You may have heard us mention this one or two times (or 5o), but the Craft Brewing Business offices are proudly located in Northeast Ohio. We are pumped LeBron is back, aren’t sure we should trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love and feel slighted whenever we see a list of top craft beer destinations that doesn’t include the Cleveland/Akron area. We have area tent poles like Great Lakes Brewing, Thirsty Dog and Fat Head’s Brewery, and acclaimed favorites such as Hoppin’ Frog and the Willoughby Brewing Co. We already have a bustling craft brewing neighborhood in Ohio City, with several more brewpubs and Hofbrauhauses and nanobreweries on the way.
We only hop up on that soapbox to mention one of these newcomers in particular has a cool business model that we wanted to share. Platform Beer is a 10-barrel brewhouse, that the owners say is basically a production facility that happens to have a tasting room. Platform will be draft-only and produce its own beer for patrons to enjoy, but the wrinkle in the business model is Platform will be bringing on aspiring/interested brewers to work as apprentices, learn the ropes, create beer and, maybe, take that first step in starting a brewery of their own. Now is that the spirit of the craft beer industry or what?
From a great Plain Dealer article on Platform:
Platform is very much “home-brew inspired,” said Benner, who has home-brewed for four years. It is a small-business incubator as much as it aims to be an anchor business in the neighborhood.
“Every 12 weeks, one individual goes through an application process and works as a brewer’s apprentice, brewing with Shaun,” said Benner, a 31-year-old Baldwin Wallace University graduate who studied business administration. “They work for minimum wage while shadowing Shaun. Many of the people are homebrewers who never got a chance to brew commercially.
“They will work with Shaun on the recipe that will be poured (eventually) on site for the general public.”
But there’s more to brewing than, well, brewing.
“The other piece is the administrative side,” said Benner, who added the chosen brewer will be mentored by “outside resources” — a logo-design team, accountant and real-estate experts. Platform will help the brewer “navigate through state and federal regulations,” of which there are many.
Be sure to check out the rest of that Plain Dealer article for more info on Platform.