A year has passed since Braxton Brewing Co. first opened it’s doors and this weekend they threw a proper birthday bash complete with music, food, and of course great beer. To me their first year seemed like such a blur. They broke records on Kickstarter, came across the river with distribution and even made it into Great American Ballpark, launched cans in KY, did their first barrel aged bottle release, brought their cans over to Ohio, had a pretty cool block party, brewed some crazy cool beers and got to check off many many more awesome stuff on their year one list.
Luckily I was down in Newport the night before the anniversary party so I made it over to Braxton pretty early on Saturday. As I arrived you could already feel the energy of the people outside. I was super happy to see that even though the party hadn’t officially started the outdoor taps were already flowing and the first band was warming up. I grabbed a Black Pepper Catalyst to start off with. It was a totally different take on a nice pilsner, but I enjoyed it.
After I finished my first beer I noticed that they were opening up the doors to let people into the brewery. To my surprise there wasn’t a huge line to get in….no rush to grab the exclusive one of a kind bottles waiting inside. What? Can this be? You might have saw in my most recent post where I praised Braxton for doing preorders for their Yesterday’s Headlines before their party even started. It was the most tame beer release I had ever been to. When I made it in front of the short line I even had time to snap some cool photos of the bottles without bothering anyone.
Read it here Cincinnati breweries: This is how you do a bottle release!
I grabbed my bottle of Yesterday’s Headlines which was in one of the most beautifully packaged bottles I’ve ever seen. As you spin the bottle around it basically shows the history of the brewery during their first year in headlines. I also grabbed a couple Trophy Pale Ales which is a really cool concept in on itself. Braxton launched the beer originally on June 13th and the idea behind it is to brew it with rare hops each time and the proceeds of the sale go toward local Covington projects. This iteration of Trophy was brewed with Palisade hops. And finally there was the Tequila Barrel Aged Starter Coffee. Also beautifully packaged with a wax seal over the cap and a really awesome label. I’m not a huge fan of coffee so I didn’t spring for a bottle, but I’ve been told it’s rather amazing. Braxton used a Mexican coffee bean and aged it in Tequila Barrels before roasting it in Newport and bottling it.
After I grabbed my bottles I ran across the street to put them in my car and when I got back the party was hopping! The Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle were jamming, the beer was flowing and people were having a great time. It was also great to see a lot of the Braxton top guys walking around the crowd and talking to everyone. Richard Dube the brewmaster even playfully gave me grief for wearing a MadTree hoodie until I showed him I was sporting an Ignitor Maibock Braxton Shirt. They actually had some cool one year apparel for sale as well you might be able to grab some in the taproom if there are any left. It was also interesting to see other local brewmasters and brewery staffers walking the crowds as well. As the Gnarly Gnome put it “It makes me smile and gives me faith in
#cincybeer when I see “competing breweries” at each other’s events. I love this city’s beer scene.” And I couldn’t agree with him more!
My goal for the day was to try all of the crazy offerings of their beers that they announced beforehand. They had their Yesterday’s Headlines infused with Kiwi’s and Raspberries, Catalyst Pilsner dry hopped and with black peppers and 1st Gear Belgian IPA with lavender and spruce tips. The true stars of the day, in my opinion, were the Yesterday’s Headlines variants. The Kiwi was probably my favorite because it had a nice tart to it with the bite of a Kiwi that followed. The Raspberry was a close second with a little less tartness and a little more sweetness. I wish they bottled both beers, that would have been awesome!
This was also the first time I got to see their new tap handles that they had launched right before the event. I do have to say they’re some of the best looking handles out there in my opinion. Complete with the Golden Eagle front and center up top.
Braxton sure does know how to throw a party. I had a killer time and if you couldn’t make it t’was your loss. I wish the guys and gals over the river the best of luck in their second year and I will be there to see what you all are cooking up next! So cheers to you as we all Lift One To Life!