masterplan, you create a tangible vision you can work to with easily achievable benchmarks.

Determine Budget and Timeline

After you develop your masterplan, it’s time to evaluate your budget and timeline. If you aren’t in the position to knock out the entire expansion in one construction phase, consider breaking it down into manageable phases. People are excited about growth. Every introduction of something new, is another opportunity to reignite your current crowd and attract even more. The important items to focus on first are the main revenue generating portions of the business, so that they can become the means to fund your future ventures.

Surround Yourself with an Experienced Team

Owners and brewers that accomplish the above points successfully surround themselves with an experienced team that understands your business and industry. It can seem obvious in hindsight for those that have already gone through the process of expansion, but for those that haven’t…equate it to making the decision to hiring a team member with experience brewing beer vs. someone who just enjoys drinking beer…It isn’t exactly an equal prospect. The same principle applies to selecting team members like your Architect, Contractor, Financial Lender, and even the Equipment Vendors. By building up a team of specialists, you bypass the frustrations of having to educate them on your craft, and instead create a network of consultants that bring their experience and knowledge to the table and combine it with yours. Lining up these team members early is one of the best ways to begin an expansion project on the right step.

By taking the time upfront to plan your next steps, you empower yourself and your team to aggressively tackle each challenge with confidence.
FMD Architects is an architectural design firm with national reach that specializes in creating destination breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Mark Moore and Melanie Friedman are principals, and Brian Grafton is the Vice President of the Beverage and Hospitality Studio. For questions and general inquiries, please feel free to reach out at

Ohio Craft Beer Conference 2018
15 January, 2018

Mark and Brian will be at the Ohio Craft Brewers Association Conference 2018, Tuesday, January 30th - Wednesday, January 31st in Cleveland, Ohio at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. They are speaking on Tuesday, January 30th on "Taking the Fear Out of Brewery Expansion" with Sam Holloway of Crafting A Strategy, Keith Merklin of Live Oak Bank and Kelly TerWisscha of TerWisscha Construction, Inc. and Wednesday, January 31st on "Building a Better Brewery" with Andy Tveekrem of Market Garden Brewery. We hope to see you at one of our sessions or stop by and check out our booth #321. We look forward to seeing you!!!

Thankful for 2017, here’s to 2018!
21 November, 2017

As November 23rd approaches, for many, this is a time to reflect and be thankful.  After a fulfilling and successful 2017, FMD Architects is thankful for the opportunity to speak at several different conferences and meet more great people in the beverage industry.  Here is what everyone can look forward to from FMDin 2018.

January 2018: FMD Architects will be speaking both days at the upcoming Ohio Craft Brewers Association Conference in January 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio.  Look for more information to come in the next several weeks.  We will also be hosting our 3D brewery walkthrough at our booth again this year.   Stop by and listen in on an educational session on "Building a Better Brewery", and focusing on facility layout and design.

February 2018: Come find us at the US BevX in Washington, D.C.!  This year we will be talking about tasting room and production area design strategies for wineries.  Design with success in mind.

April 2018: Working our way from the East Coast, join us in Nashville,Tennessee for the Craft Brewers Conference and Brew ExpoFMD Architects will be bringing the 3D brewery walkthrough and enjoying great conversations and touring local breweries.

More to come!

Thank you to everyone who has allowed us to be a part of your journey so far. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

06 November, 2017

Melanie will be at the Virginia Wine Association Annual Meeting and Conference at the Wintergreen Resort in Wintergreen, VA November 13th - November 14th, 2017. Stop by the exhibitor area and check out the booth, she would love to meet you!!! 

Congratulations Brian!!!
09 October, 2017

Press Release:

Fairlawn architecture firm FMD Architects, known locally for projects like Stark State College Akron and Gervasi Vineyard, named Brian Grafton as Vice President of its Beverage and Hospitality Studio. Brian began with FMD as an intern, and quickly worked his way to being a key Project Architect and team leader. He played an integral role in the growth of FMD’s work in breweries, wineries and hospitality projects both locally and on a national level. Brian has spoken with FMD’s Principal, Mark Moore, at the Ohio Craft Brewers Association annual conference as well as the nationally renowned Brewers AssociationCraft Beverage Conference. Next year he and Principal, Melanie Friedman, will head to Washington, D.C. to speak at the US BevX. Like FMD, Brian is committed to helping others succeed through being a resource of information. Building collaborative relationships with complementary service providers, equipment suppliers, and vendors has helped not only his own industry expertise, but has also allowed him to be a connector for people just starting out or in need of expanding.

