Cincinnati local Braxton Brewery’s sophomore effort at collaboration with Graeters’ Ice Cream is a smashing success.
Based on seasonal Elena’s Blueberry Pie ice cream, Blueberry Pie Brown Ale is aromatic, reasonably full-bodied and sweet, without being overwhelmingly so. It is the perfect beer for a rainy fall day, curled up in a blanket while rain patters softly on the window.
At first sniff, the ale has a distinct scent of blueberry and perhaps maple. The pour is a dark amber, with a rich, nutty color.
The flavor does not disappoint, leading with a forward, fruity flavor. However, the sweetness does not overwhelm, as it is followed by the brown ale base, with notes of cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. The brown ale acts as a breading, very much emphasizing the fact that the ale is emulating a blueberry pie.
The aftertaste is surprisingly bitter, but not unpleasant.
It is a perfect dessert beer, begging to be paired with other sweets such as chocolate chip cookies or perhaps an actual slice of pie.
Ringing in at a 7 percent ABV, this one is a little higher in alcohol content than normal for brown ales, making it all the more perfect for warming you up and comforting you on a rainy fall day.
Cost must be considered, however. At $10 per four-pack, it is expensive on a college budget. However, like the Graeters’ ice cream it is based on, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to a good cause, The Cure Starts Now, an organization dedicated to funding cancer research.
This beer shows a marked improvement over Braxton and Graeter’s first collaboration, Black Raspberry Chip Stout, which, besides being completely unobtainable to the vast majority of fans who wanted it, was a major letdown in terms of flavor. It seemed to promise notes of cocoa and fruit, but ultimately delivered only the taste of a basic stout and disappointment.
The Blueberry Pie Brown Ale can be picked up at your local liquor store or Kroger.