Platform Beer Company
It shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone living and drinking in the Steel City (AKA the City of Champyinz) that blue-collar communities tend to make the best beer. Much like our beloved Pittsburgh, other former factory and mill towns have embraced change and today are known for much more than blue collar action.
Take Cleveland for example. This hard-working town has been quietly growing its beer industry by way of countless amazing small craft breweries like Platform Beer Company. Started in 2014 by friends Justin Carson and Paul Brenner, these two took their industry experience and love for great beer and turned it into a thriving, quality brewery that’s seen nothing but growth since opening day. Justin got into the beer industry thanks to his draft line servicing business, and Paul came via his homebrew supply store. Together with head brewer Garret Conley, this beer-loving team is embracing canned beer and making Ohio a destination for beer fans near and far.
Thankfully, we don’t have to travel to their locations in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati to try their brews, thanks to Vecenie Distributing Platform Beer Co. is now available in and around the Pittsburgh area. Let’s take a look at what they have to offer in cans and on draft.
Platform Beer Co. likes to keep beers in the low to medium end of alcohol content, so you can enjoy a few and still function the next day. A great example of a just-right ABV is the Speed Merchant White IPA. This 6.6% ABV beer pours a bright yellow color with floral, hop-forward aroma up front followed by a bready, toasty body. Bitterness is definitely present, but is balanced very well against the wheat and barley backbone. The finish is a complex yet refreshing experience with toast, honey, marmalade, and a light toffee character thanks to the malt bill and the Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, Comet, and Citra hops that make up the hop bill.
Speaking of refreshing beers, Platform’s Hyper Retro Lemon Ginger Saison, which comes in at a very sessionable 4.3% ABV, features bready malt character up front with bright lemony citrus zest and ginger in the middle and on the finish. The ginger is present without being overpowering, and the lemon zest helps make this beer very crushable and infinitely refreshing.
Heading back into the world of IPAs again, the next beer up is the Seeing Sounds Hazy IPA. Coming in at 6.2% ABV, this beer is light on bitterness while not sacrificing any bright hop flavor. On the nose of this beer you’ll get clementine and pineapple aromas that are backed up by a light, mellow body with a clean, dry finish that has hints of orange and grapefruit. Hazy IPAs are the current big, popular thing right now, and with beers like Seeing Sounds, you’ll see why.
Another IPA that has to be tried to be believed is a very special, limited edition American session IPA by the name of The Project Series: Callista. Callista is a 4.9% ABV American IPA that’s the 3rd installment in Platform’s Project Series lineup of beers. This beer features Hallertau Callista hops to give you a big hop bite without unnecessary bitterness. Expect to get orange zest up front and loads of hop flavor and aroma on the back of this special, limited brew.
If bitter beers aren’t your thing, then the Rosellini Peach Rose Apple Ale is probably right up your alley. This cider-esque brew is laoded with fresh peach and apricot flavor and aroma, with some apple in the background and no bitterness to be found. Coming in at 5% ABV, this ruby-red concoction is refreshing, tart, and semi-sweet on the finish…exactly what the dog days of summer call for.
Wrapping up this initial lineup of beers is the Kettle Series Rotating Sour from Platform. These beers change fairly frequently, but thanks to their Phunkenship sour beer facility, there’s no shortage of ways for Platform to make sour beers exactly how we like them. Starting things off in the Pittsburgh area is the Orange Blossom Gose, a crisp, sour, salty ale that comes in at 4.2% ABV. While tart and sour, this beer features bright floaral notes and thanks to its orange zest and noble hop recipe, is surprisingly refreshing and perfect for summer.
Hopefully you’re as excited for Platform Beer Co. to make their way to Pittsburgh as I am, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be lining up to get your hands on the first cans of Platform beer to hit the streets.