Another way FMD serves as a resource for clients is by helping them visualize what their project will look like once it’s completed. FMD’s development of utilizing virtual reality walkthroughs and 360° renderings was spearheaded by Brian’s efforts and knowledge of 3D Revit software and other cutting edge technology.  In addition to these roles, Brian also supports a number of internal projects including on-going Revit training, Revit asset management, and general BIM support.

Brian was born and raised in greater Akron, and graduated with a Master’s of Architecture from Kent State University. He is an active Allied Member of the Ohio Brewers Association, and has a Charter Membership with his local Boy Scout Troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster. When asked what his new position would enable him to do, Brian said “Develop a deeper involvement with the direction of the firm and our brewery, winery, and hospitality projects. In the last year, we have had more engagement in our own backyard in Ohio, while maintaining the same support for national breweries and wineries. My vision is to continue that endeavor as we grow, and be more hands on in ensuring the success of each project for all parties involved.”

Finding Your Space – Part 1: Leasing
21 June, 2017

Starting a successful winery or brewery is not always an easy venture.  Many owners are faced with the difficult decision of whether to build new, lease and renovate, or buy and renovate, not to mention the location and how much space to get.  We are developing this multi-part series specifically to tackle the challenges with finding your space. 

In this inaugural post of the series, we will be covering lease renovation spaces and will explore three pros and cons to leasing your space.  You might be thinking that we've got ahead of ourselves and haven't talked about how to decide on a location, but don't worry, we have you covered.  Our friends over at wrote a great post in 2015 under the similar title "Finding a Space."  We highly recommend checking that out along with their other content for great insight into strategy and brewery operations first hand.


  1. Existing Spaces are Out There Ready For Your Business
  2. One of the main benefits of leasing a space is that utilities and other amenities are readily available to tap into and allow you to get started.  Costly items like sprinkler systems, sanitary tie ins, water tap ins, and running new power may already be taken care prior to your lease, saving you the cost and delay to incorporate these items in during your scope of work. 
  3. Leverage Landlord Capital and Amortize Over Lease
  4. A second pro for leasing a building is that many landlords are eager to work with businesses that will be attractive for their property(s).  What this means is that there are opportunities for you as a prospective tenant to negotiate with the property owner to see what improvements they would be willing to include in their cost in order to "sweeten" the deal with you as a prospective tenant.  While the extent will vary depending on the exact circumstances, as a tenant you may also have the opportunity to amortize certain costs over the course of your lease, rather than tying up additional finances in a larger SBA loan.  While this may increase your month-to-month leasing costs, it can reduce your initial capital requirement or let you focus your cash on other wants and needs, such as equipment upgrades.
  5. Deferral of Responsibility
    • The last pro we will highlight for this list is the deferral of responsibility.  As a tenant, generally there are a few items that you are not responsible for maintaining at the building.  Items such as roof leaks or parking lot maintenance are often either covered entirely or greatly reduced and prorated across multiple tenant leases helping save you costs over the course of your lease.



  1. Lack of Building Ownership
    • When in a lease agreement, and unless specifically built into your contract with the building owner, you do not have ownership rights to the building your business will occupy.  While many savvy businesses are able to negotiate terms in order to protect themselves legally, you are still bound by the terms and conditions placed on you by the property owner.  You may be able to "buy out" after a certain period, but until then, will often have an extra step of approvals and sign-offs for any modifications to the space you occupy.
  2. Long Term Cost of Leasing vs. Buying
  3. Just like the debate on renting vs. buying a home, as a business you need to determine whether you plan to stay in one location long enough to make purchasing a financially sound decision.  Until you buy or move out, you will be stuck with your monthly lease payments to the property owner.
  4. Many Properties Still Require Renovations Unless Purpose Built for Your Industry
  5. For the final con to leasing, the truth of the matter is that there is rarely a “perfect space” out there just waiting for you to scoop it up and move in.  If you find yourself looking at a space that seems affordable up front, it is critical to do your homework and bring in an experienced team to assess the space with your needs.  A good example of the importance of this assessment happened with one of the breweries we have worked with in the last few years.  We were involved after the space had already been leased, but unfortunately, due to the changes in building uses, the brewery had to initially restrict the number of occupants it could legally have because of the limited number of restrooms available and lack of sprinklers.  In this case, we were able to make the space work and stagger out phases to reach the brewers end goals, but in other cases, the business had to turn away from a space because the costs to renovate would never be recuperated with their business plan.

Craft Brewers Conference 2017 Recap
26 April, 2017

FMD Architects had a fantastic show at the annual Craft Brewers Conference and Brew Expo America in Washington, D.C. this April.  While there, we met and spoke with hundreds of breweries, breweries in planning, a great group of exhibitors within the industry, and visited several unique breweries in the D.C. area.  FMD Architects also had a great time featuring our live 3D virtual reality walkthrough of Studio Brew.  It was entertaining for those walking by to watch attendees try on the goggles for the first time and navigate through one of our brewery projects. For those that missed us at the show, check out some of the reactions here and at our Facebook page.


