3/5/22: Braxton Brewing Company's Switch

3:31 PM

Get this: It's only early March but I'm able to post up on my front porch for this review! Yeah, the high today was 75°, which is incredibly warm. Sure, that'll plummet back down into our standard 40s soon enough, but I'm not focusing on that.

What I am focusing on is today's beer, Braxton's new IPA, Switch, and soaking up the last of the day's pleasantness as the sun sinks ever closer to that western horizon. I'm sure that the peepers will start their nightly chorus soon--let's hope I'm back inside by then. If I'm not, no biggie; I have a soft spot for peepers and their song.

Since it's been over a year (!) since I've last talked about a proper Braxton beer around these parts, let me give you a quick refresher on the company: Based out of Covington, KY (with additional locations in Cincinnati and Fort Mitchell [the Braxton Labs location in Newport's The Party Source shuttered earlier this year]), Braxton's the baby of Evan Rouse, who started a homebrewing setup in this folks' garage before he could even legally drink. Rouse fell in love with the art of brewing (and the poetry of finding another great use for his family garage) and spun it into a killer career. You'll find fuller details (and the company's recently-adopted Code of Conduct!) on Braxton's "Our Story" page

Braxton announced Switch at the end of February. It's an "...accessible and enjoyable IPA..." that's "...unapologetically hoppy with an electric aroma and amp’d up flavor." The ABV measurement on my can reads 6%. Actually, my can has a lot more information on the ale than it's unveiling Instagram post. The picture below has it all, but highlights include: aromas of grapefruit, citrus, and pine and the utilization of centennial and cascade hops. 

Oh, and because I haven't mentioned it yet, this is now a staple of Braxton's year-round offerings.

The nose, to my sniffer, is heavy with lemony citrus and big floral notes. Now, I'm not good enough to tell you which kind of flowers I'm picking up exactly but it's like walking through a wildflower-filled meadow in late-spring. I also find the grapefruit and pine--I won't act like those aromas aren't present--but the lemon and flowers are the heaviest hitters. Háma (who's here featured simply because he was already on the cat tree) gave my can seventeen big ol' farmcat whiffs. I think he's as taken with the bright bouquet as I am.

A swig of Switch doles out big fruit notes: guava, mango, pineapple, and some mild honeydew. There's also some straw and biscuit in the can, too. The more I drink, the more another flavor comes to the front: honey. The IPA's a delicious, subtly sweet affair with just a brush of dankness in the finish before a piney rush.

Switch's mouthfeel is crisp and full. This would be a great beer to enjoy after a day of outside choring, regardless of if it's earned through sowing seeds in a vegetable garden, cutting the grass, raking leaves, or shoveling snow.

I recently acquired a chainsaw. Now, I've used one before; I've just never had one to call my own. I picked it up because the brushline at the other side of our yard's getting a little too dense for my liking. Yesterday, in the warmth of the sun (granted, it wasn't as warm then as it is today), I cut a sizeable chunk of headway.

The next time I'm home (and it's warm/dry enough), I'll refuel my saw and get back to it. Luckily I found a fifteen-pack of Switch, meaning I'll still have a can to kick back with when I put my chainsaw up then (regardless of how far in the future that day may be).

Switch is a welcome addition to Braxton's year-round lineup. I know I'll reach for it time and again. Why? Because it's a solid 10/10 beer, and one that just might be my favorite IPA.

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