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Platform Beer Co. launches Walkoff Wit beer at Scrappers field

Published: Sun, June 18, 2017 @ 12:06 a.m.




More craft-beer lovers will be singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” this summer at Eastwood Field, home of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

That’s in part because the ballpark will serve a brand-new craft beer available nowhere else, as the popularity of craft beer continues to expand.

Platform Beer Co. of Cleveland will launch its Walkoff Wit when the Scrappers host the Auburn Doubledays at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the home opener.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to make our fan experience better,” Scrappers General Manager Jordan Taylor said. “We’ve expanded our craft-beer lineup the past few years. When we were approached about a craft beer exclusive to us, we knew it was a great opportunity.”

Caitlyn Tizio, Youngstown market representative for Platform, came up with the idea. She was involved in discussions and planning efforts for the beer with Scrappers and Platform management.

“Baseball is big here in the Mahoning Valley,” Tizio said. “It made sense to partner with the Scrappers with an opportunity to bring a special craft beer experience to fans. Platform is committed to the Mahoning Valley, and we hope we can be part of the ongoing resurgence of this community.”

Scrappers fans got to participate in the fun by voting for the name of the new beer online. Walkoff Wit was the fan favorite. Fans got their first teaser of the new beer Saturday at the team’s All Access Season kickoff party.

“We wanted a beer that was light, crisp and refreshing,” said Taylor, who also serves as vice president of HWS Baseball. “We were looking for a beer that fans could enjoy more than one of on a hot day at the ballpark. Platform came back with the perfect beer, meeting all of our expectations.”

Two other Platform beers will be available at Eastwood Field this season, including Speed Merchant White IPA and New Cleveland Palesner. Other options include Goose Island, Great Lakes, Guinness, Killian’s, Modelo Especial, Shock Top and several traditional domestic lagers and light beers.

The Scrappers were founded in 1999 and is the Class A short-season affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The team plays in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League. The season runs through Sept. 7.

Platform opened in 2014 and has grown annually since. The company operates brewpubs in Cleveland and Columbus, and is expanding its production brewery in Cleveland to a 60-barrel brewing system.

“We’re glad to be in the Youngstown market,” said Paul Benner, owner of Platform Beer Co. “Youngstown is the first market we’ve entered where we’re not self-distributing our beer.”

Benner said this is Platform’s first collaboration with a sports team, and that the brewery plans to be active in the Mahoning Valley.

“In addition to Eastwood Field, craft-beer lovers can watch for us around town and at tap takeovers and sampling events,” Benner said. “Platform got where it is today through relationship building with craft beer drinkers and by creating experiences with our beer. We’re not going to stop doing that.”

Benner added that, as much as possible, Platform likes to have direct contact with the people who buy and drink its beer. Tizio handles this function in Youngstown.

R.L. Lipton launched Platform beers in the Mahoning Valley in February.

R.L. Lipton was founded in 1963 and covers Columbiana, Mahoning, Trumbull and Ashtabula counties. Lipton is a wholesale distributor for Anheuser-Busch products (Budweiser/Bud Light), Yuengling products and a variety of craft and specialty brews including Paladin, Austintown, North Country, Slippery Rock, Pa., Lavery, Erie, Pa., and Goose Island, Chicago. Lipton has more than 1,400 accounts, including retail outlets, restaurants and bars.

“We love getting involved with community partnerships in the Mahoning Valley,” said R.L. Lipton Vice President and General Manager Ed Carissimi. “In the case of the Scrappers, we’re local, so we can adapt to the team’s needs, getting them what they need when they need it.”

Carissimi said Lipton has supplied the Scrappers since the team’s early days, but the relationship has grown significantly over the past several years.

“Lipton is well represented at the ballpark,” Carissimi said. “A venue like Eastwood Field is great for showcasing the brands we carry, including Platform.”

A trip to Eastwood Field this summer will unveil what the Scrappers, Platform and R.L. Lipton have done to make a day at the ballpark just a little more enjoyable.

Collectively, they may have hit a grand slam.

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