Aside from the 3D walkthrough, we also engaged in many meaningful conversations regarding the industry and where it’s heading.  One of the reoccurring subjects we spoke with brewers about this year was the need for expansion and sustainable growth of their facility.  Master planning has been a hot topic for 2017 and FMD Architects along with our industry partners will be speaking on this and other expansion strategies in an upcoming webinar.  We always encourage startups and expansion projects alike to "begin with the end in mind."  We promote breweries to develop a visual plan of the building and land that will allow you to see where you are now, where you want to be, and the critical goals and milestones to get you there.

For those that are ready to grow now, Mark Moore, Principal, and Brian Grafton, Brewery and Winery Studio Manager, have been collaborating with dozens of brewery, winery, and restaurant projects over the last several years, and would love to share their experience and knowledge with you and your team.  Feel free to reach out them directly at and or contact us through our website.



Planning Your Patio – Creating Outdoor Tasting Areas – Part 2
11 April, 2017

This week in the second part of our “Planning Your Patio” series we will take a look at several features to think about to make your business a destination.

1.   Game areas

  • Breweries and wineries are becoming more than just a place where a beverage is produced.  Activities like corn hole, bocce ball, and giant Jenga are already a staple for many outdoor areas, if you are going to include these, here are a few things you can do to step up and stand out from other facilities.
    • Provide small tables or drink rails near game areas to give patrons a place to put their drink.  After all, they might need two hands to focus on crushing their opponent.  
    • Position games so that they can been seen inside and provide accent lighting to craft a unique experience. This not only lets people know there is more entertainment to be had outside, but also gives them something entertaining to watch while enjoying a glass of wine or beer. 
    • Provide activities in open and shaded areas.  Similar to the furniture arrangements in Part 1, providing a variety of outdoor environments will also create more opportunities to make the customers visit enjoyable.

2.   Outdoor bars

  • You might think you just need a few planks of wood, maybe a canopy, and some stools to create your outdoor bar, but why stop there?! Including electrical and plumbing can create the perfect atmosphere for your customers.  These will increase the use of your outdoor spaces throughout the year.
    • Offer overhead fans, misters, radiant heaters, accent lighting, beer coolers, televisions, and electronic device charging ports.
    • Sinks and features like a glass dishwasher can help keep your staff running at optimal efficiency and reduce wait time for guests. It can be difficult to enjoy beverage when bugs and bees are enjoying someone’s drips or spills.  Make sure you select and plan for easily cleanable surfaces and keep your drains clean or covered so that only your customers enjoy the drinks you are serving.

3.   Lighting

  • Depending on the atmosphere of your business, lighting can set the mood and shouldn’t be added as an afterthought.  Lighting is not “one size fits all” and should be approached to match the overall theme of the business. Plan ahead to offer opportunities to create unique spaces that accent your culture and highlight your beverages.

4.   Menu Boards

  • Have you ever walked down the street and saw a chalkboard sign advertising the daily specials?  These simple signs do more than enough to attract customers.  This same concept can be used for your menu or drink offerings.  On windy days, laminated/paper menus can quickly become an inconvenience to hold down or worse…chase after.  Adding a small chalkboard sign or illuminated menu board provides a convenient way to inform guests and entice them to try new things. If you have a continually changing menu this concept allows you to easily swap items without having to regularly print new menus.


See below for Part 1. 

Planning your Patio – Creating Outdoor Tasting Areas – Part 1
29 March, 2017

Spring is officially in swing and it’s time to throw off the coats and open up the outdoor tasting areas.  The focus of this week’s post will be to highlight several considerations for outdoor spaces to help craft a destination place and a memorable experience for your customers.

 1.   Access to Interior Spaces

  • Think about how the outdoor spaces interact with the indoor spaces.  Do you want your customers to walk through the entire building to access the bar or restrooms?  How does your staff move from the bar or kitchen, to their customers outside?  We recommend master planning outdoor and indoor spaces at the same time when possible.  Master planning gives you a clear vision of where you will grow, but allows you to phase and take a manageable piece at a time.

2.   Comfortable Furniture/Variety of Seating

  • You can increase the flexibility and use of the outdoor areas by offering a variety of seats and styles.  Picnic tables are a classic go-to, but by offering alternative options such as Adirondack chairs, benches, and a variety of 2 and 4-top tables, you create opportunities for patrons to find what makes them and their group the most comfortable.
  • Don’t be afraid to introduce non-sitting spaces and furniture as well.  Try introducing a wide drink rail or a few high-tops without chairs to allow the more casual groups to gather and hang out.
  • Location: spread equally through area or offer “zones” for larger groups, casual diners, etc.

