Handcrafted Lights Pack a Punch at New Asheville Brewery
Transforming a large, drab cinderblock building into Asheville’s newest brewery was a tall order. But a talented trio of designers were up for the challenge that demanded a creative approach to blend the industrial character of the space with the inviting atmosphere of a brew pub.
“The building was originally built as an arcade, go-cart track, putt putt golf-type of place,” says Leslie Huntley, a member of the FS Design Group team. “Think Chuckie Cheese without the pizza.” Leslie was joined by April Fore and Kristen Levy to create the perfect space for the Salt Face Mule Brewing Company.
Inspiration for the new design came from the old barns found dotting the hillsides in western North Carolina. Leslie explains that the owner and partners grew up nearby, and the name of the brewery pays homage to the mules that worked on the owner’s grandfather’s farm.
A long-time customer of Barn Light Electric, Leslie knew where to turn for authentic barn lights that are easy to customize with size, finish color, and other options including energy-saving LED.
“We needed lights that would pack a decorative punch,” Leslie notes. “Since the building is so large with the tables, chairs, and brewing equipment taking up most of the space, we needed to bring interest in with lighting. Barn Light fixtures match the look, period, and feel and offer a great color selection. They give a consistent look and quality while still offering a variety of styles.”
For the exterior, the design team chose the Fire Chief LED Sign Light to highlight the artwork and signage. They customized these with 14″ shades, a Barn Red powder coat finish, and G22 gooseneck arms. The swivel knuckle option was also added for each fixture.
“We wanted something that would light up the outside graphics and still have a presence on such a large façade,” Leslie says. “The size worked well for the space, and the swivel knuckle allows for precise positioning of the illumination.”
For the interior, behind both bars, the team stayed with the Fire Chief LED Sign Light but in smaller 10″ and 12″ shade sizes to better fit the spaces. These handle the task of illuminating the menu boards, beer taps, and the brewery logo.
Near the front entrance, customers enjoy seeing vintage farm photos which are highlighted by matching Fire Chief LED Sign Lights but in a more industrial, Galvanized finish. These 12″ shades are handspun from commercial-grade aluminum and mounted with G11 gooseneck arms.
“We like the look of these fixtures, and we wanted some variety in the finish color,” Leslie notes.
Over the main bar, eight Wallaby LED Pendant Lights brighten this popular spot. These American-made pendants feature 12″ shades, the Barn Red finish to match the sign lights, and standard black cords.
“We like the look of this pendant and the size works for the space,” Leslie explains. “We chose a contrasting Galvanized guard to break up the red and call attention to the design of the fixture.” Ribbed glass softens the illumination slightly for less glare.
Along the exterior wall, the design team opted for the timeless look of The Original™ LED Warehouse Gooseneck Light. They customized these classic lights with generous 16″ shades, a Cobalt Blue porcelain enamel finish, and G64 gooseneck arms.
“We like that the look was slightly different from the other fixtures but sticking with our red, green, and blue color scheme,” Leslie says. “We thought it was nice to have the light wash down the wall.”
Even the restrooms at the Salt Face Mule enjoy a splash of color and style with the Wilcox LED Wall Sconce. These wall lights are customized with 12″ shades and Barn Red finish to tie in with the overall design plan. With the brewery now open to the public, the design team is pleased with how all the details came together.
“We think the lights really carry the theme of the restaurant. I can see all of these lights on barns or old storefronts and that was important to the space,” Leslie says. “I like that the variety of sizes allowed us to use pieces that could read across the span of a pretty long space. They helped bring character into a previously large, blah, cinderblock building!”