Since its founding in 2014, Cleveland-based Platform Beer Co. has been taking the beer world by storm. Starting with its brewpub in Cleveland, Platform has continued its Ohio expansion, first with an additional tasting room in Columbus and then with a full-size production facility in its hometown. In February, Platform expanded its reach by opening the doors to Locoba by Platform in OTR.
Unique from the brand’s other locations, this one is not merely a taproom. Locoba—an acronym that stands for “local coffee barrels”—is the first of its kind for Platform. Providing a centric experience, the location serves both coffee and beer that has been aged in whiskey and bourbon barrels. The raw coffee beans are stored in the barrels for about 18 months before being roasted by roasters throughout Ohio.
Some of Locoba’s coffee drinks include espresso and lattes, along with a matcha latte. A coffee-infused beer, Coffee Lawlessness is a porter brewed with coffee beans provided by Cleveland-based Phoenix Coffee Co. The tasting room also serves Platform’s already well-known brews, like Speed Merchant, a white IPA brewed with fruity, dry hops.
Setting itself apart from other taprooms in the area, the tasting room offers food all day on a rotating menu, with an emphasis on lunch-friendly grub. The grab-and-go cooler has decent-sized salads, including superfood and Caesar, along with wraps like the Capri, stuffed with hummus, cucumber, red onion, romaine, and goat cheese.
Locoba seeks to be a brunch hot spot on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., serving a standout lox bagel, served on a Bagelry OTR everything bagel with house dill cream cheese, red onion, capers, radish, and smoked salmon.
Platform owner Paul Benner says he was inspired to open Locoba in OTR for numerous reasons, and had his eye on the burgeoning neighborhood for some time. “We were really looking for a dense urban setting for this concept,” he says. “It is a place that is up-and-coming, viewed by the local community down there as a more progressive neighborhood, and where there’s a lot of independent businesses and walkability.”
Platform has been selling beer in Cincinnati for more than year, and because the neighborhood was where Benner found himself hanging out frequently to enjoy the restaurant and bar scene, it was a great match for the brand. “It really felt a lot like our Cleveland neighborhood where we opened our first pub,” Benner says.
Having Locoba in OTR also matched the experimental nature of the company. “We like to try new things, so this was a new concept that allowed us to test our limits of what a traditional brewpub can be, and hopefully bring in new customers that wouldn’t normally go into a brewery, but may pop in since it is also a coffee shop.”
Locoba by Platform, 1201 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 481-2337, platformbeer.co