3.   Covered Stage/Live Entertainment Areas

  • Bands are a great way to attract a crowd, and providing a defined space for them to perform will create a focal point for the patio and increase the days bands can perform. 
  • Location: Coordinate with the sun, but consider views from the inside as well.  Your winery or brewery isn’t a concert hall, but the more opportunities you can give for people to see the live entertainment the more opportunities you have to fill seats during events.

4.   Fireplace/Radiant Heaters

  • Many customers won’t sit outside if they can’t get warm.  By installing radiant heaters overhead, you can increase the number of days you can use your outdoor areas while keeping the customers at a comfortable temperature range.
  • Another option for temperature control is to use a fire pit or fireplace.  While radiant heaters provide a level of warmth and temperature control, offering a fireplace creates a gathering place for visitors.  The ambiance, warmth, and nostalgia of fireplaces offer a lot of character, just don’t let the kids get to close!
  • Location:  Radiant heaters can be installed overhead in most covered outdoor patio areas.  Fireplaces should be coordinated with the local authorities and fire department depending on their preferences.  If using real wood, make sure you have good ventilation so that smoke doesn’t blow into your building.

5.   Paving vs. Grass Surfaces

  • From experience in the industry, we recommend not limiting yourself and doing both if you can.  By including both paved and unpaved surfaces, you offer more variety to your customers.  Paved areas are great for tables and special event areas. Unpaved areas and grass are relaxing and great for outdoor games, but can get muddy during rainy season and come with more maintenance to keep healthy and aesthetic.
  • Location: Provide key zones of each throughout the outdoor area.  Consider locating paved areas closer to doors where food and drink are most likely to be served.  Locate grass areas further from doors where possible to prevent mud/ cut grass from being accidentally tracked into the building.


Stay tuned for Part 2 to be released next month!

Building a Brewery, 8 Things That Get Overlooked
15 March, 2017

  • Additional GFI outlets in the Production Area

When laying out the brewery, plan a few additional outlets for any small miscellaneous equipment that require power (can’t forget about the radio)

  • Flexible Sprayer Nozzle at a 3-Bay Sink

Why make all the cleaning harder for your brew team, provide a flexible sprayer at the 3-bay sink to allow the team to easily wash big and small equipment.

  • Brewery Hand Sink/Eye Sink

A hand sink is required by the Health Department, but consider many of the attachments that can also be installed.  An easy safety addition would be to include an emergency eyewash attachment. 

  • Brewery Access

How will you get new/old tanks out of the space as you grow without shutting down your operations?  If you plan to grow in the space you are in, make sure you have a means to get new equipment in and out easily

  • Tank Clearance

While it is easy to rationalize getting the biggest tanks for your buck, and squeezing them into your space, brewers should consider leaving enough room to access the top and the sides of the tank to allow periodic cleaning.  This is especially important at the top where many CIP systems require additional clearance for removal and maintenance.

  • Brewery Hours and HVAC Requirements

Many brewers we have worked with don’t often operate the brewery at the same time the tap room is open.  While there are some exceptions, often you can reduce the anticipated load on your HVAC by sharing your hours with your design team.  By designing the activities to occur at separate times, the size requirements from the HVAC units can often be reduced.

  • Sink in Yeast Lab

Lab spaces come in many forms, but one thing that should be consistently planned for is plumbing for a sink.  The sink will be useful both for hand washing after handling yeast cultures, as well as maintaining clean equipment to keep important yeast strains from getting contaminated.

  • Brewery Hose Bibb

Similar to providing additional outlets for electricity, plumbing for hose bibbs should also be considered.  If your floors slope toward the drains as they should, you have the option to cut man hours in cleaning by providing a hose bibb and hose to spray down the floors toward the drains.  Less time squeegeeing the floor means more time productively working on the next great beer recipe.


Keywords: brewery design, master planning, brewery architects, brewery equipment



US BevEx Roundup and Craft Breferences Conference Announcment
01 March, 2017

Check out FMD Architects at booth #1543 at the Craft Brewers Conference and Brew Expo in Washington D.C., April 10-13, 2017. We will be featuring our live 3D brewery walkthrough of Studio Brew throughout the show as well as offering insight into the design side of the industry. Stop by and talk with us or take part in one of the many hospitality events going on during the show. We’d love to hear your story and learn more about your business and facility.

We also recently returned from the US BevX in Washington, D.C., February 22-24, 2017. The Wine Industry Network put on a great show, and offered a great array of educational sessions and workshops for breweries and vintners at all stages. We engaged with several collaborative vendors and attendees and had a great time learning more about what others are working on, and sharing our own process and knowledge to help brewers and wine makers grow their business.

