7/18/19: Braxton Brewing Company's Graeter's Key Lime Pie

4:48 PM

This is a post that, less than a week ago, wasn't going to happen. I had scrapped the idea of doing it. Now, don't let that taint your opinion of the beer I'm discussing. Here, I'll explain a little.

See, back in late-May, Braxton dropped it's latest Graeter's collaboration: Key Lime Pie. I was super stoked on it and rushed out to nab a pack. I opened a can as soon as I got home and was amazed. I drank the whole thing in two days. By that time, I'd already posted in the "A Beer You'll See Here Soon" part of the blog that I'd be doing Key Lime Pie up sometime in the near future. But, life happened more quickly than I'd anticipated, a ton of fantastic brews released, and the idea of getting to Key Lime Pie only got pushed further and further away.

Fast forward to last week, when I was actually ready to write about the ale. I couldn't find it anywhere! Since I had consumed the entirety of the pack I was anticipated to use for review purposes, I figured that was it. It wasn't a biggie--the stuff wasn't around anymore anyway. But, earlier this week I saw a pack in the wild. Then, just last night, I found a bunch at a nearby grocery store. So, I grabbed a second pack and here we are. Now, without further discussion, let's get into it: Braxton's Graeter's Key Lime Pie.

As you most likely know if you're a regular reader of my posts, the catalyst behind Braxton is a guy named Evan Rouse. When he was a teenager, Evan built a homebrew setup in his family's garage--well before he was legally able to imbibe the fruits of his labor. But, as an ode to that experimental, entrepreneurial spirit, as well as the garage the helped to foster it, Braxton was founded. Based out of Covington, KY, the brewery crafts some of my favorite beer around. Here's their official "Our Story" page, if you want to read all of that from the source. 

Key Lime Pie is, as its Untappd profile states (note that this link came from Braxton's website), a 4.5% ABV pale ale that's brewed with cinnamon, key lime zest, and vanilla (my can also mentions lactose). It's designed to taste like, as you've probably guessed by now, Key lime pie.

Before I talk about the beer's bouquet (which I promise I'll do here shortly) I want to tell you something that I appreciate about this specific can: it's full. The beer inside come all the way up to the lip. That's high-quality stuff.

Okay. Now I'll get to the bouquet. It's vanillay. It's limey. It's grahamy. It smells, without hyperbole, like a slice of Key lime pie. There's a light maltiness, a slight hoppiness, and just a touch of alcohol--all this is, presumably, here just so you know that, yes, this is a beer. This is all good for me because I like Key lime pie and I like beer. Today, however, I learned that Purrl does not share my interest in Key lime pie. She gave my open can three short whiffs as she turned to look out of our living room window.

The ale tastes like Key lime pie. It's all lime and vanilla on the fore and graham with a touch of cinnamon in the finish. I don't know how Braxton managed this, but I'm very happy that they have. This is exactly what I wanted it to be when it was announced.

Key Lime Pie's mouthfeel is reminiscent of a big bite of Key lime pie. It's full and creamy. Blame this wonder on the lactose.

When I was in middle school (or maybe late elementary school? I really can't remember) my family took a road trip to Connecticut for my cousins' high school graduation. We drove through some scenic Appalachian mountains to get there (I want to say Blue Ridge--possibly along Blue Ridge Parkway--but, I was a kid with a portable CD player, a gameboy, and some Calvin and Hobbes books, so I wasn't really paying attention for most of it).

What I can remember is we stopped at some old Civil War battlefields. At one point, my dad pulled the van over so we could get a close-up look at a petrified log he had spotted (this was genuinely a lot cooler than it sounds). We stopped at a diner sometime after sundown for our dinner one night. On that night, in that diner, I had my first slice of Key lime pie. It was nearly as good as this beer.

If it's not entirely clear by this point (we're at the end of the post now, by the way), I'll state it as simply as I can: Braxton's Key Lime Pie is a treat. I can't believe they've pulled this beer off with such aplomb. I'm giving it a 10/10. This is going to change the definition of "summer beer" for me.

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