Architecture/Engineering Request for Qualifications

March 12th, 2012

UPDATED 3/21: Answers to questions we received through 3pm Friday 3/16, per the RFQ, are posted at the bottom of this post.

Request for Qualifications: Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture Services
March 12, 2012

Early in 2011, Surly Brewing Company announced plans to expand with a $20 million “Destination Brewery”. The only problem was a Prohibition-era law that prohibited breweries from selling pints of their own beer on their premises. With help from Surly Nation, political leaders, and a community of supporters, we succeeded in changing the law. For more information on the campaign to change the law, check out our blog post.

We’re Ready!
TEGRA Group, on behalf of Surly Brewing Company, invites architecture and engineering firms with a strong local presence to submit qualifications for the design of a new brewery and multi-purpose event facility.

Privately-held, Surly was founded in 2005 and is based in Brooklyn Center, MN. It has gained international recognition for its craft beers that are served in more than 500 restaurants and bars throughout Minnesota. Surly is currently envisioning an initial 60,000 to 80,000 square foot facility with a capacity for future growth. The facility master plan will include space for brewhaus, production, packaging, warehousing, cold storage, beer hall, restaurant, event center and an outdoor beer garden. Both raw land and sites with existing structures for adaptive reuse are being considered. Surly intends to use a Construction Manager @ Risk with a GMP project delivery method. They may engage a Construction Manager for pre-construction and construction services after the site is identified. Their goal is to be in full production in the new facility as early as 2014.

Surly intends to have its A/E firm under contract by mid-year 2012. Surly anticipates short-listing three to five candidate A/E firms in April. Short-listed firms will be invited to respond to a Request for Proposal focused on specific team members, proposed consultants, and detailed information about approach to design, etc. It is not necessary to identify specific team members for this Qualifications Request.

Please provide your qualification information in the following order:

Part One: Firm Overview Information

  1. Firm name, address, main phone and website address.
  2. Name, address, phone and e-mail of primary contact person.
  3. Firm ownership structure and year established.
  4. List of in-house design disciplines and number of registered professionals.

Part Two: Firm Experience

Please provide a summary of similar project experience with project name, location, construction value and a thumbnail graphic image. These should be projects carried out by the responding firm.

A. Similar Project Experience

  1. Food or beverage processing, packaging, R&D and pilot plant facilities which meet regulatory food safety requirements.
  2. Food or beverage warehouse/distribution facilities, including cold storage.
  3. Event facilities with features such as performance stages and seating areas.
  4. Bars, restaurants and commercial kitchens.
  5. Multi-use projects with pedestrian, auto and truck traffic circulation all on one site.

B. Additional Applicable Experience

  1. Projects which demonstrate the ability to translate a brand/ image into architectural and interior design.
  2. Urban projects with complex municipal approval processes.
  3. Projects in excess of $10M construction value.

Evaluation Criteria

Qualifications will be evaluated based on succinct demonstration of the requested experience.

Preference will be given to firms who have successfully translated a brand/image into architectural and interior design and have food or beverage processing, bar/restaurant and event center experience.

Please submit Qualifications by 3:00 PM on Friday March 23rd, 2012. Your submittal is strictly limited to four (4) – 8.5 x 11 pages. Questions can be submitted to Paul Koerber at the email below by 3:00pm Friday, March 16th. Questions and answers will be publicized on Surly’s website. Surly requests no direct communication with Surly personnel.

Please submit four (4) hard copies and one (1) emailed electronic copy to:

Attn: Paul Koerber
801 Nicollet Mall, Suite 1850
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Surly Nation awaits your creativity and help! We look forward to your response.

