I would be lying if I didn’t say this beer took Cincinnati by storm. I don’t think I’ve seen a beer get so much press here locally than this one. Braxton combined Cincinnati’s love for delicious beer with their love of local legendary Graeter’s Ice Cream. When Braxton’s Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Milk Stout released there were waves of people waiting to bust down the door of the taproom. So many that it got to the point where they could only let one person in as one left. The retail release was just as crazy on Monday. As soon as doors opened at beer shops across the city their shelves were stripped within hours.
Why is there so much hype behind this beer? Well for starters we Cincinnatians are as serious about our beer as we are for our hometown ice cream company, Graeter’s. I witnessed craft beer lovers and non craft beer drinkers alike talking about this beer. I heard countless people interviewed on the news and the radio say they don’t even drink beer, but they wanted to get their hands on it. This beer is so Cincinnati that everyone and their grandma wants to try it. So…is the hype worth it? Let’s dive in and take a look.
As I opened the can up my nose was met with a really dark, bitter chocolate smell. Not a ton of raspberry on the nose and just a bit of roasted maltiness. As I poured it into my glass it looked black as midnight with a rich brown frothy head. It’s a dark beer, but don’t let it fool you. If you look at it in the light it’s actually more of a dark brown than a pitch midnight black.
Now, I couldn’t help myself and take a few sips immediately, but do yourself a favor and let this delicious beer warm up a bit. In it’s cold state you get a lot of rich dark chocolate up front but the raspberry is a bit muted. Once your glass starts to warm it will unlock the black raspberry undertones. This smooth, creamy, treat goes down easy. I was worried about the sweetness level so I am relieved to report that this beer is not overly sweet at all. If anything it’s got more of the bitter dark chocolate flavor over anything else. The raspberry undertones is what mellows it out with a little sweetness in the end.
I haven’t had the chance to try this over the actual ice cream, but I think I will be making a trip tomorrow to grab some to get in on the float action. I’ve been told that it’s absolutely amazing.
Overall Braxton has created a delicious beer that pays homage to what could arguably be Cincinnati’s favorite ice cream flavor from our favorite ice cream company. Is the hype real? I think it is. This is some damn good beer and I hope to see it come back soon. Maybe we might be lucky enough to see some more Graeter’s/Braxton collaborations down the road. Only time will tell.