Keywords: craft brewers conference, brewery architect, brewery designer, winery architect, winery designer , US BevEx

Lessons the Beer Industry Could Learn from The Wine Industry
01 February, 2017

In our previous post “Lessons from the Craft Beer Industry" back in August, we wrote about a lesson that wineries could learn by watching the brewing industry. Now we are going to turn the tables and share an example of what the brewery industry could learn from watching the wine industry. The online publication of Octoberrecently ran an article on local hop farming and drew several parallels to the way many wineries grow and source their own grapes for their wines on site (Article Link: While many of the larger breweries in the US have already established set supply lines for where the source their ingredients, others are using their own homegrown supply chain for specialty releases and Estate Beers to help add and create value and diversity to their products.

The January/February 2017 issue of The New Brewer by the Brewers Association also ran a feature article on “The Rise of Farm Breweries” ( further emphasizing the lessons to be learned from the wine industry. In the magazines article, there is a segment that references the famous “if you build it, they will come” notion, but also highlights the true value in the statement. With the competitive brewery market right now, we have often talked about finding what sets you apart. “Fresh, Locally brewed, and handmade” are great descriptions to help sell your beer, but when you can travel to a place where you find yourself surrounded by the ingredients as you do when visiting wineries, it creates a destination place sure to attract customers looking for a new experience.

While the concept isn’t for everyone and not feasible in dense urban areas, as brewery and winery architects, we clearly see the advantages to exploring this side of the industry as beer tourism continues to grow in the US. Feel free to share on Twitter or Facebook and let us know why or why not you see this side of the brewery industry growing and how it might affect you.

Keywords: Farm Breweries, Beer Industry, Wine Industry, Beer Tourism, Supply Chain

Creating an Experience – A Secret to Success
17 January, 2017

In 2016, there was a new brewery opening nearly every day. The wine and distilling industries have also been going through their own growth up tick. With many new contenders entering the market and offering other great products, what separates you as a business from others? Is it just the great wine and food you serve? We believe that those are factors, but are also part of a greater arc –the experience and story you tell as a business. The story you craft adds value to a customer’s experience, and could mean the difference between stopping at the grocery store for a bottle versus driving out and sitting down for a drink in your tasting room.

Why should your design team care about your story? For us at FMD Architects, it is about crafting a physical representation of the passion and vision owners have for their project. We do so by listening to goals and stories and combining them with our knowledge to create a built environment that communicates your story to customers as much as the beverages you make.

When you are creating your story, put yourselves in the shoes of who you want to visit. What do they see when they walk into the building for the first time? Are they enchanted by the sights and smells of your talented chefs? Are they greeted with views of the equipment? The big picture is easy to imagine, but don’t forget about the details as well. Are the restrooms easily cleanable to always give a good impression and reduce maintenance time? How do customers wait for their seat if you are running a full house – are they standing in the way of your floor staff?

Share these things with your own internal team and your Architect. Whether you are a small start-up or ready to expand, don’t limit the value you can offer by selling your story short.

Please feel free to send us an e-mail and let us know how you have told your story. We will also be at the U.S. Beverage Expo February 22-24, stop by and visit us at booth #1230.

Keywords: Brewery Architect, Winery Architect, Facility Design, Brewery Design, Winery Design, User Experience, Story Telling.

Insights into Constructing a New Facility
20 December, 2016

While reading an article in the Brewer Magazine that shared the same title as this post (, we wanted to pause and reflect on some of our own experiences in the beverage industry as winery and brewery architects.  While FMD Architects was not involved with the owner and project in the article, it isn’t the first time we have heard similar issues occur.  Many of these lessons learned will be covered in our design series, but with the end of the year right around the corner, we wanted to capture our thoughts to get your next year’s goals off on the right foot.  From our combined experience in the wine and beer industry, here are our top 3 lessons to keep in mind as you start out 2017.

 1.   Surround Yourself with an Experienced Team

  • Would you hire someone to brew your beer  or make your wine who has never done it before?  We wouldn’t, and the same applies to facility design.  We’ve heard many of the horror stories from projects stalled at the  starting line, costs sky rocketing, owners teaching the architect about what to do, and the building just not functioning as efficiently as it could.  Construction and design of any facility is a complicated and very integrated hands on process and there are a lot of decisions to be made.  The advantage of hiring a design firm experienced with the industry like FMD Architects, is that we aren’t just here to help it look “pretty,” we leverage our experience from working on other wineries and breweries as well as use and share our connections with other vendors in the industry all toward one common goal – providing you the service and experience you need for an efficient and effective facility within your budget.

