Hellllooo beautiful!  Word is finally out from Braxton Brewing Company as to what the second can is going to be from the Covington brewery.  It’s not much of a surprise that Crank Shaft cans are going to be sitting on shelves next to their Storm Cream Ale cans, It’s hard to hide the fact that IPAs are pretty popular, and Braxton’s got a gem on their hands with this one.

Crank ShaftAbout Crank Shaft

As far as the particulars, Crank Shaft clocks in at a reasonable 6% ABV with 75 IBUs leaving it just a hair above what I would consider a “session ale”, but right in that sweet spot for me where I can definitely drink a few of them.  The beer is brewed with a great mix of hops that pulls some wonderfully citrusy and fruity flavors to the forefront, while still remaining crisp and refreshing at the same time.  It’s a treat for hopheads, and still remains a favorite even for those people who think they may not like IPAs.  It sits right in that perfect threshold of a sweet spot.

The cans pick up on the same design scheme that I fell in love with from the Storm cans, and the team at Neltner small batch deserves all the recognition in the world for this and the rest of the design work that they’ve literally knocked out of the park for Braxton.  Instead of the light blue that you’re familiar with from Storm, Crank Shaft picks up a light “sea-foamy” green color that will (I assume) carry on into the six pack holders as well. The can reads:

You remember the year you put that old Ford back together? Piece by piece you worked on that vintage machine, long into the nights, with Marty and Joe calling the game on the radio and you cussing with every busted knuckle.  Then with that first crank, she fired up like she rolled right off the line and pride rushed through you like hi-test gasoline.  And no, you can’t have that year back, but you can have a can of Crankshaft IPA, and the familiar beauty of those long-past days will return.  life is not about the destination, but the journey.

It’s going to look great seeing these sitting on a shelf next to Storm (and who knows what else in the coming year as well… I’m still shouting as loud as I can for cans of Dead Blow…but we’ll see)  The combination of beautiful branding that pulls the nostalgic right in line with modern craft design is beautiful to see with just one brand on the shelf, but as Crank Shaft joins Storm, it’s going to look even more fantastic.  I might be a geek, but I get excited over a lot of the things that you see and experience before the beer even touches your lips.  Branding and what a beer looks like sitting on a shelf is just one of those many things I’m talking about.

The Release

So… When will you see these cans in the wild?  The brewery revealed tonight at their annual Builder’s Town Hall meeting (This membership in their ‘Braxton Builders’ from their record setting Kickstarter campaign is really starting to pay off…) that we’d see the cans show up in the taproom on February 16th.  They’ve got a Facebook event set up for it if you’d like to be one of the first to get your fridge properly stocked up.

The news only gets better, though.  In addition, the Braxton team has announced that their canned products would finally be making their way across the river into Ohio!  For those of us that live on the Northern side of the city, this is especially wonderful news, making it a bit easier to get our Braxton fix, now.  The last few months have been a struggle when you need to refill your ‘Storm’ allotment with only a half hour to go until the football game starts up.  Trouble no more!  We can expect to start seeing them popping up in better beer stores around town starting the third week of February.

There are tons of good things happening in the Braxton world, and 2016 is looking like it’s going to be a BIG year for the brewery, so keep your eyes on them (or here, for all your Braxton news) things are going to be crazy!

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