UPDATED 3/21: Answers to questions we received through 3pm Friday 3/16, per the RFQ:
Q1: Is the blog the entire RFQ document?
A1: Yes.
Q2: Can Surly release a list of interested firms at this point?
A2: Since the RFQ was posted on the company’s website Surly is unable to confirm on interested firms at this time.
Q3: Would a cover letter be viewed as one of the four pages that the RFQ response is limited to?
A3: Yes.
Q4: Can the four page hard copy include front and back printing?
A4: No.
Q5: Are we allowed to use the Surly logo or images in our RFQ?
A5: Surly will not make any logo or images available. Responding firms may use logo/image material collected from the company’s website for purposes of responding to the issued RFQ only.
Q6: Would Surly consider a fully integrated design/build project delivery methodology?
A6: Not at this time.
Q7: Does Surly have a branding consultant?
A7: Yes.
Q8/related inquiries:
For RFQ response Part One, do we provide information on all team member firms or just the lead firm?
Can the “similar project experience” be met with consultant team members?
Should the RFQ response list consultant engineers?

A8: As shared in the RFQ, preference will be given to firms who have successfully translated a brand/image into architectural and interior design and have food or beverage processing, bar/restaurant and event center experience. In turn Surly will be mostly focused on firms presenting these capabilities. In the event that a firm decides to partner with another firm, or firms, in order to better satisfy this condition, Surly will focus its review primarily on the identified lead firm and its experience in managing such partnerships. In regard to engineering partners, other proposed consultants, etc., related information will be considered through a subsequent RFP process.
Q9: Will the selected architect be involved in the final site selection?
A9: Yes. While the TEGRA Group is leading the site search effort, the overall project team looks forward to design partner insights in comparing short-listed sites.
Q10: Will the project seek green building certification through LEED, Mn Green Star or other?
A10: Sustainable design and operation will be important factors for Surly consideration, and Surly may pursue a formal sustainability designation.

We changed the law, now we’re going to build a brewery!

June 21st, 2011

It’s been a long time coming but your voices have been heard. With your support, we did what many have tried and failed to do – we overturned a long-established liquor law and are now allowed to sell pints of our beer at our brewery.

Now we’re going to build a “Destination Brewery.”

This all started as a big idea last summer. Jim Mott, Surly employee #5, had a great experience in an Austrian brewery while on vacation in Europe. He had enjoyed great beer being served right where it was brewed. He showed me a brochure from that brewery and I turned to Todd Haug, Surly’s head brewer, and said, ‘Why can’t we do the same here in Minnesota?’ Why couldn’t Minnesotans gather and socialize over a Minnesota beer right where it was being brewed? Visiting and dining at a brewery is a part of beer culture in many parts of the world – beer lovers could do it in Austria, they could do it in California and Oregon, but they couldn’t do it here – and that didn’t make sense to us.

We knew we could make this big idea a reality and change the law, and we knew it wouldn’t be easy, but the Surly way is not the easy way. Initial efforts fell on deaf ears – it seemed as though laws that were written after Prohibition were set in stone. But we didn’t stop there – we knew Minnesota’s beer culture was strong, we knew people would get behind a movement that would allow them to enjoy their favorite beer at a great destination, just as Jim did in Austria. It was time to get focused. It was time to get loud. It was time to Get Surly.

To us, this wasn’t just about beer. This was about creating jobs, increasing state tax revenue and stimulating our local economy. In 2008, the Minnesota beer industry helped create $2.5 billion in revenue and we knew our plan would not only increase that figure, but would also create 85 construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs. This bill was about bringing people to Minnesota and helping Minnesota’s economy as much as it was about beer. And, it was about community and bringing people together to enjoy great beer and an experience. We believe our “Destination Brewery,” complete with a bar/restaurant, beer garden, and event center, would do just that.

From the moment we announced plans for our $20 million “Destination Brewery” to when Governor Mark Dayton signed our bill into law, Surly Nation has supported us at every turn. We literally would not have been able to change a 78-year old law and overcome tough, established opposition if it weren’t for Surly Nation writing letters, making phone calls and getting their voices heard. Minnesota is evolving as a beer state and we want to help that along. There are great things ahead.

The next step is to make our plans concrete. We know we have the law behind us now and more importantly, we have the power of the Surly Nation behind us.

Cheers To You!
Omar Ansari
Founder, Surly Brewing Co.

For more updates on the Destination Brewery, keep following us on Twitter and Facebook. We will also have more updates here on our website.

For media inquiries, please contact One Simple Plan, or call 612-767-2403.

One step closer to the Destination Brewery!