 2.   Define and Share your Wants, Needs, and Wishes

  • How do you want people to experience your beer? How many people do you want in your tasting room?   Do you plan to add more fermenters or brite tanks in the future?  The list could go on and on, but the message is the same - knowing (and sharing) your wants, needs, and wishes up front will allow you and your team to capture and cater your facility to meet your needs.  What we felt went well from the narrative shared in the article was that the owners were very aware of their specific requirements, and throughout the process able to adjust to accommodate the higher priority items such as the labs and hob storage spaces.

3.   Plan with the End in Mind

  • It can be easy to focus on the micro goals and miss the forest through the trees.  At the same time, everything up front may go well, but unforeseen conditions can arise such as the corroded sanitary piping The Bruery encountered.  By planning realistic goals, and evaluating them up front, you are more likely to save yourself time and money in the end.  A specific example of this was a brewery moving into a historical building in Bristol Virginia.  We knew ahead of time that the brewers vision was to eventually grow from 15 and 30 BBL fermenters to 60 and 100 BBL vessels.  After assessing the needs and studying the facility in 3D digitally, we were able to present a layout that allowed the vertical clearance required for the tanks, while minimizing the disruption to the operation.  The site was also evaluated for outdoor tanks and a grain silo for continued growth.  The advantage with the approach we developed with the brewer, was to verify the site met the long term goals of the owner, so that they could maximize their use for the site they already owned, rather than purchase a secondary facility to increase space but also debt.  If you plan to build or expand, have your team investigate any existing conditions and limitations early on.  Are there zoning setbacks to be aware of, poor water quality, bad plumbing?  All of these factors could and should be looked into prior to investing any money on property to help protect your vision for the project.


Own a brewery  or winery and have your own stories or tips?  Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail and  let us know what your experiences were along with any tips you wish you had known if you could do it over again.


Keywords: Brewery Architect, Winery Architect, Facility Design, Brewery Design, Winery Design, Brewery Expansion

Looking for a change? Unsure of Your Next Steps Could Be? There is a Solution.
23 November, 2016

FMD Architects is now announcing a specialty consultation program for breweries and wineries within our Beverage Studio. This one-day service will get you on the right path toward your vision without a large investment. Deciding what you can do with your space can be tricky and it is easy to get caught up in suggestions from friends, family, and vendors.  Contracting with an architect when you are still trying to figure out what your next step is can be even more daunting.  Working with multiple wineries and breweries over the years, we recognize that whether this is your first step toward a brewery or winery or the next step in the business growth, there are a lot of questions to be asked and ideas to be discussed. 


Channeling many of the frequently asked questions we get, along with lessons learned, and other industry resources, FMD Architects offers a “One-Day Consultation” where we travel to your site and walk through your space with you.  We then provide an assessment and thoughts to you and your team for you review.  This service gives you the opportunity to interact with an experienced design professional in the industry within your budget until you are ready to begin your next project.


Looking to start a project but find yourself painted into a corner?  We’d love to hear from you at and see how we can help connect you with your vision. 

Check Out This Challenge
09 November, 2016

For those new and recently opened breweries looking for some additional help and love a good challenge, check out this challenge over at Brewbound for start-up breweries at the below link:

Hand vs. Machine Harvest
24 October, 2016

Man vs. machine - not just a played out concept in the movies.  Recently we read an article during our weekly industry review on harvesting techniques comparing hand to machine harvesting methods.  Paumanok Vineyards, a winery in New York, did a blind taste test with both methods to help settle the issue for their wines.  We wanted to share this article with our followers because even as designers, we recognize there are many factors between field to table that can affect the flavors of the wines.  As with design and production, each winery seeks to find balance that creates the character and consistency their customers will remember them by.

Considerations in Winery Design – Introductions
26 September, 2016

When it comes to construction projects, they can be both intimidating and complex to wrap your head around when starting up or expanding for the first time.  Winery projects are no different, and for those who have already gone through the process of opening and operating their own winery know, they also come with an additional level of unique design considerations.   FMD Architects will be starting a multi-part series on our page so stay tuned for follow up posts.  Each post in the series will be a short dialogue on a different feature or aspect of a winery project from a design perspective.

Congratulations Michael Angelo's!!!
14 September, 2016

Congratulations to Matthew and Michael Ciocca of Michael Angelo's Bakery on the announcement of their new winery coming in 2017!!! This is great news for the Ciocca brothers and Richfield Township. 

Rundown to Rehabilitated – New Brewery, old building.
31 August, 2016

Looking back a few years ago in downtown Bristol Virginia, you might not think much about an unassuming warehouse at the edge of the historical district that sat abandoned for several years. Fortunately even in the 100+ year old buildings rundown state, the structure and location captured the vision of the brew master for Studio Brew, and with that vision and a LOT of elbow grease, that dream became a reality.

