July 16, 2013

Prairie Artisan Ales Prairie Standard

Brewed By: Prairie Artisan Ales in Tulsa (brewed in Krebs), Oklahoma  
Purchased: 12oz bottle from a 6-pack bought at Binny's in IL; 2013 
Style/ABV: Farmhouse Ale/Wild Ale, 5.2%
Reported IBUs: ?

Tonight I'm going to try to knock out two beers. Hooray for overachieving! After tying the kind-of-middle-of-the-road Prairie Somewhere, I wanted to try Prairie's "Standard." I have nice things to say about this beer, and I haven't even tried it yet. But a quick word about Prairie

Prairie Artisan Ales are yet another brewery that began as a Kickstarter campaign. Founded in 2012 by brothers Chase and Colin Healey (nice beards), the duo have been busy making beer as Gypsy Brewers, but also have their own brew facility (complete with barrels!). You can check them out on Facebook here.
The Prairie Standard is the brewery's "everyday beer." It's described as a light, crisp Saison, with a hoppy finish. This beer is dry hopped with Motueka hops, which are apparently a New Zealand hop with spicy, lime-like flavors and aromas. Now, I have to give BIG PROPS to Prairie for the way they package this beer. This beer is available in a 6-pack format, which means you can grab a sixer to hopefully session this on a Saturday or whenever. It's a bit pricey at around 15 dollars a 6-pack, but my hunch is this is brewed with Brett and bottle-conditioned. But let's crack it open and see. 

I just put this into my fridge, so this beer was cooling off instead of warming up. As such, I should have been prepared...as I popped the cap off, the beer gushed out. It wasn't a bad gush, but yeah. #FML
Prairie Artisan Ales Prairie Standard

In low light, this beer pours a hazy golden/orange color, with a finger of gold-tinted/off-white head. The head is foamy like a Belgian Ale. In bright light, the beer is a hazy orange color. It's hazy...not murky. There's lots of carbonation streaming upwards in the form of tiny bubbles, and the foamy/cream-of-wheat/white head is sustaining nicely. It looks like a Belgian Ale. 

The aroma features clove, Belgian funk, banana esters, big peaches, apricots, apple/pear, some musty lemon and lemon funk, green apple candies, and some straw/wheat. It's a very mild and pleasant nose.

This tastes kind of like the description on the bottle. "A hoppy Farmhouse Ale." I'll take it. I'm not really getting any Brett/funk/sour. Maybe a twang of funky Brett...but it's way subdued. This tastes like a straight up hop-forward Saison, or maybe a hoppy Belgian Pale Ale. 

You get creamy/wheat-forward lemon, lime, grass, peach, hoppy grapefruit, and lots of clove/wheat. There's some hop bitterness which imparts a spent chewing gum flavor, and some elusive funk is present throughout. It's refined and mature and oh so drinkable.

This is unbelievably creamy and smooth for 5.2%. The body is driven by wheat, with that pillowy, light to medium-light mouthfeel. Palate depth is good, and the beer has reasonable complexity as well. You could definitely put a few of these back. You get creamy body, followed by wheat up front; that gives way to lemon, lime, grass, peach, some hops; that rolls into more bitterness, and some gum. The back end features wheat, with light drying. Some lemon/funk is present throughout. Not bad.

Rating: Above-Average (4.0/5.0 Untappd)

I'm feeling a Strong Above-Average on this. This is good, easy-drinking stuff. I'm still not a 100% sure if I'm tasting mild Brett in this...I guess the only way to really find out would be to let a few bottles of this sit around and see how it shapes up in a couple of months. Either way, this is a great, sessionable Farmhouse-style ale. This style of beer is becoming increasingly common, and seems to be the Belgian twist on the American Pale Ale. I wouldn't hesitate to grab a 6-pack of this for a weekend and pair this beer with some football snack food, chips and guacamole, a burger, or a meat and cheese tray. Good stuff....this is a formidable beer from Prairie. 

Random Thought: And now onto something totally different...

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