prairie ales

10

Shit Load of Beer!!

Went to Corporate Brew and Draft and had a Prairie Hop Saison and Moo HooChiato from Terrapin Brewing. Parish Brewing’s Envie, Abita’s Creole Cream Ale, Not Your Moms Apple Pie from Small Town Brewing, Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Golden IPA, Gnarly Barley’s Korova Milk Porter and Wild Sour Plum from Destihl Brewing at The Chimes, Great Raft Brewing’s Southern Drawl and Flour de Wheat from Lazy Magnolia!

Cherry Funk (Prairie Artisan Ales)

Style: American Wild Ale with Cherries

7.5% ABV

From: Krebs, Oklahoma

Brewery’s Note: “Cherry Funk is a sour ale that has been aged on cherries, and has an ABV of 7.5%. The end results are dry and sour with tart cherry flavor and aroma. Unlike some fruit beers that are syrupy and sweet, Cherry Funk is complex and on point with Prairie’s farmhouse point of view.”

The beer pours a murky, pinkish bronze. It’s sort of like pond scum with a healthy dose of blood/cherries in it, and yet it is alluring to the eye. The beer forms a small head of tight, creamy white bubbles that cling to the top of the beer timidly, but leaves thicker tendrils of lacing on the glass when splashed against it. On the nose, the beer smells of decadent brett funk. Pineapple, horse blanket, grass, and musky cherries tango on the nose with just a touch of lemongrass and mint. The barnyard is front and center in the nose, which is just the way I like it. Honestly, the cherry is so subtle that it is lost to just a small piece in the funky farmhouse musk, but I like it that way. The end of the scent has the most note of sour cherries with just a touch of sweeter cherry. As it warms, a sweatier aspect of the brett comes forward to add another accent. I like the brett in the nose of this beer. On the tongue, the beer tastes tart with slight fruity sweetness and a touch of bitters keeping things mellow. The tartness is never quite puckering, and tingles from citric to chalky, and back again. An earthy minerality subtly enters in the finish to give a touch more complexity to the sip, while the aftertaste gives lingering herbal bitterness. In flavor, the beer is mellower than the aroma. It begins as lemon funk with touches of grass and mineral water. This moves into a mellow cherry flavor with a cheesy rind quality, reminiscent of a fruited lambic (namely a kriek). The cherry flavor is light, which is really my only complaint, given that the beer is called “Cherry Funk,” but overall I like the refreshing and light nature of the beer. The finish is awash with sour cherries, mineral water, hay, and a touch of herbal bitters. In the mouth, the beer feels thin and crisp, with a middling crackle of carbonation. It closes a little too thin for what I want in the beer, and that seems to take away from the full weight of flavor that it could have. The beer is crisp and crushable, however, with just a hint of gristle from the cherries it was aged on. Overall, I’ve heard a lot of people that were underwhelmed by this beer, but I like it. It’s not the cherry-bomb that I was expecting, but I love the farmhouse musk. The nose is a little more complex than the taste, but this is crushable and delicious with just the right breadth of complexity. It’s very reminiscent of a mellower kriek. Let everyone be underwhelmed by this. I like it.

Christmas Bomb! (Prairie Artisan Ales)

Style: Imperial Stout brewed with Spices

11.5% ABV

Brewery’s Note: “This beer is the amazing base beer we all know and love with the addition of Christmas spices. With the weather starting to cool off and the leaves changing colors, I can’t think of a better beer for the season.”

Admittedly, I have never had Bomb!, so the obvious comparisons cannot be made in this review. I’ve heard that this pales beside Bomb! though, and that makes me want to pursue Bomb! even more. Christmas Bomb! (the beer being reviewed) pours out of the bottle a flabby, fat liquid with congealing sluggish qualities. It sits in the glass as a deep, impenetrable black of chocolate mysteries. A head of light tan bubbles forms above the glass and then slowly drizzles away, leaving strands and splotches of thin, tightly connected lacing on the walls of the glass. The beer is dark as midnight, and thus opaque and impenetrable. On the nose, there are thick wafts of roast coffee, fudge, and Christmas pudding. Pumpkin pie-esque spices prickle the nose as well, making me think ‘pumpkin stout,’ I think that is forgivable, though, given the fact that “Christmas spices” and “pumpkin pie spices” are nearly the same…The beer tastes sweet and spicy, with an astringent herbal cinnamon bitterness/spiciness, and roasted bitterness at the finish. Despite the flabby feel of this beer, it comes of needing more sweetness to really balance the aggressive spices on the tongue. In flavor, every sip is different. It tastes of a spoonful of cinnamon, a darkly roasted and charred coffee, a warm holiday pudding, and cinnamon tinted hot chocolate. The aftertaste is of astringent herbal bitterness, like what happens to the mouth after you ate too much cinnamon. In the mouth, Christmas Bomb! is fat. It’s thick, chewy, and gelling on the tongue, with a smooth carb that fluffs the tongue beside the harsher bite of spice. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left to the unfortunate whims of the spice, feeling burnt, astringent, and dry. This is what hurts this beer the most. The unbalance of cinnamon is unfortunate, given how compelling the subtler notes of the beer are. I want more vanilla in this beer, and I want more of the fudge and Christmas pudding! As is, the beer is a cinna-bomb! (I’m copyrighting that). It’s decadent and fascinating as you start sipping, but the minute the liquid passes the gullet, the cinnamon reigns supreme, and the mouth is left uncomfortably spiced and dry. I like it and then I don’t. This is the first Prairie beer that I have been iffy with. I think if they restrain the cinnamon next year this could be a decadent Christmas treat, but that will take a significant reduction. Not bad, but not something you must try.

Happy Christmas Eve to all, and to all a safe night. When I wake up, I better not have a hang over.