Ravens Head Brewing focusing on Cohoes Armory

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Ravens Head Brewing -- the startup brewing company/brewpup that had been hoping to set up at St. Joseph's in Albany -- has put in an offer on the Cohoes Armory, the Business Review reports.

The news isn't a surprise. Ravens Head's application for a zoning variance for St. Joe's had prompted strong concerns from some residents of the Ten Broeck Triangle neighborhood. And co-owner Brennon Cleary had told AOA earlier this month that the group behind the brewery project regarded the former church as "already dead", in part because the cost of acquiring parking for the site was pushing the total price tag of the already-$3 million project too high. The Cohoes Armory was on their list of new target properties.

Cleary told the Biz Review that they're still working out details for the armory, but they're "very confident" about the property.

The Cohoes Armory is currently listed for $239,000 by Trinity Realty Group, and includes 22,000 square feet with "[an] apartment, offices, storage/production areas, storage loft, loading dock, and room for trailer access." A Craigslist item for property mentions "ample parking." The building appears to be in an area zoned for mixed-use that allows for restaurants and bars (p. 58). (St. Joseph's is in an area zoned for residential, thus the need for a zoning variance -- on which the Albany BZA has not ruled.) Update: Cohoes' director of community and economic development tells the TU the project fits with its plan for the neighborhood and it can fit under existing zoning.

The armory dates back to 1893. Its architect was Isaac Perry, who not only designed a handful of armories around the state, but also supervised a phase of the state capitol construction.

Earlier and elsewhere:
+ Ravens Head Brewing considering alternatives to St. Joseph's
+ TU: Church pub called a foul brew
+ TU: Council opposes church pub plan
+ Analysis from local brewer George de Piro
+ Is St. Joseph's Church a brewery in its next life?

Find It

Cohoes Armory (possible site of Ravens Head Brewing)
33 Hart Street
Cohoes, NY 12047


As a lifelong resident of Cohoes, I am ecstatic reading this article. I wanted to comment on the other blog suggesting the old "Cramer's Armory", but I never thought Cohoes would be an option. Kudos to the Raven Head's crew for believing in the revitalization of our city, and I hope it come to fruition!!!!

A tiny three block-wide "neighborhood" wedged in between two of the worst neighborhoods in the entire city is the reason a great new business (and new jobs!) is skipping us for...Cohoes. Yes, Cohoes. Not Troy, not Hudson, Cohoes. Someone shake me, slap me, anything...anything to wake me from this horrid nightmare.

Yes! Do it! I can't imagine that the city won't be behind this.

Cohoes -

Cool renovated loft apartments

No elevated highways between you and the river

The Pig Pit

The Foundry

The bike trail very accessible and you can bike for longer than you want to on the trail (unlike in Albany where it only goes for 5 miles)

Closer to Troy (Yeah, that is a good thing)

A local government that encourages new energetic people to bring their ideas energy AND MONEY to Cohoes.

Note to Editors: AlloverCohoes?

Way to go, Ten Broeck neighbors! Hope you enjoy the Rite Aid that will eventually take the place of St. Joseph's.
This should be a great development for Cohoes, it's too bad we let the NIMBYs win in Albany.

C'mon Albany residents and BZA, this is worth fighting for. Can't the residents get parking permits and live with that? This would be an awesome reuse of the building yet some vocal residents have controlled the opposition and are preventing funds from being put into the structure to save it. This reuse is exactly the type of use needed for that structure. Why let investors go to Cohoes (that's also a great building but I hope they can get the business that they would in albany to keep it afloat).

Brendan -- You're not dreaming. The historic Ten Broeck Triangle is too small and too residential to accommodate the fanciful ambitions of a few amateur homebrewers with no restaurant experience, a flimsy business plan, and questionable funding.


the fact that the church is zoned residential at all is sad, the church predates the zoning code.

Good Luck to Cohoes, sad news for the ALB.

Oh but think of all the amazing parking that the Rite Aid will bring. If you talked to those NIMBYs, they'd tell you that it's the most important park of a true urban fabric.

As a resident in Cohoes this is tremendous news. The city needs more transformative projects, and this is a great opportunity to further put our City on the map. More jobs, a stronger tax base, and a brewery to boot. Really hoping this works out.

It will do well in Cohoes.

When will Albany realize that their craziness when it comes to zoning only hurts themselves?

The residents of Ten Broeck Triangle owe the rest of the city an apology.

"The historic Ten Broeck Triangle is too small and too residential to accommodate the fanciful ambitions of a few amateur homebrewers with no restaurant experience, a flimsy business plan, and questionable funding."

Excellent approach. Not only achieve your goal of not allowing the business but then show your professionalism and class by insulting the people trying to start the business. Well done. Maybe you could start a branding campaign.

