Braxton Brewing was a business concept born in a garage by brothers Jake and Evan Rouse and their dad Greg Rouse, who set out to launch a Covington brewery that could develop innovative brews. What they didn’t expect is how popular their craft concoctions would become—and how quickly.
Braxton beers are now on tap at local restaurants; canned and sold at grocery and liquor stores across the tristate, among other states; and available at major Cincinnati sporting events. Three new projects are coming to fruition in 2023 to help the company complete its evolution from a family startup.
CEO Jake Rouse (pictured above) says Braxton’s Garage lager is the option you reach for when you’re hanging out in the garage, as the founders famously did. Recognizing its wide appeal, the company partnered with Andrew Sauer, a brand investment marketer, to establish Garage Beer Co. in order to give the beer national distribution.
The iconic can embodies approachability with enough oomph to be craft and compete with other popular choices. “We knew that the brand of Garage Beer had the ability to grow well beyond our footprint here in Greater Cincinnati,” says Rouse.
Braxton continues to build its brand locally at two new taproom locations, including a prominent spot at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. “Being able to have a brand presence inside of a space that welcomes nearly 9 million people a year has been one of the coolest things I’ve witnessed in the eight-year history of our company,” says Rouse. “There are operational hurdles working inside the space, but we’re thrilled we could overcome them and bring it to life.” Braxton’s airport outpost in Terminal A offers a full bar with rotating beers, wine, and cocktails along with food from Taco Fuerte that’s available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Braxton is also widening its partnerships with local favorites Graeter’s Ice Cream and Dewey’s Pizza. One collaboration produced a limited-edition Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Milk Stout, while Dewey’s opened its newest pizzeria next door to Braxton’s flagship brewpub in downtown Covington. Braxton and Graeter’s released a second beer collaboration, Peach Kolsch, in June.
The trio are now joining forces to create a unique food hub in Union, which Rouse says brings his family business back to where it all began. The three companies are developing new buildings (rendering above) featuring their brands along with shared green space just 100 feet from Braxton Drive, the street where the Rouses grew up. The hub is set to open by the end of the year.
“The development is truly going to be special,” says Rouse. “It’s the culmination of the past eight years of building Braxton Brewing. The ability to create something that welcomes families in our hometown of Union is a cool homecoming story.”