If you live in the Greater Cincinnati area and love food or beer, you’ve probably heard about the collaboration between Covington’s Braxton Brewing Company and Graeter’s Ice Cream – Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Stout. The ice cream is, of course, a long time standard in the Graeter’s portfolio; the beer was launched just five days ago at a tapping at Braxton’s taproom.
The Ice Cream
What can you say about Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip? I know that it is one of the favorites in my household and I’m sure one of the best sellers from their line. Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip features black raspberries from Oregon’s Willamette Valley and gourmet bittersweet chocolate chips. Personally, I love the big chunks of chocolate in the ice cream, and the flavor of the chocolate meshes perfectly with the tartness of the raspberries.
Braxton Brewing Company used Graeter’s exclusive black raspberry puree as just one of the components of this delicious stout. Also in the mix is chocolate and lactose sugar to make a delicious, very drinkable sweet stout. Out of the can, it pours with a nice. milky head (not as solid as Guiness) and presents a good waft of black raspberry flavor up to your nose. Once you taste it, the chocolate comes to the fore while the black raspberry sits in the background. The creaminess from the lactose is apparent throughout.
ABV is an appropriate 7% while the IBU of 30 is a great match for the complex flavors and the sweetness.
Rumor is that a nitro version is in the works. If ever there was a beer that would work well with nitro, this would be it. Nitro would enhance the already wonderful mouth feel and would likely help the flavors explode as well.
One of my favorite post-ride treats is a beer and a scoop of ice cream (I’m told that my grandfather enjoyed that combo as well).
I picked up a pint of Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream as well as their Coconut Chocolate Chip to try out some floats after sampling the beer itself.
I can say without reservation that a float made with Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Stout and Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream is a delicious combination. As the ice cream melts into the beer, you get even more of each flavor, and the chocolate chips left over in the bottom of the glass are delicious with a light coating of stout on them.
The Coconut Chocolate Chip was not as good of a combination. As a matter of fact, don’t do it. They just didn’t match, but I’m sure that the stout would be incredible over even plain vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
Braxton’s Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Stout is one of those beers that you can share with your non-beer loving friends. It certainly has the potential to change the minds of those who think that beer only comes incredibly pale and incredibly thin with barely-there flavor. As for Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip? We hope that this one stays in their menu for a long, long time.