"Ten Broeck Triangle - Take your ambition elsewhere."

Anthony -
what makes you think that a Rite Aid would come into an area that is zoned residential? That's like saying "if you don't allow us to put a huge brewery and restaurant into your sub-development a rite aid will come in! hope you like that!" It's not realistic.

I wish that the brewery option for St. Joe's could have worked, but the reality is that it wasn't just the neighbors who took issue with the plan. The Board of Zoning appeals requires 75 on site parking spots for an operation as large (originally 230 seats were planned) as this. This is the reason the brewery group began exploring parking at all. The neighbor's concerns were not what prompted them to react, the fact that their application wouldn't have a chance without it did. And the parking solution they found for that large restaurant and high yield brewery could only be found down a hill far away - because the neighborhood is residential, and urban planners didn't make any accommodations for this kind of business as a result. Please stop pointing fingers and calling names. It's not productive. Instead, be happy it looks like they found a more suitable spot that can accommodate them better. Now let's focus on what sort of business CAN go in the church. My neighbors and I have ideas.



Christopher Brian Salon

Peebles Island

Cohoes Falls


Please everyone. Go to Google maps. Look at St. Josephs. To the right and left are two HUGE parks. You could put parking for 500 cars there, let alone 75.

The blame lies with Ten Broeck residents and Mayor Jennings. Why wasn't he out there lobbying for this to happen? Maybe because he lives in Slingerlands.

"Hope you enjoy the Rite Aid that will eventually take the place of St. Joseph's. "

Rite Aid? Doubt it. Hell they'd be lucky if even got a Ghetto Chopper

Now let's focus on what sort of business CAN go in the church. My neighbors and I have ideas.

Let's here them!

That's it, Sean. Pave over two beautiful parks that have been city parks since the 19th century. Eliminate green space for pavement. The larger of the two parks has a deed restriction, by the way, that ensures it will always be a park. It can't be paved over. The other park is a well-used children's playground.

Code Monkey: Like I said, amateur homebrewers with no experience, a suspect business plan, and uncertain funding. Those are the facts. You don't have to like them.

Selling my Albany house to purchase in Cohoes. Will take any offer as long as I can get out quickly.

phenomenal news.

SO - who do I contact about applying for a job??

If the mayor got behind this - say if it were a BBL project - that park would be a parking lot. Overnight.

Many residents have brought ideas to and held meetings with Historic Albany. To Historic Albanys, they have been fair and open to listening. I for one am eager to begin work with them to find other interesting uses that would not require so many late hours, and such a high volume of traffic.

The people on here who are choosing to reduce the rhetoric around this issue to name calling and finger pointing are hampering our ability to work together effectively to find a reasonable and workable solution by raising tensions and emotions.

Two years ago people told me I was crazy to open my business in Cohoes. Now they see the direction the city is moving and have completely changed their opinion!

I am extremely hopeful that this project goes through...especially as a craft beer fan!!!

Those parking requirements are what keeps structures like St Joseph's, and all others built before the car culture of the 1950's stagnant. The city should not be in the business of perpetuating car-culture politics. Where did the parishioners of St. Joesph's park before it was shuttered?

Best latter-day yuppie concept thrown around during this entire debate: convert parks into parking lots. Brilliant.

If you want it that bad, you may as well move to Clifton Park, routinely eat at Panera, and call yourself a "sim."

Well I think it's great a new brewery is looking to move to Cohoes but before we get to excited has anybody had their beer? Ravens Head Brewing has made a name by trying to locate in an old church in Albany that the neighborhood didn't want now they want to go to Cohoes. If their beer is average all this hype is for nothing they willn't make it.

@Sean I hope you don't honestly think it's in the best interest of the community to pave over beautiful public parks for a private interest's parking lot. It's not even a possibility, the land is a deeded public park.

Wherever the brewpub ends up, hopefully plans include a stage for musicians and other performers.

Actually I think there are a couple hundred people in Albany that have had their beer. I know of 70 or so at one event. Is anyone aware of the fact the church can't be a church anymore (175 parking spots required) and the spaces were based on 150 patrons.

@Firbolg your numbers are way off. 75 parking spots for 150 people in the restaurant and 80 in the bar. 230 total seats. There is an active church on Ten Broeck and Clinton that works fine because parishioners are only parking one day a week, during the day. I brewery is open late ever single night, when parking is much tighter.

There are no other businesses going into St. Joseph's but an apology isn't necessary. What I want is for the anti-brew pub residents of Ten Broek to foot the bill for when the church is inevitably demolished so I don't have to help pay for it.

Congrats to Cohoes on getting this. I'm happy it didn't go down to Hudson. First great cheese from R & G, and now beer? It's a fermenters paradise.

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