9/1/2022: Platform Beer Co.'s Brauraiser

9:11 AM

Today's the official start of John Likes Beer's Oktoberfest season extravaganza! Sure, I've been drinking Oktoberfest-style lagers since they first hit the market in July (don't judge me too harshly--I'm always in a rush to get to fall), but I've been a benevolent blogger and kept my Märzen- and festbier-related hijinks away from the site.

Until now! See, the page on the calendar turned overnight and we've landed squarely in September. Munich's big Oktoberfest is two weeks and some change away. I'm not holding back anymore. Let's get my meager celebration started immediately and kick it all off with Platform's Brauraiser.

Okay so, admittedly, I don't drink a ton of Platform nor do I keep up with their goings-on. The Cleveland, OH-based brewery was started on a small system in 2014. You'll see this easily enough by heading over to their website. You'll also see that they've expanded across the state (they have physical locations in both Columbus and here in Cincinnati). What's missing from their online space is the fact that AB InBev purchased Platform in 2019, which I don't think is a horrible detail but is definitely a bad one to keep hidden.

As for today's beer, it has a small space on the brewery's website. Hit up Platform's "DISTRO BREWS" page and scroll down. Here's where you'll find that Brauraiser's Märzen lager has a 6% ABV. That's all the info. The only additional details on my can are the specification of it being a Märzen style lager and a bit about it having an IBU of 20. There's no other official information on the lager that I can find.

Fine, fine. No sweat. We can suss out more about the beer from the experience of it.

A waft of my can's bouquet provides honey, caramel, biscuits, freshly-baked bread, and a little rice. What I mean by this is that Brauraiser's a malty-scented Märzen, not one that's overwhelmingly sweet, just noticeably so. There're a bit of hops in the nose, too, but they're almost an afterthought, tiny earthy notes that're an attempt to ground what's happening. Purrl wouldn't get close enough to my can to provide her input; she's not a Platform kind of girl.

I'm worried that I might've made Brauraiser's nose sound super sweet. I promise you: it isn't. However, it's flavor profile sure is. Soaring biscuit, brown sugar, and honey flavors shoot for the moon, tempered by a watery finish and almost skunky hop quality (think one of those green-bottled lagers, only not as abrasive). EDIT WHILE PROOFREADING: The more I drink the lager, the more it's beginning to taste like stale movie theater popcorn.

Brauraiser gets the mouthfeel right, at least. Lush and quaffable (or crushable, if that's more like your lingo). It drinks like a lager, and one that you're meant to drink a lot of.

A warm weather Oktoberfest is sort of a disappointing Oktoberfest. I've been to a few of these: Where you work up a sweat walking from booth to booth, the tent in the biergarten is too crowded by stinky folk seeking a shaded area, and the beers are all bad imports or worse macros. 

While I'd take a chilly 'fest over a sweltering one in a heartbeat, I'll never say "no" to going to any Oktoberfest celebration. Brauraiser's like an 88° Oktoberfest in that I'll drink it, but I'd rather drink something better.

A quick search of my blog will turn up a few Platform reviews: One, a miraculous 9. The others in the 6s. The brewery's largely a miss for me, and Brauraiser falls into that vein. I'm giving it a 6.0/10. EDIT: Since the flavor's shifted as this review's being written, I'm adjusting my rating to a 5.0/10. After this, I'm done with Platform for the foreseeable future. The Märzen-style lager would be fine if it was the first Oktoberfest to hit the market in mid-July when I have bad itch for autumnal beers. In September, when the market's flush with the style? It falls well below the mark.

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