April 8th, 2011

We passed our first hurdle last night in making our vision for Surly’s Destination Brewery a reality. At a hearing Wednesday night, the Minnesota Senate Commerce committee approved SF 416, the bill to allow Surly to sell glasses of its own beer on premise.

 We are very appreciative for the support we’ve received from our loyal fans. Your efforts have made a HUGE difference. We also want to thank the members of the Minnesota Senate Commerce committee for passing the bill. THANK YOU ALL!

 But like we said, that was just the first step; we still have a long way to go. The bill now awaits a hearing in the House Commerce committee, which we hope will be scheduled very soon.  It will then have to pass both the full House and Senate before getting to the Governor’s desk.  We hope you will hang with us for the whole ride.

 We’ll keep you posted on our progress at the Capitol and how you can help. Keep following us on Twitter ( and Facebook ( for the latest news. 

 Cheers from all of us at Surly!

 For media inquiries, please contact One Simple Plan, or call 612 767 2403.

March 3rd, 2011

Hello, Surly Nation!

We just can’t say it enough: THANK YOU! The outpouring of support for our expansion project and legislative proposal has been amazing.  Thank you so much for contacting your legislators, attending “Support Surly” and 5th Anniversary events this past month and believing in Minnesota beer. We are making some progress right now and while there is still a long way to go, and it continues to be an uphill climb, it feels like we are heading in a positive direction.  THANK YOU!

In addition to saying thanks, we wanted to give you an update on our progress.   Legislation has now been introduced in both the Minnesota House (House File 703) and Senate (Senate File 416).  Both Republicans and Democrats have signed on to support the bill and we continue to gain support at the Capitol – and beyond.  We will continue meeting with legislators and look forward to talking with the groups that have questions or concerns about the proposal.

We will keep you posted on the effort at the Capitol and we will let you know how and when you can help. Thanks again for your passionate support of Surly’s Destination Brewery, Minnesota craft brewers and SF 416/HF 703!  Please know your efforts have made a difference. 

We will continue to need your help throughout this process to make this idea a reality, so please keep following us on Twitter ( and Facebook ( for the latest news. 

Cheers To You!

Omar Ansari

Founder of Surly Brewing

For media inquiries, please contact One Simple Plan, or call 612 767 2403.

Call to Action!

February 15th, 2011


Surly Nation:

What a week! The news that we are planning to build a new destination brewery has had an amazing response. The ranks of the Surly Nation have grown and we are humbled by all of your encouragement. THANK YOU.

But as you know, not quite everybody is in favor of what we want to do.  The bill has not yet been introduced but already there is stiff opposition, with some people telling us we should go to another state and build. We don’t see that as an option right now so we need YOUR help!

Surly Brewing is calling on YOU to make sure state legislators know there is public support behind Surly’s effort to allow Minnesota brewers to apply for a license to SELL GLASSES OF THEIR OWN BEER at the brewery.

We are asking you to contact your state Representative and state Senator to let them know you support the Surly expansion– and the law change that’s needed to make it happen. Here’s how you can help:

Click this link and enter your address to find your state Representative and state Senator:

Email/Call your state Representative and state Senator (contact only YOUR district’s legislators)

Tell them you’re a Surly fan and you support the proposal to allow Surly to sell glasses of THEIR beer at THEIR brewery. Ask your legislators to join you in support of Surly and Minnesota’s other craft breweries.

If you call, it’s likely you’ll get voicemail or be asked to leave a message with your legislator’s assistant, which is just fine. And it’s ok to be passionate but remember to mind your manners. We’re trying to win these folks over to the Surly cause. 

Tell your family and friends to support the proposal and contact their state legislators too!


Since we announced our plans for the Surly Destination Brewery project last week, there’s been a lot of interest and excitement. But, there’s also been a lot of misinformation so we wanted to clarify what we are working toward and formally ask for your help.

WE ARE A SMALL BUSINESS WITH A BIG IDEA:  We want to build a brewery that includes a restaurant, bar, beer garden, and event center, which will make it a destination for craft beer fans in Minnesota and across the country. The destination brewery will be another Twin Cities amenity.

