Archive for the ‘Prairie Artisan Ales’ Category

Merry Christmas! At this point, I’m probably stuffing my face with dinner and having some good beers. Here’s my gift to you…

funkygoldsimcoe

ABV: 7.5%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to beerlegends.com, “Simcoe Hops was released in 2000 by the Yakima Chief Ranch in Washington State. Its one of those hops that are closely associated with India Pale Ales, but its capacity does not stop there. Simcoe is used almost to obsession in varying ales, predominantly by American Craft Brewers. Its parents are unknown but is compared to Cascade Hops. Simcoe Hops is a dual purpose hops with high bittering potential. The alpha acid content comes in at 12.0%-14.0% with a relatively low beta acid content of 4.0%-5.0%. The co-humulone for this variety is very low (among the lowest) at 12.0%-15.0%. In total this makes Simcoe a good choice for foundational type bittering in beer. Simcoe is also known for its aromatic qualities. And is described as both fruity and an herbal piney earthy fragrance. The myrcene oil content is a skyrocketing 60.0%-65.0% which is among the highest. And naturally this leaves the other oils at a deficit from the norm with the humulene oil content at 10.0%-15.0%, and the caryophyllene oil content at 5.0-%-8.0%. The aroma in Simcoe Hops is complex, and this is part of what explains its popularity with bold hop heavy ales. Simcoe Hops is a heavy yielding plant at 2300-2500 lbs/acre, which is a theme from some of the Yakima varieties. The bright yellow lupulin comes from the medium size hop cones mid season after a moderately vigorous growing season. Going with the times, Simcoe has been bred for disease resistance which includes powdery mildew and sperotheca. As mentioned, Simcoe has made itself known for the American craft brewing and home brewing warriors, and is available.”

Random: I hate when breweries don’t list all the beers they produce on their website.

This beer poured with a huge and loose, four finger white head that dissipated quickly. I was surprised that it left no lacing on the glass. The body was bright yellow and completely hazy with no visible carbonation. The nose was filled with funk and white grapes. I got some grass and hay. The first thing that hit me about the taste was how dry it was. I picked up white wine grapes, hay and grass. After a few sips, some lemon verbena came through too. The booze was hidden. The funk was moderate on this. It had a moderately thick body with light carbonation. The finish took forever with lemon and hay. I picked this up for $12.99 for the bottle ($.77 per ounce). I enjoyed this beer and it reminded me a lot of a white wine. If you’re into that flavor profile, try to find this on the shelf.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I’ve only read one review of this beer and it wasn’t good. I was hoping they got a bad bottle, but (spoiler alert), I was not a fan of this beer. It’s rare that I say that about a beer coming from Prairie.

phantasmagoria

ABV: 8%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Phantasmagoria is an IPA that is low in malt flavors, but high in hops. We brew this beer as a nod to the big hoppy beers of the west coast. We use loads of citrusy and piney hops at the end of the boil and in the fermenter to make this beer a hop experience.”

Random: This comes in at 70 IBUs.

The brew poured with a one finger, thick and fluffy white head. It dissipated slowly and left generous amounts of lacing on the glass. The body was really hazy and lemon juice yellow with light carbonation. I was surprised that I couldn’t see more carbonation. The nose was musty with hay and then grassy hops. I was surprised that I picked up a wheat note too. The taste was…well, interesting. The first thing that I picked up was lemon pledge and old pine needles. It had a green herbal note. Maybe it was arugula? Then, it went into wet hay. It also had a fruity note with a touch of tropical fruit, like star fruit. It had a thick body with a lot of booze. The carbonation was light and could have been amped up. The finish was lengthy with hay, dried grass and dried lemon peel. This beer was expensive at $5 a bottle ($.42 per ounce). I wouldn’t have this one again because of how expensive it was and how weird the taste was.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I picked up this beer in New York and couldn’t wait to pop it open. Let’s see how it was.

prairie3rd

ABV: 8.4%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Three years ago, the Healey brothers set out on a journey to make great beer. Prairie Ale has been a key beer in building the foundation of the Healey brothers’ vision, and we could not think of a better way to celebrate our 3rd anniversary than by releasing a version of Ale that has been fermented on fruit. 3rd Anniversary Ale is our saison fermented on raspberries, giving it not only a delightful flavor and aroma, but a beautiful ruby color. We are excited to offer this beer to our friends in 500ml bottles as well as a limited number of 3 liter bottles. Get ready to celebrate because 3rd Anniversary Ale will see distribution later this month! We also have some fun events coming up in Denver during the Great American Beer Festival. Stay tuned for a detailed list soon!”

Random: I’ve been really into saisons lately. I’ve bought more of those than anything else.

When I popped the beer open, it was a gusher. I was luckily right by the sink, so I didn’t lose too much. When I finally got it into the glass, it had a thin, three finger head that dissipated right away. It left no lacing on the glass. There was a small crown left on top of the dusky, orange body. I couldn’t see how much carbonation because of the haziness. The nose had a lot of yeast along with a raspberry preserve note. It also had a white wine grape note. The taste started with the same white wine grape note. It quickly went into a jammy raspberry note and then a lighter bready note than the nose. The body was thick, even for the style with a lot of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with bready yeast and white grape skins. A bottle of this was $12.99 ($.77 per ounce). I really enjoyed this beer and would have it again, although I doubt I’ll get the chance to.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

So, since I went to California for work, I had to rent a car. I ended up getting a Nissan Versa, which is a small car. This one, does not like driving over 60 mph. The wheel decides to randomly shake anytime it goes over that speed. Also, the traffic in California is the worst I have ever seen and the people drive like maniacs. Even Val agreed with me on that one. I am excited to be going home soon. I miss Jersey a lot.

tulsarugbyale

ABV: 5.4%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Tulsa Rugby Ale is an American Pale Ale brewed with Summit and Chinook hops. It’s a medium-bodied ale with notes of biscuit that nicely compliment the piney resin notes the hops add.”

