Look… there is a whole lot of stuff that can be said about this first year of Braxton’s existence – and it’s not an easy task to wrap all that up into a neat little package, or three bottled packages for that matter… but they’ve managed to come really close to doing just that for their big anniversary party this weekend. We’ve already spent some time talking about all the beers that they’re releasing, and the variants of the beers that you’ll get to try, but they keep pulling out surprises with yester day’s announcement of 3 different bottles as well.
What blows my mind about this is how brilliant it all is. I’m not sure if they intentially made it so each of these bottles really tackles one of the core tenants of who they are as a brewery, or if it’s me just reaching for yet another reason to love Cincinnati beer…but either way – I’ll take it and embrace it.
When Braxton first announced that they were releasing Trophy, their single hop pale ale, I talked a little bit about how the beer itself was representative of who Braxton is at their very core. As a beer that gives back to the community every time someone purchases and sips away at it, it’s a major piece of the puzzle of who Braxton is at their very core. On top of the “giving” side of the beer… The beer itself is a celebration of an ingredient… It’s an exercise in complex simplicity.
It’s no surprise to me, with how much I feel that this beer really represents the brewery that we’re seeing it as a bottle release. It’s not even really about distributing this beer to more people the way that their can program is. The decision to package this beer is much more about celebrating something that every one of our breweries needs to be celebrating… The neighborhood that they call home.
Look at the bottle itself…it stands tall, proud. Topped by a brilliant gold foil cover over the cap it shines in the light like the very plastic trophies that it’s named after. But instead of celebrating a little league win, or a bowling victory – This beer bottle represents Covington, and Braxton Brewing company’s dedication to use a simple beverage and a community that we all create around it to revitalize its core.
It’s beautiful… And I’m not even talking about the single Palisade hopped elixir in the bottle…
I’m going to admit straight off the bat with this one, that I’m a little bit biased…I’ll explain in a moment. Why is this bottle perfect? Because it’s a beer that represents a couple different things. First, and probably the most obvious when you look at its newsprint inspired label art is that it’s covered in headlines from the last year. These are the stories, the articles, the words that represent ever moment in this brewery’s short but extremely eventful history.
This is the last 12 months of Braxton literally wrapped around a bottle.
But, that’s not it here… What’s inside needs to count for something as well – otherwise you’d be hard pressed to impress the Gnome. And of course what’s inside this swing top 1-liter bottle is special in it’s own right as well. It’s a kiwi Berliner Weisse. If you’re one of the 300 something Braxton Builders that received their survey at the end of the yaar, you’ll remember that one of the questions was a request at what beer style that Braxton hadn’t yet brewed you’d most like to see.
Getting it yet?
Overwhelmingly the winner was Berliner Weisse, so not only did the brewery make a batch for us to drink during their party called Yesterday’s Headlines, they infused it with Kiwis and put it into bottles for us… Making this beer not just a representation of the news from the last year – it’s a beer bottle that represents the builders… A group of people that although they might not have made Braxton happen, have been a part of every big event, and certainly played a major roll in how all this has happened.
As to why I might be a little Biased? Well.. Not only am I Braxton Builder and not only did I vote for a Berliner Weisse – if you get your hands on one of these limited bottles you might be able to spin it around and find one of my headlines featured somewhere on it. Make sure that you jump onto their website this week and preorder your bottle to make sure that you snag one.
Tequila Barrel Aged Coffee
One of the moves during the last year from Braxton that was a surprise, but then made complete sense to me immediately afterwards was their focus on coffee. Their starter program has not only been a huge success, I have a feeling that it’s going to help to start pushing Cincinnati’s “coffee scene” (Is that a thing?) in a new direction. When they rolled out their Bourbon barrel aged coffee beans at their winter Block party, I was thrilled. These beans didn’t last very long in my house, and I was left wanting more.
Of course… They’re giving us more… But not just another batch of the same thing, no, these are aged in Tequila barrels. They went with a Mexican variety this time, called Maragogype beans, which are bigger than normal coffee beans and packed with notes of vanilla and caramel with undertones of oak and chocolate. I can’t wait to get this home and try them….
Again, though… Look into this a little bit deeper and see what isn’t being said. This bottle is part of the Braxton that has little to do with beer. When they launched their Starter coffee program it spearheaded a move by the brewery to open their doors earlier in the day. They wanted to use the brewery to offer a coworking space… A way for people to have a place to create and co-work with each other in the daytime hours.
Who does this? Braxton does.
So we are blessed with three different bottles that represent three major parts of who Braxton is at their very core…but there is one piece missing. It’s a piece that’s missing from their packaged line-up completely so far, and in my opinion a glaring piece of them that has been left out.
I know that lagers are nothing knew in the beer world…hell, they haven’t gotten the respect they deserve from craft drinkers for a long time, but I am of the belief that this is the exact reason that they should have featured one in package. I’m not going to harp on this too much…because I get the reasons that we aren’t seeing one, they take a long time, etc. Buuut, it would have made my whole post a little better if it was included!
So… Let’s wrap this up in a neat little package for you – Braxton’s throwing a party. You need to be there. They are selling bottles. You need these bottles.