Two of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the country hail from Northeast Ohio.
Royal Docks Brewing Co. in Jackson Township and Cleveland-based Platform Beer Co. made the Brewers Association’s inaugural list of the “50 Fastest Growing Breweries” in the United States. Royal Docks is fifth, while Platform is 35th.
The list, released today (April 10) by the Boulder, Colo.-based trade group, focused on small and independent breweries.
Royal Docks founder John Bikis said the news caught him a bit off guard.
“It’s one of those things. You’re hustling every day and you really don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “It’s nice to be rewarded with this kind of news.”
Royal Docks, which opened in 2015, saw its production increase from about 300 barrels in 2016 to about 4,200 last year. That figure is expected to climb to about 5,000 this year, as the brewery starts distributing in the Toledo and Cincinnati markets and is available statewide.
Bikis credited the growth in part to the brewery’s partnership with Heidelberg Distributing.
Royal Docks is building a new production brewery and taproom at 5646 Wales Ave. NW near its current brewery. Its beer — which is available on draft and in cans — is being made on contract now at Four String Brewing Co. in Columbus.
Its best-seller is Tanglefoot IPA.
Meanwhile, Platform — known for beers such as Speed Merchant IPA — opened in 2014 with a three-barrel system and has been growing aggressively ever since.
“In the past year, we saw production expand to around 20,000 barrels and should see a significant increase in 2018 as we continue to upgrade our equipment, quality control measures and overall capacity,” co-owner Paul Benner said in a statement.
Platform operates a brewery and taproom in Cleveland, production brewery in Cleveland, and brewery and taproom in Columbus, and is opening a brewery and taproom in Cincinnati and a production brewery devoted to barrel-aged and sour beers in Cleveland.
The Brewers Association noted that Platform and Melvin Brewing from Alpine, Wyo., were the only regional breweries to make the list. Regional breweries produce at least 15,000 barrels a year. Among all the regional breweries, Platform ranked No. 1 in percentage growth.
The fastest-growing brewery was CraftRoots Brewing Co. from Milford, Mass. Royal Docks and Platform were the only Ohio breweries on the list.
To see the full list, click here.