7/9/17: Braxton Brewing Company's Buzz

3:22 PM

I thought that July would be hotter than this. Don't get me wrong. It's hot in Cincinnati. Like, it's regularly in the 80s. But today I went on a beer run at around 2 o'clock and it was only 76 degrees.

Not that I'm complaining. I'm not complaining at all. Kinder weather gives me a chance to sit outside and drink a beer without either a) sweating through all of my clothing or b) bundling up so that I have to pull a scarf from my face every time I want to take a swig.

For a summer day, you'd be pretty hard-pressed to find something better than this. Weather like this is perfect because it lets me pair (what I hope is) a perfect summer beer with it: Braxton's Buzz.

If you've been following the blog for a bit, odds are you know about Braxton (I did just write about them last month). If you're new around here, no worries. Let me catch you up to speed: Braxton is based in Covington, KY. Evan, their head brewer, who has been making beer since he was a teen, starting brewing in a garage. This historic anecdote permeates the brewery, which, as evidenced by the writing on its About page, acts as a tribute to the Great American Garage.

But let's focus on the beer. According to the official word on Buzz, the Kölsch is great for summer days when you just want to sit on the porch and drink a beer. It's brewed with honey and peaches, and has a nice balance of malt and hops. Oh, and it clocks in at 5.1%, meaning it's light enough for you to drink a few in a session.

I'm getting both the peach and the honey on the nose. From a quick whiff, it's mostly honey. But, if you linger a little longer and inhale a little more deeply you'll find the peach. I was worried the the aroma would be overly (or even sickly) sweet. But that's been expertly avoided. There's malt in the fore and the two ingredients touted on the can are added to boost the bouquet, not create it. Purrl gave it three whiffs and quickly returned for three more (giving the can a total Purrl score of six).

The beer's flavors come in waves and I never get all of them in one swig. It has the dry, lightly hoppy flavor the style's known for. But with some swigs I get a rush  of peach. With others, the honey is evident. I half expected that this would be like other uniquely flavored beers: one flavor obvious at first, another popping up in the finish. And, while there are some sips where I find a peachiness lingering around after I swallow, I'll stick to what I've said. These flavors come in different waves with each swig. And that's rad as hell.

The Kölsch is mildly carbonated. Nothing like a soda, but there's definite bubbles there.

I've written before about a summer a few years back when Michelle and I would listen to Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band's Outer South on the way to the beach we used to visit while living in Athens, OH. What I neglected to say then is that we listened to that album all the time during that summer. I never once took it out of my car's CD player (yeah, that's right. I have it on CD). Were we going grocery shopping? We heard it on the way. Were we driving to visit my folks in Michigan? Yep--Outer South was on. Heading to one of Athens' many $4 movies? You guessed right. Outer South.

Since then, that album has become a summer staple for me. Hell, I'm listening to it right now, while typing and editing this post. It just perfectly encapsulates a midwestern summer. For me, at this point, Buzz is like that album. Something so summery, so simple that I won't be able to resist associating it with gorgeous, warm (okay, hot) days. Will it become that quintessential summer something for me in the way Outer South has? Time will tell. But you know what? It's off to a great start.

Braxton's Buzz is a fantastic Kölsch. It's light. It's easy. It's flavorful without slapping you in the face with its ingredients. I don't know how available it is currently (I bought my sixer just over a month ago and have been sitting on it since) but if you find it and are in the market for an absolutely fantastic lawnmower beer, grab it. I'm giving it a 9.0/10.

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