In what was the biggest beer release that Cincinnati has ever seen (and maybe ever will see?) Braxton and Graeter’s first teamed up to create the first Black Raspberry Chip Stout back in early 2017.  The event grew beyond what anybody from either company could have possibly expected, and while I think they were happy with the result, there was a low rumbling amongst a lot of people who tried the beer – it didn’t taste enough like the ice cream.

I’ll get into my thoughts in a minute… but Spoiler Alert, this years tastes exactly like the ice cream.

From The Ground Up

Braxton Builders got a chance to hear Evan talk a little bit about this beer at the annual builders town hall meeting last night.  He emphasized that they went back to the drawing board for this years batch, recreating the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Stout from the ground up to be as close to the ice cream flavor as possible.  They used more of everything.  A lot more of everything.

Braxton doubled the amount of lactose in the beer.  They used more than double the raspberry puree and about 75% more chocolate to make sure the flavors really popped in this batch.

A note about the Raspberry, it’s all real raspberry puree.  The brewery again used the exact puree that Graeter’s puts in their ice cream, and when they were formulating the recipe the amount they had to use was a little staggering.  So much so that they had to sheepishly approach Graeters and inform them that they’d have to up their order a little bit.  The brewery, by using more than double the amount of Raspberry puree that Graeters anticipated them using, created an order bigger than any that Graeter’s has ever placed before.

The Release Party

I suppose you want some dates to put on your calendar then, eh?  The tapping is going to take place in the Braxton taproom on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 – and I’m not sure if you remember what happened last time, but these things get crazy.

The press release doesn’t mention it, but I can only assume that the Graeters family will be on hand to help tap the beer, and I certainly hope that the Graeter’s truck will be there again serving up scoops of ice cream (while supplies last).  If I learn that any of that is untrue, I’ll make sure to correct it, though.

My Thoughts On The New Beer

I said it before, and I can’t tell you enough.  This beer tastes dead on to what the ice cream tastes like.  The lactose makes this beer creamy and smooth, with the pop of Black Raspberries hitting you front and center, fast and strong.  The chocolate comes in at the end, and tastes exactly like it would after a big scoop of the ice cream.  For anyone saying they wanted that first batch to be more “ice cream like”, you’re going to love this beer.

I enjoyed it a lot.  You know exactly what this is going to taste like when you look at the can (which has a great new inverted color scheme for this release).  I miss a little bit of the roasty stout flavor that the first batch had… but I’m not going to complain.  I’m sure that people will complain, that’s what they do, but if you hear anyone telling you it’s not enough like the Graeter’s Ice Cream, you know that they’re full of it this year.

It’s dead on.  Dead on delicious.

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