Platform Beer Co., headquartered in Cleveland’s Ohio City Neighborhood, has released plans for a dedicated barrel souring facility a short distance from their current Tasting Room and Production Facility. Heavy investment is planned for a stand-alone facility that will serve as the foundation for the brewery’s “Phunkenship” barrel aged sour program. Equipment is on the way and Platform hopes to be open by July, 2018.
“Because we are using an open fermentation process, we required a separate facility to avoid any potential cross contamination between sour and non-sour beers,” explained co-owner Justin Carson. “We have been searching for the right space to launch this program for some time and we cannot be more excited about the space we have secured. There is so much history in this place, it is difficult to replicate that.”
A brewery in this building seems to be par for the course. In fact, throughout the years as many as three other breweries have called the warehouse, located at 3135 Sackett Ave in Cleveland, it’s home. Kress Weisse Brewing Company operated a small weisse beer producing brewery in 1902 before the building and assets were purchased by Standard Brewing Company in 1904. Standard quickly relocated operations to a larger facility and sold the space to Excelsior Brewing Company who expanded operations at the facility and modernized the plant.
The facility has been used for various manufacturing and machine shop purposes since Excelsior’s closing, but Platform has plans to breathe new life into the facility that include a dedicated sour production operation. Initial equipment on order will include a custom built 30 bbl Coolship used to inoculate beer with wild, native yeast and bacteria, 16 foeders (wooden fermentation tanks used to sour beer) varying from 7 barrels to 60 barrels each and at least 200, freshly emptied, wine barrels on-site to beginning aging beer for souring. A dedicated canning and bottling line will also be on-site.
The facility also sits adjacent to a corner lot that will be transformed into a Biergarten jutting out from the 1,000 sq ft tasting room attached to the facility. Like other Platform locations, expect raw, minimalistic design that highlights the character of the facility. Plans are to be open to the public Friday-Sunday each week and for special beer release events in the Biergarten space.
Along with barrel aging for sour purposes, plans are in place to rapidly expand Platform’s current “clean” barrel program, which includes non-soured, barrel aged beers. High River, a barrel aged stout aged in bourbon barrels, from local distillery Tom’s Foolery, was recently released as a canned product; the first of many future canned releases.
“We have carved out 25,000 sq ft in our production facility for nothing but clean barrel aged beers. We are talking space for thousands of spirit barrels on-site as we expand,” Noted co-owner Paul Benner.
Beer currently in barrels include Yammy Yammy in rum barrels with maple syrup and pecans, Darn Putin in Watershed bourbon barrels and a stout aged on pistachios. These, and many more clean barrel aged beers, will be released on a regular basis.
Platform Beer Co. is an independently owned craft brewery based in Cleveland with a hometown Tasting Room and Production Facility along with a tasting Room in Columbus. Founded in 2014, Platform crafts an ever-changing variety of styles that blur the lines of beer styles. Offerings include Speed Merchant White IPA, New Cleveland Pale Ale/Pilsner Hybrid, Hyper Retro Lemon Ginger Saison, High Brow Barista Coffee Rye Pale Ale, Yammy Yammy Sweet Potato Ale, Esther Belgian Style Christmas Ale, a variety of fruited Gose and Berliner Weisse Styles, a Small Batch IPA Series featuring New England Style IPAs and a series of exclusive taproom-only barrel aged clean and sours beers. Platform Beer Co. has grown from 97 bbls of beer produced in 2014 to approximately 20,000 bbls produced in 2017.