The building Studio Brew now occupies is a part of the Historical Warehouse District in Bristol Virginia, and after working with both State and Federal Agencies has been given approval for the tax credit renovation.


Before (click to enlarge)      


After (click to enlarge)                                                 

Working with Studio Brew, FMD Architects designed the building to accommodate the strict requirements for preservation of the existing look and feel of the warehouse, while managing to fit in not only a 15 barrel Brewhouse and the fermenters, but also a bottling line, walk-in cooler, barrel aging program, and the tasting room all on one floor. The second floor is also used as dining room expansion, music events, and to provide a hub for beer education to help the local beer enthusiasts and community learn more about tasting and making beer.

Before (click to enlarge) 

  After (click to enlarge)

Lessons from the Craft Beer Industry
01 August, 2016

Struggling to hit sales goals?  Not capturing the crowds you want to provide service to? Looking for a new method to revive interest and bring in new customers? While reading an article published on Offlicence titled “Wine Trade Should mimic craft beer’s success” earlier this year, we came across an interesting concept that could help with all of those questions.  The beverage industry is complex, and unfortunately there isn’t a globally accepted golden goose method for sales (besides of course creating a great product and having a great space to taste it in).  However,  the author of the article suggested looking to the way craft beer is sold and “mimic” that same strategy within the wine industry, essentially creating “craft wine”.  By creating a special product, or offering it in limited or special release program, the article suggests this is a great way to create and add value to what you offer in house and retail.  Give the short article a read and feel free to reach out to us with comments on strategies that you like to use for your winery/brewery ventures.

Brewery & Winery Flooring & Why It's Important
05 July, 2016

When it comes to brewing and wine-making, thinking about the flooring may be low on your likely very long list of TO-DO’s to get your production or tasting room up and running. From experience flooring can be one of the more critical decisions to be made during the process.  In this article from September 2015, the interviewer and interviewee discuss some of the finer points about the proper floor selection and the impact it can have on your start-up and daily operations.  From Urethane concrete to Argelithe tile, there are more options available than mentioned in the article, and each is better than leaving the concrete unsealed.  When it comes time to make a decision, we highly recommend working with an industry experienced architect to help choose the best product for your aesthetic, budget, and functional needs, especially when it comes to the production side.  Many floor systems have a difficulty handling the 200° plus water temperatures and chemical make-up of the produced product.  Numerous flooring manufacturers also offer new products and colors that can allow your floor to be creative and expressive of your brewery/winery and values.

Craft Brew Drinkers Find Balance in Healthy Habits
21 June, 2016

Have you ever associated “drinking beer” and “healthy habits” together in the same sentence?  It’s not a crazy as it sounds according to an article under the same title done by the Harris Poll.  Based on the research Harris Poll completed, they found that the growing trend for craft beer drinkers over an average drinker is to treat craft beer as more of a treat.  In addition to what they drink, the article also identified some of the new trends that bring people together for a glass.  When designing wineries and breweries, its important to take concepts like this into mind to help create functional, social, and inviting places.  Doing so will allow businesses to build in flexibility now, so that owners can express their creativity and culture through their interactions with customers. 

Congratulations Studio Brew!!!
06 June, 2016

Congratulations to Erich and Pam Allen of Studio Brew on their receipt of a historical preservation award. Their new brewery is one of 4 buildings to receive recognition, and the efforts to rehabilitate it have not gone unnoticed.


Studio Brew Update
11 May, 2016

Mark and Brian stopped by Studio Brew in February and were given the opportunity to interview with his marketing team and share their thoughts about the project. Click here for their interview and check out all the other videos at his website

Visit Us at the Craft Brewers Conference! Booth 2460
25 April, 2016

We are getting prepared for the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, we would like to personally invite you to the visit us at booth 2460 during the dates of May 4th through May 6th. With all of the recent combining of vendors attending beverage trade shows, it might be a good use of your time.

At this particular show, we will be unveiling our new 3-D Virtual Reality Walkthrough capabilities that we used for a brewery that we just completed.

We would also be happy to share ideas about projects we have recently completed for other breweries, distilleries and wineries.

We would like to introduce you to some great collaborative partners of ours such as Sam Holloway, Ph. D., Founder, President of Crafting A Strategy, Keith Merklin, General Manager of Live Oak Bank, Wine and Craft Beverage Lending, Erich Allen, owner/founder of Studio Brew and others.

We hope you can make it.

