Paul Benner, owner of the popular Cleveland Brew Shop (2681 W. 14th St., 216-574-2271) in Tremont, will open a microbrewery and taproom in Ohio City. It will be that neighborhood's fifth brewery once Hansa Haus joins Great Lakes, Market Garden and Nano.
Along with a partner, Benner has purchased a 10,000-square-foot building at W. 41st and Lorain. The venture will feature a 10-barrel system that will produce an estimated 800 barrels of beer per year, which will be dispensed at the onsite taproom and kegged for sale to local bars and restaurants.
But what will make Platform, as the brewery will be called, truly unique is the smaller two-barrel pilot system that will be available to guest brewers from near and far.
"It's sort of like a brewery incubation system," Benner explains.
With the strict brewing laws the way they are, it's nearly impossible for talented home brewers to make the jump from hobbyist to pro without going through all the onerous and expensive licensing steps.
"This will help them get to the next level, from semi-professional to professional," he says.
Benner envisions hosting brewing competitions to select guest brewers.
Benner presently is in talks with prospective brewmasters to head up the operation.
He adds that the Cleveland Brew Shop, which supplies home brewers with ingredients, equipment and know-how, is going nowhere.
"We're in a great place there," he notes. "We love Tremont."
Look for Platform to debut next summer.