After Dark Lord Day this year, 3 Floyds will embark on construction of a major expansion that will more than double its space, submerge its brewpub under a sloping man-made hill for al fresco drinking and dining, and transform its industrial park brewing operation into a huge craft beer playground of prairie grass and glistening glass.
The Munster Town Council voted unanimously to approve the heavy metal-themed craft brewery’s expansion.
“Tonight is a big night for Nick Floyd,” project attorney Scott Yahne said. “It’s a world class facility that’s being planned. He’s bought neighboring properties and stitched them together. As you know there are lines out the door all the time. It’s bursting at the seams. There’s all kinds of bottled-up creativity at 3 Floyds just waiting to be expressed. He wants to build a world-class facility befitting the products he delivers.”
3 Floyds is not seeking any incentives from the town of Munster for the multimillion dollar expansion project, owner Nick Floyd said. The celebrated brewery, known for its intensely hopped beers and dark metal aesthetic, just doubled its space in 2014, and already is looking to grow again.
The 136,000-square-foot campus has been designed by HKS, the same architectural firm that designed the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium where the 2018 Super Bowl was played. It includes a 16,706-square-foot terraced garden with outdoor seating and a walk-up bar.
Munster Councilman John Reed said the renderings look incredible.
“3 Floyds is truly world-renowned,” he said. “I had friends from London staying in Chicago. We told them we’d meet them there for dinner and they insisted, no, they wanted to come down to go to 3 Floyds. Even though we have nothing to do with it, a lot of people in Munster have a sense of pride that a brewery here is the best in the world.”
Architect Jorge Barrero said the architecture firm designed the expanded campus at 9750 Indiana Parkway to pay homage to 3 Floyds’ Midwestern roots and its values such as being “not normal,” unorthodox, uncompromising and not contrived.
“We wanted to make sure the design and the architecture reflected the creativity and imagination of 3 Floyds,” Barrero said. “We wanted an exterior to express the community. It wasn’t just an architecture project or a factory. We wanted an expression of the 3 Floyds community, the Munster community, anyone who appreciates what they do.”
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The reimagined campus will include 283 parking lots, 54 bike parking lots and easier access by bike, since many bicycle to the acclaimed 22-year-old craft brewery from as far as Chicago.
3 Floyds will end up looking a lot like a park with trees, hedges and a large sloping lawn, Barrero said.
“The brewpub will actually be underneath the lawn,” he said. “The big idea is to create a natural prairie landscape that’s indigenous to the area. It’s very lush with a lot of green space.”
The campus itself will be designed with locally sourced materials, including COR-TEN steel, limestone, precast concrete and glass.
“It’s a phenomenal-looking project,” Council President Lee Ann Mellon said. “It’s appealing aesthetically. It’s a gorgeous development. With so many developers, you have to urge them to look at our landscape ordinance. It’s good for business and for the community. This is a great-looking project.”
3 Floyds spokeswoman Sara White said the brewery planned to start construction as soon as possible after Dark Lord Day on May 19 and that it would likely take more than a year to complete. There's no current timetable for the project.
Tentatively, the interior would feature Gothic vaulted ceilings and communal tables. White said the space would be in keeping with 3 Floyds heavy metal and Dungeons & Dragons aesthetic.
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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.