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Evan Rouse, Head Brewer and the creative engine behind the venture [Image courtesy of Braxton Brewing Co.]

You Won't Believe The Incredible Backstory of Braxton Brewing Co.

I've been on numerous beer tours in this city -- underground, above ground, and otherwise. And while I've heard the step-by-step tale of how wheat turns to beer, there's no way I could recount it for you. I merely trust the experts and look forward to the end of the tour when I get to taste the fruits of some bearded person's labor.

Although I don't have the capacity to remember the inner workings of the beer-making process, there is something that always sticks with me. A good story. It's even better when it's an inspiring story.

And that brings us to Braxton Brewing Co. in Covington. Two brothers, a dad, and a legendary brewmaster are the brains behind this newly formed operation. But we have to step back in time about seven years to understand the inspiration for its creation.

At that time, Evan Rouse (the younger brother) and Greg Rouse (the father) were dropping Jake Rouse (older brother) off at school at Indiana University. Before heading back to their hometown of Union, Ky., Greg and Evan made a pit stop at the Upland Brewing Company in Bloomington, Ind. The tour made quite the impression on young Ev. He ordered a homebrewing kit from his phone on the drive home.

And so it began...

Evan won "Best in Show" at Bockfest when he was 17. At 18, he was hired as Asst. Brewer at Hofbrauhaus. Somehow, this kid (who wasn't even of legal drinking age) was becoming a wunderkind in the local beer world. For years, Richard Dubé (the head brewer at Moerlein) tried to recruit him. But year after year, Evan declined.

Something else was brewing...

Inspired by the Cincinnati beer revolution, with places like MadTree and Rhinegeist exploding, Evan heard the call to start his own thing, with his own imprint.

On March 27, 2015 -- 51 weeks to the day after signing a lease for 27 W. 7th Street in Covington -- Braxton Brewing Co. opened its doors. The team is comprised of Evan, Head Brewer; Jake, CEO; Greg, COO; and Richard, Brewmaster.

Remember that brother at the beginning of the story who was headed to school at IU? That's Jake, and it turns out studying entrepreneurship has come in handy. As for Richard Dubé (the former head brewer at Moerlein) since he couldn't convince Evan to come work for him, he figured why not do the reverse? So far so good.

That's the backstory, but this is the present. Here's what I really love about Braxton:

1) There's parking right outside of the building. (Such a small thing. But so soo huge.)

2) The theme of the interior: a garage. It's a hat-tip to where Evan got his start, brewing his very first rounds of beer in the Rouse family garage. Taking the concept one step further, the garage is a symbol of innovation. It's a place to build something anew. (Or just hang out with friends). Either way it works.

3) Tuesday through Friday, the taproom opens up at 8am. "Why?" you ask. Well, back to that point about the garage. This isn't just about beer. It's about a mentality. And by opening up at 8am, Braxton's giving folks who might not have a normal office a space to foster their own next big idea.

4) They've partnered up with Newport's Carabello Coffee Co. to create their own starter brew, and soon they're going to infuse that into a beer.

5) The beer is super tasty. It's hard to pick a favorite, but I had a strong affinity for Dead Blow, a Tropical Stout made with dates.

6) Their hashtag is #LiftOneToLife. My hashtag response to that: #LoveIt. (Or maybe #FreakingLoveIt.)

7) The name Braxton comes from the street where the Rouses grew up. ... 'Cause that's where it all began. (Yeah, I think I'm gonna go with #FreakingLoveIt.)


If you want to see this multi-purpose, innovative space in person, head on over.
Braxton Brewing Co. is located at 27 W. 7th Street, 41011.