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New Traditions Brewing at the Home of the Cleveland Indians

04.07.2017

Baseball has always been about putting a new spin on old traditions. America’s pastime has a way of reflecting the culture that surrounds it. There’ll be no better example of this on Opening Day than the ballpark fare available to fans. It wasn’t that long ago that baseball food was limited to old favorites like hot dogs and peanuts and the main beverage was mass market beer. Times have certainly changed. Today’s options reflect a thriving local food culture and a strong appreciation for quality craft brewing. Flavors have become more diverse; there are more locally prepared options on the menu; and all 30 MLB stadiums offer craft brews.

Staff of Platform Beer Co.One relative newcomer to the beer scene at Progressive Field is Platform Beer Co. Platform joined the growing number of breweries in Cleveland three years ago and just one year later was selling beer at the home of the Cleveland Indians. This season, te brewery is expanding its presence at the ballpark to include a 500-square foot “Hop Stop Can Stand”—a pop-up store where fans can purchase several of the brewery’s most popular concoctions, in cans.

“We were the first microbrewery in Cleveland to start canning our beers for the mass market,” said Platform Beer Co. co-owner Justin Carson. “Cans have a lot of advantages. They help maintain the beer’s flavor by protecting it from light and oxygen. They’re also lighter and more portable than bottles, and unbreakable, making them a perfect fit for an outdoor location like the ballpark.”

Platform was founded on the concept of collaboration, whether it’s lending their space, equipment and know-how to home brewers who want to start their own companies, or collaborating with other entrepreneurs.

Platform Beer Co. New Cleveland PalesnerHop Stop will carry two beers born of collaboration. One is Luchador Lager, a Mexican black style brew created in partnership with Momocho chef and co-owner Eric Williams. The other is Platform’s flagship New Cleveland Palesner, which for the first time is being offered in a 16 oz. can. The can’s design was created in collaboration with the graphic designers at CLE Clothing Co. It features a stylized black and white Cleveland skyline and a story that celebrates the city’s hard-working industrial past and current renaissance being fueled by artists, designers, builders, chefs and brewers. The can design has been updated to include “WORLD CHAMPIONS” in all caps, a nod to the Cleveland Cavaliers for bringing an end to the city’s 52-year sports title drought.

Carson says another collaboration that has been critical to Platform’s success is the one it has with KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. “They have been an unbelievable partner. Their specialized expertise in brewery financing is an integral part of why we are where we are today.” As for where they are, in its first year in business, Platform brewed 91 barrels of beer; three years later, it expects to brew 30,000. To put that in perspective, that’s 7.2 million 16 oz. servings.

“As Cleveland’s hometown bank, we have a stake in helping local companies succeed,” said Alex Jacobs, managing director and head of the Food and Beverage Group, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. “Our team was able to execute quickly through a collaborative approach- bringing deep industry expertise, broad capabilities and unique ideas to help Platform get the financing and tools they need to grow.”

One place Platform wants Indians fans to go is behind home plate toward first base—the location of the Hop Stop Can Stand.

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