Random: I’ve never played rugby, although it seems like something I would have done.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, warm orange with light carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of fresh-cut grass with slightly sweet caramel malt. The taste was a touch sweeter than the nose. It had the same grass, but quickly went into toffee and caramel malt notes. It had some floral notes at the end of the sip. The body was medium thickness with more than enough carbonation. The finish was swift and sweet. Normally, I’m not a fan of pale ales that are towards the sweeter side, but this one worked for me, despite the high pricetag of $3.63 per bottle ($.30 per ounce). I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Prairie Flare

Posted: June 7, 2016 in Gose, Prairie Artisan Ales, Reviews

When I was a kid, my parents used to take me to the movies once a month or so. I knew going to the movies meant dinner at TGI Fridays, which for me, was always Jack Daniels chicken strips and the wait staff always had lots of pins on their uniform, known as “flair,” thus the label on the bottle.

flare

ABV: 5.4%

Style: Gose

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “First up, Prairie Flare! Flare (yes, that’s how we are spelling it) is our gose that we have added citrus fruit to. This beer is slightly tart, a little salty, and has a nice balance from the fruit and spices. look for this in beer in 16.9oz bottles and on tap at your favorite pubs!”

Random: This was released in October of 2015.

The beer poured with a two finger, pillowy white head. The head went away slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, light yellow with high carbonation visible. The nose had some tartness and citrus segments with seawater for good measure. The taste wasn’t as tart as the nose would have indicated, but the citrus was pronounced. Specifically, clementines came out. There was sea salt right behind it to complement the citrus. At the end, there was a sourdough bread note. The body was light and crisp, filled with bubbles. It had a quick finish with sea salt that made me keep going back for another sip. A bottle of this was $12.99, which was $.77 per ounce. This beer was one of the best goses I’ve ever had. It was insanely drinkable and had lots of flavor. The only complaint here? That I don’t have another bottle…

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

This marks beer number 6 from Prairie. I’ve found all of their beers to be outstanding (I haven’t rated one below a 4 on Untappd yet). Hopefully this one blows my mind too.

prairiehop

ABV: 8%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Prairie Hop is our hop driven saison. This beer is packed with Simcoe and Citra hops. Notes of peach, mango, and tangerine can be found in the flavor and aroma of this beer. The beer finishes dry which helps the hops jump out of the glass flavor wise.”

Random: It’s available in 16.9 ounce bottles and sixtels.

This beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head. The head dissipated quickly, but still left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy yellow with detritus floating throughout and moderate carbonation too. The first thing that hit me about the nose was that it was really sweet, almost like a tripel. It had notes of peach and golden fruit and went into grass. There was a biscuit presence as well, but not much from the hops. The taste was a different story. It started with the same fruit characteristics. Specifically, I got peach, golden raisins and a touch of banana. White sugar came through as well with white grapes. It transitioned into grassy hops with a hint of pine resin. The body was quite light with high carbonation and the alcohol was hidden in the beer. The finish was long with white grapes and peaches. A bottle of this set me back $11.99 ($.71 per ounce), which is on the expensive side, although I’ve come to expect that from the brewery. This was an interesting interpretation of a saison and I’m glad I got to try it. If you’re into the style, this is worth searching out.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I love coffee and I love beer. When done right, a coffee beer can be absolutely outstanding and amplify the roasted malts. This is a beer that marries coffee into it perfectly.

coffeeokie

ABV: 13%

Style: American Brown Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “With the holidays just around the corner, I’m sure everyone could use an excuse to take a step back from the chaos and relax with a beer. We took an old favorite and put a twist on it, so get ready for Coffee Okie! Okie is an imperial brown ale that we aged in bourbon barrels, and we’ve taken that barrel aged base and added our favorite blend of roasted coffee. The intense coffee flavors are complemented by notes of caramel, toffee, and vanilla resulting in a boozy, sweet and aromatic experience. This beer will start hitting shelves late this week and early next week in all major markets, so check out your favorite retailer and pick up a bottle or two!”

Random: The worst coffee I had (as a whole) was in Delaware. It tasted like ashes.

This beer poured with less than a finger of tan head. It dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown that was almost black. As a result of the color, I couldn’t see if there was any carbonation. The nose was filled with strong, cold press coffee. It took awhile for the beer to warm, but when it did, I picked up toasted oak. The taste was also filled with cold press coffee. It had some nuttiness with lots of hazelnuts and toasted brown bread. It also had whiskey and alcohol warmed the back of my throat. Vanilla came through at the end of the sip. The body was thick with high carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with coffee and bourbon. A bottle of this was expensive at $11.99 ($1 per ounce), but this isn’t going to be a beer you drink every day. I would bring this out on a special occasion. I loved this beer and I think you will too, especially if you like coffee and a unique take on a brown ale.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0