When the temperatures drop in Northeast Ohio, you might just want to curl up on the couch and hibernate until Spring. But some Cleveland are finding a new outdoor curling league at Platform Beer co. to be the perfect way to get social and have outdoor fun during the city’s coldest months.
Platform Beer Co. added its new year-round, synthetic-ice curling attraction in late November. Located at The Lot, the Ohio City brewery’s new socially distanced, outdoor beer garden complete with igloos, live music and more.
Mark Frabotta, brand director of Platform Beer Co., became intrigued by the game after seeing a court at a bar in Chicago. Its uniqueness drove him to suggest curling for The Lot’s new league.
“We did some research and found what they call street curling,” says Frabotta. “It’s a little different than the curling you would see in the Olympics."
Street curling is like the Olympic winter sport in some ways: players slide, or “curl,” a rock across the faux ice court attempting to land their stone closest to the center. The biggest difference is that brooms are unnecessary. In Platform’s league, teams of four compete against each other in eight- or 10-round matches, and the teams with the best season record earn a $250 Platform gift card.
“In the current climate of things, it was important to get people out of the house, even in the winter months, and do something outside in the open air,” Frabotta says. “The first session, we completely filled up. People were coming out even when it was snowing and cold.”
The brewery is kicking off its second session of league play this week. The Lot is looking for teams of two to four for the next eight-week league. Teams can register online to join a weekday league on Sunday through Thursday, and registration fees are $30 per team.
In between games, players can escape the cold in The Lot’s heated igloos, shipping containers, and pop-up greenhouse, each decked out with trendy chairs, colorful carpet, and TVs.
“[These units] put people in their own little world,” Frabotta says — a world where wings and beer bucket specials are delivered from the nearby taproom.
Social distancing, temperature checks upon entry, and masks are required, even while playing. Curling courts and rocks will be sanitized between matches.
“Cleveland’s a cold weather town,” Frabotta says. “You can still do things and have activities all year round. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to nice weather.” 4157 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland, 216-202-1386, platformbeer.co/thelot