Started by a team of two brothers, Chase and Colin Healey, in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2012, Prairie Artisanal Ales has quickly become the buzz of the newest craft breweries.
After sharing their different and experimental variations of saisons working as gypsy brewers, the two decided it was time to have a brewery of their own. They raised over $20,000 on Kickstarter with the help of fans and formed Prairie Artisan Ales. Chase Healey is the brewer and his brother Colin is responsible all of their fun and funky branding and logo design. Prairie is currently brewing over 15 beers - not restricted to Saisons - and Healey promises another 30 new brews to be released by the end of this year.
A wildly complex American farmhouse ale, 'Merica is Prairie's example of a single malt, single hop saison. Pilsner malt gives this a yellow, straw-like color. A strain of wine yeast is used to condition the beer, creating a wonderful, effervescent body. Strong aromas of grapefruit and kiwi, from 3lbs of Nelson Sauvin hops used in each barrel blend seamlessly with fresh bready malts and typical spicy, earthy saison yeast characteristics. Grassy, and citrusy hop bitterness hit the palate immediately, followed by sweet dough and wild yeast funk. This hoppy saison is delightful introduction to the unique world of Prairie Artisan Ales.
A puncheon is a 132 gallon french oak wine barrel and Prairie has gotten their hands on 16 of them to create some wild concoctions, including this rye Saison fermented with wine and two different strains of wild yeast. Puncheon pours with a hazy, golden body and a fluffy white head that fades quickly, leaving a nice lacing on the glass. The nose is reminiscent of sour apples, light biscuit, musty oak, and wine tannins. Taste follows suit with a dry, lemon tartness, with oak and sourness taking over midsip and finishing with a hint of spicy malt sweetness.
This limited release Imperial Stout, weighing in at a hefty 14%, is aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and ancho chili peppers. Perhaps bizarre, and frightening to some, this sweet and spicy style of stout has become increasingly popular. As expected, this brew pours completely jet black with a foamy java head, leaving some lacing on the glass. The smell of chocolate malt, strong espresso, vanilla and a hint of pepper waft off this rich brew. Thick and creamy, it assaults the taste buds with roasty, bitter coffee followed by vanilla which coats the mouth and ends with some heat, mimicking the taste of Mexican chocolate. As it comes closer to room temperature, this brew gets more and more complex, releasing even more sweet and peppery flavors.
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