WE ARE NOT LOOKING TO TEAR DOWN THE “THREE-TIER SYSTEM”: Right now we self-distribute our beer, but with the new brewery we are going to give that up and will therefore hire a Minnesota distributor.

WE ONLY WANT TO SELL OUR GLASSES OF BEER AND ONLY AT THE BREWERY: We don’t want to sell liquor, wine, or another brewery’s beer. And we aren’t looking to have multiple locations – just one location, at the brewery.

WE DON’T WANT TO SELL OUR PACKAGED BEERS: We don’t want to sell growlers, cans, or bottles at the new brewery.

WE ARE A PROUD MINNESOTA COMPANY: Some in the opposition have suggested that we build our destination brewery in another state, where the laws are more accommodating. While it’s true that we could get this brewery built in many other states, we don’t see that as an option right now. We want to build it in Minnesota—we are a Minnesota company and would like to keep it that way. Some of the country’s hottest craft beer brands have breweries in their states similar to the one we are proposing.

WE ARE WORKING TO FIND A SOLUTION: This a whole new world for us and it has proven to be an uphill climb to update the law so we can continue to grow our business the way we want to.  But we DO want to meet with the opposition to find a resolution. Our destination brewery will benefit Minnesota in many ways.

MINNESOTA IS A BEER STATE: Other states, such as Colorado, Wisconsin, California, and Oregon are seen as notable beer states and have breweries like the one we are proposing. They attract tourists, which helps other local businesses, including hotels, bars/restaurants and transportation. Beer tourism is becoming more and more popular. In fact, Surly founder Omar Ansari and his wife came up with the concept of Surly on a four-day beer trip to Oregon. And, the New York Times recently featured a beer trip one of its writers took to Northern Minnesota, which further confirms that these trips and craft beer are more popular than ever.

Thanks for your continued support. Now’s the time to connect with your friends, family and co-workers to help keep our proposal moving forward. Keep following us on Twitter ( and Facebook ( for more news and ways you can help.


Omar Ansari

Founder of Surly Brewing

An Update

February 11th, 2011

I wanted to post to let Surly Nation (and others) know what we are proposing:

-Surly would like to sell glasses of beer at our new facility. Only our beer, not liquor, not wine, not other brewery’s beer.

-We are not asking to sell growlers, cans or bottles at the facility and have never asked.

-We would produce over 25,000 bbls of beer in a year if we build the new brewery so we would give up our ability to self-distribute. In other words, we are making a business decision to use more distributors.

-Contacting MLBA to voice your frustration is counterproductive. They have the right to disagree.

-We will let you know how to help next week.


February 7th, 2011

Thanks to you, our Surly fans, we’re celebrating five years of Surly Brewing. We’ve expanded our Brooklyn Center brewery as much as we can and brewed almost three million pints of beer in 2010, but you’re still thirsty, and we can’t keep up. So, we’re excited to announce our plans for a new brewery. But this ain’t just any brewery, it will be a destination brewery, worthy of our fans.

The new $20 million destination brewery will be a two-story, 60,000 square-foot building, complete with a roof deck beer garden, a 250-seat restaurant with mouth-watering view of our brewery, and a 30-foot bar.

The brewery is good for us, and great for Surly fans, but it’ll also benefit our state by creating as many as 85 construction jobs to build it over nine months and 150 permanent Minnesota jobs, and offer a complete event center, for concerts, parties, business events, weddings, and more. Now there’s a reason to renew your vows.

It’s a big idea but it’s not a done deal yet. We can’t be licensed as a brewpub because we brew too much beer so Minnesota law currently says we can’t sell beer in the new brewery. We are working with legislators right now in hopes of getting the law changed because a restaurant, bar and beer garden have to be a part of the new brewery. We may need your help soon, please keep checking our web page and our Twitter and Facebook pages for updates.

With the support of our fans and the great state of Minnesota, we can build this destination brewery and start cranking out 100,000 more barrels of Surly beer every year—more than 850 percent more beer brewed than last year. Getting thirsty yet? Hell yeah you are!

Let’s get more Surly!

Media contacts:

One Simple Plan

514 N. 3rd Street

Suite 103

Minneapolis, MN 55401

Phone: (612) 767-2403