Cerberus Brewing Company

Realization May 22, 2016



West Side, Colorado Springs




Cerberus Brewing Company is the result of a transformation of a derelict veterinary clinic into an award-winning brewery and restaurant, complete with full-scale beer production, a top-class kitchen and dining area, and a beautiful outdoor deck and beer garden.

Modern Adaptive Reuse

The Owners of Cerberus are a group of folks passionate about creating quality beer, food, and atmosphere. They formed a team with a vision and found a building on the inner westside of Colorado Springs that fit their location and space requirements. The name Cerberus “The Hound of Hades” is a clever nod to the history of the veterinary clinic.

This existing building was a challenge, to say the least. The primary structure, a 1950’s 2-story box with a mid-level entry (on the wrong side of the building), small windows, low ceilings, and undersized structure and utilities (for any use), did not easily lend itself to housing the most popular brewpub in Colorado Springs. The adjacent structure, currently the brewery, was a combination of an outdoor kennel and 1-car garage. Neither building related structurally or aesthetically, but did have one redeeming aspect; a fabulous mid-century monument sign, that would be salvaged, at the corner of Colorado Avenue & 7th Street.

Cerberus has been raking in the awards for their outstanding space, food, and beer winning a record 12 “Best Of” awards in 2017 from the Colorado Springs Independent.

Taking a solid design cue from the mid-century inspiration, we made one bold architectural move to tie the buildings together (literally and figuratively). A large-scale, mid-century-esque roof creates an iconic look for the building, shades the exterior deck and entry sequence, and provides volume required for the brewery space that did not previously exist. The roof form is outlined in the signature Cerberus red and enhanced with western red cedar, providing a warm and natural Colorado look inside and out.

Every square inch was taken into consideration during the planning of the rehab. With a majority of available space being occupied by the brewery, it was critical for the Kitchen, Bar, and Dining areas to be strategically approached. The Lower Level (2,800 s.f.) contains the full commercial kitchen program, barrel aging and back-of-house storage, and 2-story brewing facility; while the Upper Level (1,700 s.f.) houses a full service bar and dining area that overflows to the west-facing deck.

A variety of seating options allow for an intimate dinner at cozy 2-tops or to hang out with new met friends at the community table. Patrons learn the story of this interesting building through the spatial experiences. Elements from the former vet clinic were upcycled into numerous design elements, from operation table lighting, to chain link kennel fencing, to brut baton concrete fencing (formed with recycled flooring), and baboon walls filled with found stones during excavation. There’s even a surprising peek into the brewhouse from the Men’s Restroom, by way of a salvaged exterior window.

Locally crafted furniture fills the space inside and out, while custom artwork from local artisans hangs from the walls and encloses the beer garden in a laser-cut fence that surreptitiously tells the story of Cerberus.

Photographs by Richard Seldomridge