BrewDog Outpost gets an enthusiastic welcome on opening weekend

After almost a year of anticipation, fans of the Scottish brewery BrewDog swarmed the company’s new Cleveland Outpost on Scranton Peninsula this past weekend for its grand opening.

Adam May at BrewDog ClevelandAdam and Constance May headed to BrewDog on Saturday, Dec. 4 to check out the space. They were impressed with the 20,000-square-foot renovated industrial building with a 10,000-square-foot patio, 28 beers on tap, and firepits throughout both the indoor and outdoor areas.

“The space is awesome—it’s huge,” says Adam. “It’s a massive space with lots of areas [to gather].”

Adam says the parking lot was packed, with people parking on the street, or wherever they found space to leave their cars, and the wait for a table to eat was more than two hours on Saturday. But the pair said it was worth the trouble to visit on opening weekend.

Constance says she was wowed with the 22 shuffleboard courts, pinball machines, and overall décor.

“The interior design is nice,” she says. “They used really bold colors [inside], and [outside] they have tiered bleachers on the water and great views.”

Both Adam and Constance were impressed with the giant chess board with knee-high movable chess pieces, and plenty of outdoor space heaters.

The Cleveland location is BrewDog’s ninth location in the United States, its 110th worldwide with the flagship BrewDog in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The company announced its plans to open a Cleveland location in April, but Keith Bennet, BrewDog’s special projects and business development manager, says they’ve been looking at Cleveland for a while.

“Cleveland has been a big target for us for a while,” says Bennet. “It’s an amazing city, with great sports teams, and is a great beer city.’’

Bennet says the search finally ended when they found the building on Scranton Peninsula. “We just wanted to plant our flag here in this amazing city,” he says. “We’ve been looking for years, and we saw this building—an old industrial building with exposed brick and concreate pillars.”

Adam adds that the repurposed shipping containers—used for a potential additional outside bar and awnings on the patio—add to the industrial feel of BrewDog, and he says the brewery is a much-needed addition to a mostly undeveloped section of the Flats.

The huge patio was also a selling point for Bennet, who says the outdoor area will be open year—round. “People want to be outside,” he declares.

A staff of 50 keeps the large space running smoothly, and Bennet says opening preparations went well and they are still hiring.

Adam and Constance say they were impressed with the service. “They had great attention to detail,” says Constance. “They were checking the heaters and filling them with propane.”

In addition to the firepits, games, year-round patio, and a full menu, the bar has 28 beers on tap featuring a mix of BrewDog beers and local beers, as well as a variety of cocktails and non-alcoholic choices. A 3.5 HL brew kit and brew zone allows the brewery to craft small, one-off batches.

“We pride ourselves on freshness and quality of the beer,” says Bennet. “We live and die by what goes into the customer’s glass.”

Additionally, an interactive beer school is a spinoff of the Columbus location’s  7,000-square-foot BrewDog Beer Museum, where guests to the Cleveland location can learn about the history of beer through an interactive screen in a special section of the bar.   

Despite so many amenities to make customers feel welcome, warm, and comfortable, what does Bennet say is the best feature? “The incredible views,” he replies without hesitation. “It has to be sitting on the patio looking east at downtown, with the industrial bridges over the river.”

The Mays say they will definitely return to BrewDog. "I definitely see it as a destination place," says Adam. "We're definitely going back with groups. I hope it spurs other things to come in nearby—it can be an anchor to the Flats."

Even though opening weekend is over, BrewDog Cleveland has plenty more on the schedule. On Sunday, Dec. 12 former Browns wide receiver Josh Cribbs will be at the BrewDog Cleveland Epic Tailgate Party from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. 5 p.m. to celebrate the official opening. And, of course, the bar will be airing the Cleveland Browns taking on the Baltimore Raven at 1 p.m. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

BrewDog Cleveland Outpost is located at 1956 Carter Road. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.