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What’s Up Wednesday – An Interview with Reed Jaskula from Platform Brewery

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What's Up Wednesday - An Interview with Reed Jaskula from Platform Brewery - Cooking In Cleveland
What’s Up Wednesday – An Interview with Reed Jaskula from Platform Brewery

A few weeks ago I reached out to one of our favorite Cleveland Breweries, Platform Brewery, to see if they’d be willing to grant me an interview.  The goal was to just learn a little more about the people behind the brewery and to see what’s next for Platform.  Lyle and I love going to Platform because they have an awesome patio, good beer, and they’re dog friendly.  They don’t have their own kitchen per-say so there isn’t a set menu, but they sync up with some local folks, restaurants, and food trucks to provide food out of the front kitchen area.

Reed Jaskula, one of the founders, was kind enough to sit down with me to answer some of my questions, talk about the future of Platform, and even let me try an early sample of their recent release, Cocoa Suave, which I featured in my recipes this past week.  Our interview is below along with pictures from my trip to Platform last weekend.

Q: So how did you get in to making beer?

A: Honestly I started out just like most people that get into the industry…home brewing.  One of my friends and one of the owners of Platform now, Paul and I opened a home brew shop across the street.  So that’s kind of where I got my start, just home brewing over there, doing classes, and experimenting with different ingredients.  Eventually we were approached by our other partner, Justin, to see if we had any interest in starting a brewery, and we were like, “What the hell do we know about that? We’re just home brewers”.  But it happened pretty quick, and here we are.  So, just home brewing and messing around.  I had a pretty boring executive job before this and it was kind of killing my soul so…this was a welcome change.  …And I don’t have to shave anymore so that’s a giant plus.

Q: What is your personal favorite beer that you make?  And I know that this is one of those questions like asking you to choose your favorite child, but just in general one that you’re really proud of?

A:  That’s a tough one.  I like a lot of the classic stuff like Lawlessness–just a classic porter.  That’s up there on my list.  I do like our sour stuff…I can’t answer that, I just really like beer in general. I like it all and it just depends on my mood.

Q: What is one thing that you’ve learned since opening the brewery that really surprised you? Or is there anything that you’ve learned that stands out or a major lesson you’ve learned through opening this?

A: There isn’t much that surprises me anymore.  That’s a hard question.  I mean we’ve grown so fast and there are many many lessons we’ve learned.  Some have been easy but a lot have been hard.  You know, finding that sweet spot between having really great beer at the pub and having really great beer to distribute.  That’s kind of a battle always to have the tanks filled here and what we use for distribution.   I think that’s probably one of the biggest things I’ve learned is the balance between the two.

Q: What made you want to start up in Cleveland?  What brought you here?

A: We’re all from Cleveland.  Paul and I are from right south of Akron.  Justin is from around here.  We all kind of just ended up here.  We thought “hell, this is as good a place as any to start a brewery”.  I mean this is Cleveland, all we have is beer and food.

Q: Yes!  Anytime anyone asks me about Cleveland–i’m not originally from here–i’m like, “its a great city if you love to drink and love to eat”.  Thats pretty much our bread and butter here.

A: Yeah!  I mean industry kind of died here and now we have awesome food and beer.  I’m ok with it.

Q: Do you have any advice for beer novices or someone that’s trying to expand their knowledge and experimenting with beer?

A: I would say just never stop learning.  Never think that you’ve learned it all and that you’re a “master brewer”,  just never stop.  I learn something new every day.  I try to read a new book or article on brewing every day that gives me some little snippet of something that I didn’t know before.  That would be my biggest advice, just never stop learning…and clean everything, over and over and over again.

Q: Do you have a favorite book about brewing beer that you would suggest?

A:  Right now I really love Yeast–that is one of my favorites, the whole series is pretty nice.  American Sours, I love that book alot.  That’s given me a lot of ideas about how to work with bacteria and beer.  I think those are some of my favorites.  I’ve probably read every brewing book out there, but those stand out in my mind among them all.

Q: What do you love about Cleveland?  What is your favorite place to go or thing to do in Cleveland?

A: Food and beer! My wife and I like to eat out so it depends on the week and what i’m hungry for.  Sokolowski’s is always good, we love Ginko, we love Plum next door, its great.  Pretty much any restaurant in Cleveland is great.  It just depends on what we want to eat.  Drinking is the same.  We like Spotted Owl for cocktails, Porco’s, Brick and Barrel is great for beer–Carl is one of my buddies.  It’s kind of a renaissance of food and drink in Cleveland,  you can never get bored jumping from one spot to another.

Q:  You guys are doing some really cool stuff with micro-brewing and small batch craft beers.  How do you think you’re approaching micro-brewing that’s different than the rest or what do you see as kind of the next steps for Platform?

