Cleveland’s brewing community continues to grow stronger and more cooperative. In 2013, Great Lakes Brewing Co. celebrates 25 years in business as Ohio’s first craft brewery, and in the same Ohio City neighborhood as GLBC (which is quickly becoming a brewery district), a new brewhouse is being planned, but with a unique twist. According to an article on Cleveland.com, two local beer-loving entrepreneurs are planning not only a small batch brewery, but perhaps even a beer business incubator that could help amateurs learn to brew and run a business.
Paul Benner owns a home-brewing shop in Tremont called the Cleveland Brew Shop. Justin Carson is the founder of JC BeerTech Ltd., which installs and cleans draft soda and beer lines in five states. Together, the two have come up with Platform Beer Co., a brewery that will occupy a building on Lorain Avenue in Ohio City, and as the name suggests, Platform will act as a springboard for home-brewers hoping to turn a hobby into a career.
The details are still in flux, and the project has to jump regulatory hurdles. But Platform could open at 4125 Lorain Ave. by mid-2014, with a tasting room and a 10-barrel system that can churn out 20 kegs per batch.
“It’s not just another brewery,” Benner says. “The last thing I want is for a project I’m associated with to be viewed as just another opportunity to take advantage of a trend.”
According to the article, the company might use a model called alternating proprietorship, where responsibility for brewing, supervision and taxes can be shifted from one company to another. The city of Cleveland has already approved a $50,000 forgivable loan, through a program aimed at vacant properties, to renovate the building. Carson may also move his Medina, Ohio-based business, JC BeerTech Ltd., to the renovated Ohio City building as well. This is a pretty exciting idea, and we’ll keep you updated on its progress.