Begin your planning – one of this cities favorite beer release days has a date picked out, and the variants are starting to roll in.  That’s right, it’s time to start planning for Braxton Brewing Company’s ‘Winter Block Party’, which is better known as Dark Charge Day.

If you’ve never been before, it starts early… the line forms as the sun is rising with people hanging out on the sidewalks of Covington Kentucky, waiting patiently… line sharing… socializing… eating breakfast.  It’s all in anticipation for the noon release of Braxton’s big Imperial Stout called Dark Charge, and the variants that come along with it.  The party then extends all day with live music and amazing beer tappings galore.  It’s an absolute blast.  Let’s take a look at this years event, and see if we can’t convince all your lame buddies that they need to get there this year.

Dark Charge

The beer is the centerpiece of the whole celebration.  It’s the reason that people line up hours before the event, afterall.  The big, rich, chocolately, roasty stout spends a year in bourbon barrels, just waiting for this day when it can be unleashed upon the world.  This year there are going to see 7 total bottles released:

  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Charge
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Charge with fresh picked cherries and Madagascar vanilla beans.  These barrels were freshly dumped bourbon barrels that then aged pure vanilla extract.
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Charge Tiramisu – espresso roasted Starter coffee, Madagascar vanilla beans, cocoa nibs.
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Charge S’mores – marshmallow, cocoa nibs, graham cracker.
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Charge Mole – dried ancho chiles, Madagascar vanilla beans, cinnamon, cocoa nibs.
  • Bourbon Barrel and Pino Noir Barrel Aged Dark Charge with Grape Must – This is the Braxton Labs Variant, and really limited.
  • 23 Bourbon Maple Barrel Aged, 2 Year

The Food

This is a winter block party… which means that it’s not just about Braxton and their beer, they like to bring in other people from the community to bring that point home.  On the food side, they’ve got some really great restaurant partners who are presenting Dark Charge infused and inspired food items.  Inside their heated tent on 7th street there’s going to be:

  • Graeters (of course!)
  • Smoke Justis
  • Coppin’s at Hotel Covington
  • Wunderbar
  • Amerasia
  • Molly Malone’s Irish Pub
  • Flipdaddy’s Burgers & Beer

I’m sure the menu items for each of these places is going to be stellar, and it will make sure that you don’t get hungry while you put back a few beers… but we’ll get to those in a minute  First let’s talk about the soundtrack for the day.

The Music

Music and Braxton go hand in hand – and they’ve lined up a sweet soundtrack to make sure this party doesn’t stop.  Starting at noon, the music kicks in and doesn’t let up all day long (at least until 11pm that is).  You’ll see:

  • Floyd & The Walkmen
  • The Hot Magnolias
  • Noah Smith
  • 500 Miles To Memphis

The Beer

The Winter Block Party is all about barrel aged beer.  But not just Braxton’s beer, they like to invite all their friends to share some of their best stuff too.  Alongside the new Dark Charge’s (maybe even some older dark charges) and rare Braxton beer, they’ll have barrel aged treats from:

  • Against The Grain
  • West 6th
  • New Belgium
  • Dogfish Head
  • Oskar Blues
  • MadTree
  • Rhinegeist
  • Ballast Point
  • Avery
  • The Bruery
  • Country Boy
  • Sweetwater
  • Cigar City
  • 50 West
  • Lagunitas
  • Urban Artifact

Stay tuned not just to Braxton’s website and social media, but of course here too, as typically as the event draws closer we usually get a couple of surprises from Braxton.  We still don’t know what those two mystery Dark Charge variants are, so we’ve definitely got those coming!!

You will want to mark your calendar now, this isn’t a day you want to miss if you’re a fan of barrels, beer, food and music!  Saturday, December 2nd 2017.

Leave a Comment.