Friday, February 24, 2023

WIRTW #662: the “platform” edition

Platform Beer Co. shook up the local beer industry Wednesday afternoon when its owner, Anheuser-Busch, confirmed that it had permanently closed the Cleveland brewery (along with its taproom and other related businesses) that it had acquired less than four years ago. All of its employees have lost their jobs as a result. 

Some backstory. Platform was a Cleveland craft beer success story. It opened its doors in 2014, and within five years had grown large enough to attract A-B as a buyer. Now, it no longer exists (except for the three IPAs that A-B says it will keep making).

While I have no inside knowledge as to what happened at Platform, I can offer an educated guess. Craft beer consumers are passionate about drinking craft beer. One of the key components to any craft brewery is its independence. Once A-B acquired Platform, it ceased being independent; it instead became part of A-B's $54 billion corporate behemoth. As a result, and no matter the quality of its beers, Platform lost its allure to the craft beer consumer. Without that attraction, sales dipped, making it ripe for the its tragic fate.

What's unfortunate is that a lot of good people lost their jobs as a result. Thankfully, our local beer community is collegial and collaborative. For example, Saucy Brew Works is offering any former Platform employee a daily free meal and pint, along with a job application, through the end of March. That's how you pay it forward. If you're a brewery looking to hire, there are lot of people in N.E. Ohio looking for work.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Yes, Tiger's sexist joke and lame apology matter — via Deadspin

Don Lemon Issues Another Apology Minutes Before His CNN This Morning Return: 'I'm Committed to Doing Better' — via TVLine

Law Firm That Made Associates Pay Back Salary For COVID Slump Got $792K In PPP Loans — via Above the Law