A: We’ve got a lot of plans, but I think that we’re going to start trying to hit large format bottle releases of really limited things like sours, more traditional Gose styles, Krieks, and ciders.  I think that’s what’s on the horizon for us–large format bottles, corked and caged with some fancy wrapping.

Q: What is one thing that you would like to tell people that come to spend an evening at Platform?

A: Don’t be afraid to try stuff. We have a lot of weird takes on beer and weird ingredients that we put into our beer.  I try to brew stuff that sparks people’s interest and if you come here, just have an open mind and try everything!

A huge shout out to Reed and the entire crew at Platform Brewery for allowing me to take up their time for this interview.  I loved learning more about the brewery and Reed’s approach to beer.  If you find yourself in Cleveland this weekend with no plans–be sure to stop by Platform Brewery and try a few pints!  If you haven’t checked out last week’s recipes featuring the Platform Brewery Cocoa Suave in a dark chocolate fudge cake and a vanilla bean-cinnamon-cayenne ice cream.

Who says you can’t put beer in your cake and drink it, too?

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Rachel Gatalica

Welcome to Cooking in Cleveland! I want to share delicious, healthy and approachable recipes with you. I want to help highlight local Cleveland artisans and events and put a focus on using local foods!
  • Brainstorming future goals and plans for @cooking_in_cleveland this evening with a #dairyfree #decaflatte and a snuggly puppy by my side.  So grateful for everyone that has followed along so far.  I can't wait for what's to come! #wordpressbloggergirl #staytuned  #nespressomoment
  • Sorry I've been so MIA, but I've  been working on a rebrand for the blog. Stay tuned for good things ahead!! #cookingincleveland #foodblogger #beginningblogger #iphonephoto
  • While on the #Whole30 challenge, the unthinkable happened…I learned to LIKE cauliflower.  I blame this recipe and some of the other stir fry dishes we made that used fresh cauliflower rice.

This dish is mostly #Whole30 compliant except for any additions you might make to this recipe such as #Sriracha for added heat or swapping soy sauce instead of the coconut aminos.

Check out the link in my bio and let me know what you think!

#Whole30 #Sriracha #StirFryMadeEasy #FreshFood #CookingInCleveland #QuickDinner #WeeknightWarrior #DinnerUnder30
  • Oooh baby tomorrow we're back...and we're turning this shitload of vegetables into a delicious (and quick) dinner tomorrow. .
For real, under 35 minutes from start to finish and hacks to make it even easier if you're feeling super lazy. .
Check back tomorrow 😘
#Whole30 #Sriracha #StirFryMadeEasy #FreshFood #CookingInCleveland #QuickDinner #WeeknightWarrior #DinnerUnder30
  • Today marks #day30 on my #Whole30 challenge!  To celebrate, i’m sharing one of my favorite #Whole30 compliant recipes.
This yummy soup comes together in no time and can be made from staples you can likely find in your pantry, garden or local farmers market!
Check out the link in my bio for the recipe!! Also if you haven’t signed up for our email blasts yet, make sure you check out the widget at the bottom of the website!  We’re sending monthly recaps of all the recipes we post as well as links to our social media pages.

#CookinginCleveland #whole30 #healthydinner #grainfree #dairyfree #dairyfreedinner #CLEfoodblog #foodblog #recipetesting #eatyourcolors #soup
  • This week on Cooking In Cleveland, i’m sharing a really healthy and quick dinner that is equal parts filling and delicious.  I’m also talking a little bit about the #Whole30 challenge that we’re in the middle of and being honest about some of the highs and lows we’ve experienced on the plan.

This recipe is a really delicious grain-free dinner option and I’m wiling to bet you won’t really miss the pasta.  Click the link in my bio to check out the recipe!

#cookingincleveland #whole30 #zoodles #healthydinner #grainfree #dairyfree #dairyfreedinner #CLEfoodblog #foodblog #recipetesting #eatyourcolors
  • After a break last week I am back and sharing a yummy pasta dish!  We’re not just cooking with wine this week, i’m also talking about a yummy Italian wine that I paired with this meal.

Click on the link in my bio to check out the recipe.  Make sure you let me know if you decide to either try the pasta or just the wine!

#cookingincleveland #winenot #ItalianWine #PastaPlease #CleFoodBlogger #delightfuldinner #foodblog #drunknoodles
  • Want a sneak peek of tomorrow’s recipe post?  It’s too good not to share!  The recipe will go live at 5 am and the link will be posed in my bio.

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  • Starting our #whole30 a week from tomorrow and trying to plan out some more plant focused recipes in the meantime.  This BBQ chicken salad was full of flavor and healthy crunchy vegetables.  Thinking of sharing the recipe soon...can you call a salad a recipe?
  • Last night was epic!  Thanks to @altonbrown for putting on such an amazing show!! #cookingincleveland  #altonbrownlive #cleveland  #clevelandblogger #CLEfoodblog

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