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Scottish brewery BrewDog picks The Avian on Scranton Peninsula for Cleveland location

Posted at 8:00 AM, Apr 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-17 08:01:12-04

CLEVELAND — Scottish Brewery BrewDog plans to move into The Avian building on Scranton Peninsula by the end of the summer or early fall.

BrewDog Cleveland

“We’ve been searching Cleveland for a long time or the right site,” said BrewDog USA’s Head of Special Projects Keith Bennet.

Renderings show what BrewDog Cleveland could look like by the end of the summer.

The craft brewery already has locations in Columbus, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh. The Cleveland location is slated to have a kid’s play area, dog park, outdoor bar, and outdoor seating along one of the bends of the Cuyahoga River that overlooks Downtown Cleveland.

BrewDog plans to use the back of the property for a large outdoor space along the water with views of downtown.

“People’s desire to go out and socialize has not gone anywhere, it’s just their ability to,” said Bennet when asked about opening up a business during a pandemic. “So we’re very confident that’s going to come back.”

The Avian

The building BrewDog Cleveland will move into was initially intended to be office space by developer Fred Geis.

Avian Front Entrance.JPG
Early plans for The Avian were for the space to become an office building in a new part of the city.

He was refurbishing the building when the COVID pandemic broke out in the United States, prompting Geis to pivot in the middle of the project.

“We set out to really anticipate the new behaviors of people post-pandemic,” said Geis in May 2020.

Avian Lounge.JPG
Geis pivoted in the middle of the project to design the space in a way that tenants would be attracted to after the pandemic.

The building has an upgraded HVAC system to better circulate and clean the air. When offices were still the likely outcome for the space, Geis said it was designed to keep visitors and workers in separate parts of the building to prevent the spread of germs.

BrewDog Cleveland will be one of the first new developments on Scranton Peninsula, centrally located in the middle of Downtown Cleveland.

BrewDog founder James Watt dropped hints on Twitter that the brewery was looking at the space starting a few months ago.

“We started thinking, ‘Well, if tenants are going to relocate and they’re going to stay in the city of Cleveland, they’re going to want a different kind of building than what exists everywhere else,” Geis said.


The Avian is the first building as part of the Thunderbird development, which envisions a series of developments along Scranton Peninsula.

Early renderings for Thunderbird show a walkable community that spans much of Scranton Peninsula.

Much of it is unused, old industrial space that sits across the Cuyahoga River from Downtown Cleveland, down the hill from Ohio City and Tremont, and is now connected by recently-finished and under-construction bike trails.

The Centennial Lake Link Trail is already in place, connecting the soon-to-be-opened Redline Greenway with the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail along the Cuyahoga River.

Two buildings were recently demolished to make way for Irishtown Bend in Ohio City, which will further connect the river to that neighborhood.

Irishtown bend.png
Renderings show what Irishtown Bend could look like in a few years when the hillside is stable and landscaping creates public space.

All those steps each contribute to connecting future customers to BrewDog Cleveland’s new space.

It’s already sparked conversations about connecting other parts of the Cuyahoga River, like Flats South, where Cleveland Whiskey is renovating a historic produce storage facility to be its new distillery and restaurant.

“We’ve been looking for iconic buildings to really build and amazing BrewDog experience with large 10,000 square feet sites that have an amazing outdoor component and real destination for beer lovers and this site just make perfect sense,” said Bennet. “We saw it and fell in love with it.”

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