Michael Angelo's Winery is underway...
12 April, 2016

Michael Angelo’s Winery construction is underway.  The trellis structure is now in place, and foundations  are almost completed.  The new Winery in Ohio will be one of the first in the area once it's complete, and offer plenty of room to enjoy the wine and weather, indoors and outdoors.


     Michael Angelo's Winery    Michael Angelo's Winery

FMD is hosting a Winery Design & Business Seminar in New York's beautiful Finger Lakes!
18 September, 2014

Growing isn't just for grapes!

With proper planning and creative facilities use, you can grow your sales, brand, and bottom line. Learn some of the latest techniques from tasting room design strategies to expanding product offerings within existing facilities in this exciting one-day seminar in New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes! $49 price includes all sessions, networking lunch with wine tasting and panel discussion.

 The seminar includes speakers from multiple industries, to provide a well-rounded educational experience for attendees. After a networking lunch, speakers will also be accessible through a panel discussion to answer all of your questions. Our featured speaker for the event is Kristofer Sperry, who is both an architect and a winemaker. He combined his passions by devoting his architectural practice exclusively to winery design, and also serves as the winemaker and owner of Myrddin Winery in Northeast Ohio. His abilities as an architect to understand space and efficiencies combine with his award winning wine production capabilities to create a wealth of knowledge on best practices for winery facilities.

Click here to learn more and RSVP


Expansion is in our Future…
24 July, 2014

Winery and Brewery DesignFMD Architects specializes in tasting rooms, service bars, retail markets, outdoor pavilions and more for wineries and breweries.  It’s great when product flies off the shelves, and event nights are sold out.  When the overflow of business begins, your response to your client base shifts to accommodate the tasters, concert goers, and wedding parties; to serve your current and future customers. 

In the beverage industry your facility speaks volumes for your business. Business amenities are essential to retaining and growing a loyal customer base. FMD Architects provides a broad range of services from design to business planning to help realize your renovation, addition, or new construction needs.

In-house wine consultant, Kristofer Sperry (wine maker and architect) and brew master Erich Allen integrate their expertise of the wine and brew processes into each respective design ensuring a facility fit to FMD standards reflecting:

          -  Functionality and a high level of efficiency;
          -  Durability and aesthetic, and most importantly;
          -  Your dream.

Our team is a dynamic group of accomplished professionals ready to help build your vision.  Please do not hesitate to contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

For more information about FMD Architects and our projects, visit FMD Architects- Grain and Vine Design. We are also hosting the Winery Design Seminar. Click the button or link to RSVP.



Grain and Vine Design – FMD Architects

Photo Credit: Unknown

San Jose Craft Beverage Expo 2014
06 May, 2014

FMD Architects is excited to be a part of the 2014 San Jose Craft Beverage Expo.  Visit our principal Melanie Friedman at booth #404 to go over some great design ideas for your future winery, brewery, or distillery or to learn about the projects from the Grain and Vine Design Studio.  We can't wait to meet with you, and thank you again for your support of FMD Architects.


FMD says thanks for two great shows!
19 February, 2014

For us, tradeshows are more than just standing behind a booth trying to reel in the next project. We utilize tradeshows as an opportunity to reconnect with past clients, continue cross collaborative relationships with other vendors, and to forge new friendships as well. Both the Midwest Grape and Wine and the Ohio Grape and Wine conferences enabled us to do that over the last couple weeks, and have a great time at it as well! We just wanted to extend our appreciation to Vineyard and Winery Management and to The Ohio State University as well as all the others that contribute efforts to making these shows a success year after year, so thanks!

FMD's Wine Guy Brings Home the Sparkle
21 January, 2014

Kristofer Sperry, FMD's exclusive winery design and wine making consultant (how many architects do you know that own their own winery?!) is currently studying sparkling wine in France. He will be coming home for a visit in February and will be in our booth #357 at the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference. Stop by and ask him about the opportunities to add this growing niche market into your processing area and business plan!

Join FMD Architects at the 2014 Midwest Grape and Wine Conference and Trade Show
08 January, 2014

FMD Architects will attend the 2014 Midwest Grape and Wine Trade Show

FMD Architects will attend Midwest Grape and Wine Show.  To meet principals Mark Moore and Melanie Friedman,  visit our Facebook page and leave us a message.  We are booth #357.  See you there!

FMD Architects Proudly Presents the Gervasi Crush House
27 December, 2013

The Gervasi Vineyard & Italian Bistro opened its doors to the newest venue celebrating great wines and superb atmosphere. "Take it all in during the day with winery tours and casual dining and let it all out at night in their new wine bar." Congratulations on the grand opening. Our impeccable design and your continuous dedication can only be an equation for future success!  Click on the image below to view our gallery!

Studio Wine by FMD Architects