Food + Drink, Living, Neighborhoods, News, Ohio City

Brewing History in Cleveland: From Leisy to Platform, and the Hope for the Future

Cleveland has a long and storied history when it comes to brewing beer. In 1873, Isaac Leisy and his two brothers left their small brewery in rural Iowa and purchased Frederick Haltnorth’s brewery on Vega Avenue in Cleveland. The Leisy Brewery aimed to be as self-sufficient as possible, constructing a multi-building, eight-acre campus along Vega Avenue and increasing beer production eightfold. The brewery remained an independent, family-owned brewery throughout its history, closing its doors for the final time in 1958

In 2014, Paul Benner and Justin Carson founded Platform Beer Co. and opened a taproom located at 4125 Lorain Ave. Known for their locally-themed brews, Platform Beer Co. also opened taphouses in Columbus and Cincinnati, as well as a sour-production facility on Sackett Avenue in Cleveland known as Phunkenship. The company caught the eye of Anheuser-Busch, who acquired the brewery in 2019. Unfortunately, in February 2023, Platform Beer Co. announced they will be shutting down its Cleveland taproom and ceasing production on all but three of its beers.

Interestingly, both Leisy and Platform Beer Co. brewed in the same facility on Vega Avenue. As an organization that wants the best for Cleveland we hope another brewery will pick up the banner and use the location to make amazing local beer. Cleveland’s brewing history is too rich to let this space go unused, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Vega Avenue facility.



Kyle is a content creator with a passion for exploring and telling stories. When he's not at his computer, you can find him in the city with his wife Kaitie, and/or his two kids. You'll enjoy reading about his experiences and insights if you're all about The Land, through, The Cleveland Tea Newsletter, and some of the posts on Cleve or Leave.

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