My dad worked at Carlisle for 32 years and was covered in black dust all the time. Would shower at the plant and still have it on him. He had a stroke in 2002 and has had circulatory issues and heart issues. I wonder if its connected?
I'm a bar manager at a Cleveland spot that has over 20 taps of craft beer. We were buying Platform from the beginning and now have all but stopped. The amount of shitty kegs weve gotten was over the top. IPA shouldnt taste like vegetables and have floaty clumps in it. The owners are assholes and have burned bridges all across the industry. One of them was in my bar and acted like the king of clevelands beer. Wouldnt stop shit talking every other brewery. Its prety bad when all your peers are interviewed and no one has a nice thing to say about you.
The consistency issue with Platform Brewery is that they throw out all these one-offs. That contributes to why their beers can be so hit or miss. You simply don't have the time to refine a recipe. I like trying new things but I like to also have some confidence that it'll be good.
They have definitely had some ridiculous quality issues since their first brewer left. There was a batch of cans that had mold floating in the beer and I've heard from multiple people that they've found bees/flies in the cans. That simply disgusting.
When your main objective is to expand like crazy, quality always takes a back seat.
Speed Merchant used to be a great beer but it's often just terrible. Like undrinkable. I hope they turn it around because slick marketing will only last for so long.
Wow crazy! I knew that man and he scammed me out of like 700-750 when I was younger and dumb. I hope they eventually charge him somehow, how horrible
I work in a area bottle shop and I can tell you from experience that Platform cans leak on the shelves, plain and simple (not all of them, usually one or two a case - makes for quite the mess when you warm store Lawlessness on wooden shelves)..maybe get that issue sorted out before expanding down I-71 and trying to take over the CLE beer scene?
also jesus christ, in the end its all just beer, get over yourselves Beer Snobs. GLBC is what it is, MG is what it is, and Platform is over-hyped crap
We've known how for decades. What NASA is figuring out, is how to coordinate it with their constituents. While they're doing that, indie companies will do programs that focus on going directly to Mars, and may get there before them.
I think the article makes perfect sense. How can you have a quality product without testing when you are creating 20 new beers each cycle? Also, who says, "We are training our customers". I would argue this is a pretty misplaced statement.
Would I invest in Platform? No, variety is great, but it only takes one bad customer experience and they are gone for good. A friend left a Platform beer in my fridge and I tried it. It tasted rotten. I just figured the beer was not for me. But now reading about the lack of quality testing it makes sense.
Very well researched and written. I'm all for the growth of this aspect of the industry.
But we need to address the insane unfairness too. Did you know that if you own a bar,you cannot get a brewery license unless every location you own does the same?
We at the anc/xyz/ontario group were forbidden to create a brewery in Collinwood because of this. If sure appreciate those in the brewery business to help rid the state of this ludicrous problem.
Great article, thanks for the detailed information! Comparing Ohio (7th largest state) to Vermont (49th) is ludicrous though.
Platform may have it's issues but I never walk into the beer store and think to myself "I wonder what Great Lakes has out now? Or Fatheads, etc...". The big guys all make quality beer but its always the same old stuff. Platform's kettle sour series has been one excellent beer after another. The selections on tap at the taproom are always interesting and usually quite good. I simply cant get the variety of styles in any other local brewery.
Before Platform existed I would have to buy beer from around the country to get anything even slightly interesting. I understand consumers want the same thing over and over, but I sure don't. Fatheads, GLBC, Market Garden, et al have their place but I rarely bring any home.
I was afraid that Shaun's departure meant the end of good beer at Platform but they still manage to put out excellent offerings. I'm very excited to try Shaun's new place.
I agree with Beer Novice above. The middle paragraphs of the article seem to be a hit piece against Platform. Why? Let them develop their own business model and various experimental brews. I love GLBC brews, their consistency, bar atmosphere, etc., but that doesn't mean that I can't or shouldn't love the product and bar atmosphere at Platform. Let the market dictate whether Platform is a huge success or not. I think Platform hosts fun events and creates a lot of different brews that I like to drink and try-out on a regular basis. Wasn't that part of the point of the whole microbrewing revolution in the first place--having quality, more local beer that wasn't mass-produced swill? More power to Platform and ALL the local brewers, I say.
Daniel, I agree with you as a resident of Brecksville, and have discussed this many times. However, I feel this area's proximity to downtown via I-77 is both a blessing and a curse. If we can get downtown wth ease in 10-15 minutes, there's little demand for a brewpub here sadly.
I think there is an opportunity here in the South suburbs, Independence, Brecksville, Broadview Hts as ,to my great disappointment, we have no Brewpubs!
Personally I hope they all succeed. Experimentation , quality and marketing are all a part of the fabric capitalism. All of these breweries have brewed awful beers and it's only through personal opinion that a consumer finds a "favorite" beer. Not one of these breweries intends to produce a bad beer for their customer.
My problem is the author of this article needs to go back to school and learn to match subject with title. I was marketed a discussion about micro-brew saturation and ended up reading a hatchet job on Platform breweries business model. If we are honest about market saturation, I think it needs to be brought to attention how Sam Mcnulty bought W.25 St and turned it into the "red light district" of breweries. More power to him but if your going to write about a bubble then stick to the subject because I didn't get the "quality" I was marketed on the can. Ironic
"The craft beer buyer would rather buy something that they've never tried than their favorite beer."
And this is why Platform will never brew my favorite beer; the brewing inconsistencies and downright errors in Speed Merchant over the past 2 years have, literally and figuratively, left a bad taste in my mouth. I like to buy something I've never tried before if it's from a brewery I trust; Platform is not one of those, and based on their management's intentions, never will be.
That's interesting. Doesn't Sam own Bier Market (which does not brew beer) as well as MG and Nano? If the law you mentioned is true, I wonder how that arrangement is different than the one you described.
Really awesome article.
This was an outstanding article. Thank you. Here is the biggest reason why the growth of brew pubs is limited: it is illegal for a bar owner to open any form of brew pub unless each and every bar they own is a brewery too. For example, we own the ABC/XYZ/ONTARIO group and wanted to open a nabo brewery in Collinwood. It was forbidden unless all of our places did the same.
Craft beer is huge and our local brewers are outstanding. We are forbidden to join them.
That is not a bubble. It's a crime.
GLBC is a sort of sentinel for Cleveland--it's cozy, has a consistent fleet, but doesn't strike me as a brewery that takes big risks with their offerings. There's variety at the pub, but if I visit, it's for the signature beers. For my money Platform has not yet found its Dortmunder, but it's incredibly nimble and they make some of the best sours I've ever had. The Disco Godfather and Peach Spreader are two of my favorite locally brewed beers. In some ways it's like any other industry--the means of production, marketing, and distribution have become more and more accessible, and so (as with the film, music, theater, and any other craft industry in Cleveland) everyone whose creativity matches their ambition and work ethic wants to toss their hat in the ring. I hope Platform continues to surprise but also find a signature--by the same token, I hope GLBC remains a staple of Ohio City but also starts taking bigger risks with their flavor profiles.
Platform's ego and business model will make them fail. Pride comes before the fall. Nothing wrong with trying to reinvent the wheel but don't forget it's still a wheel. GLBC will and forever be a staple it doesn't mean other companies won't challenge them but the will still be at the top. Platform and most others in 10 years will be sold or closed. MG and GLBC aren't going anywhere.
"I think there will always be room for the neighborhood brewpub," McNulty told Scene in a recent interview at Nano Brew.
The neighborhood brewpub makes sense to me but the push among all these brands to get on store shelves is puzzling. Just so much competition.
April 19-25, 2017
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