prairie artisan ale

Ok, I live in the sticks now.

15 years in Dallas, always hanging in Deep Ellum, playing shows, seeing bands, drinking great beer.

Now I have 3 acres of land with a beautiful house and barn for the horses outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

To have Tiger Tavern just a mile away from my house is like an oasis in the desert. The locals drink their Bud Lights and look at the guy who gets the beers in fancy glasses. I love it.

All My Tomorrows Saison from Great Taft, Phantasmagoria and Apricot Funk from Prairie Artisan Ales and Black Currant Saison from Clown Shoes.

2

Prairie “Cherry Funk”

87 B+


Cherry Funk is a limited-release Sour Ale (Wild Ale) brewed with cherries. Aromas are lead by a real genuine expression of sour cherries. The wild yeasts impart sour lactic acid, funky brettanomyces, and notes akin to red wine vinegar.


The palate makes a semi-sweet introduction of tart cherry juice, as if combined with bubbly kombucha. A weak addition of grainy malts land in the middle before citric highlights of lemon juice quickly rise to an astringent climax. Light bitterness follows in flavors of grapefruit juice and red wine. The aftertaste finally shows a bit of earthy, funky yeast. Mouthfeel is pretty crisp, clean, and upbeat with a dry ending.


Cherries are a natural companion to the yeast. In terms of other Sour Ales, the sour element isn’t very puckering. Likewise, the funk isn’t too funky. I do wish the cherry flavor were pushed further, because it fails to reach the level of intensity I had hoped for. Flavor sustain is quite short, so it rises and falls quickly without much further interest left on the tongue. Despite its weaknesses, I really did enjoy it. Perhaps my hopes for Prairie’s sour program were too high? It’s good, but there’s room for improvement. Of course, it probably would’ve been better if they barrel-aged it. Though I have enjoyed it, I leave with mixed feelings, because there are far better examples of this style.


7.5%

? IBU

Krebs, Oklahoma

3

Catching up on American Craft Beer Week!

Hop Flight!

Juicifer from Gnarly Barley, Today Is Just Yesterday’s Tomorrow from Evil Twin, Syncopation from Southern Prohibition Brewing and A Giant Hop Fir Mankind from Bayou Teche!

This DIPA from Wiseacre Brewing was very good and sweet, Adjective Animal!

Stout and Sour Flight!

Pe Kan from Prairie Artisan Ales, Tin Cup Camp Milk Stout from Burial Brewing, Double Dry Hopped Lowerline from NOLA Brewing and Hurricane Saison from NOLA Brewing!

2

Prairie Artisan Ales “Funky Gold Mosaic”

92 A-


Funky Gold Mosaic is a dry-hopped Wild (Sour) Ale. Aromas carry a dull, white sugar sweetness. Mosaic hops present tropical fruit notes akin to fresh pineapple and white grapefruit. Sour highlights are expressed as lemon zest. Yeast is floral, a little musty, and slightly funky. Alcohol adds notes that resemble vinegar and white wine.


The palate begins in wafer-thin sweetness. A sour element of lemon-lime quickly advances to reach a bright, astringent climax. A second wave approaches with soft bitterness flavored like orange zest. Hops emerge in a weak, earthy undercurrent that settles into impressions of pine and straw. Brett yeast fills up the back-end in a salty, funky twang, then leaves behind a hint of leather. The mouthfeel is effervescent, delivering sharp carbonation over a smooth body that heads straight for crisp astringency. Sustain is short-acting, so it goes down quick and efficient, then closes really clean.


Overall, I think this is a solid, well-rounded sour that never grows too puckering. Yeast is certainly the star of the show, but hops provide a complementary influence of fruity flavors, which seem to amplify the sour effect and make the beer more original. Malts maintain a disproportionately low-key profile, which are quite easily overwhelmed by the other ingredients. As far as I know, this is Prairie’s first bottled attempt at a Wild Ale, so I look forward to future releases from their new sour program. I recommend it!


7.5%

18 IBU

Krebs, Oklahoma

Prairie Artisan Ales Prairie Ale, 8.2% abv

Mmmm, saisons. I do love a good mouthful of funk and this particular brew has been tempting me for some time. The only beer from the Oklahoma brewery I’ve ever seen on this side of the pond, it’s remained out of reach largely due to its absurd price (three times as much as a larger bottle of Saison Dupont!). As it turns out I’m actually quite brilliant at ignoring what common sense I have when I want to, so I just put my eyes out of focus so I didn’t have to read the price and fumbled with the touchpad ‘til I’d hit 'order’. Problem solved!

An adorably labeled bottle arrived soon after and on a sunny Sunday I prepared to get my funk on. The cork popped most satisfyingly and the beer tumbled into the glass like molten gold, the fluffy white head hung around a while, all curious like. I presented my nose holes, flexed, and took a whif. There’s plenty of funky Brett, warm toast, freshly cut flowers, and clove studded oranges. Very nice.

My expectations unrealistically high I take a sip. It’s mildly sweet early on, crackery malts lead the flavours, with old hay, hamster fur, apple blossoms, lemon zest, and spicy white pepper all following. A dry, tart, and lightly bitter finish round things up. There’s a decent amount of carbonation and a body fuller than I was expecting. There’s virtually no trace of that alcohol though, I’d have guessed a couple of percent lower than it is. 

Aye, this was a good saison. A brisk spring breeze flowing through a flowering orchard of a beer. As much as I enjoyed it though, there’s that super high price to consider. Granted, imported craft beers are all a little pricey, and I am glad I got to try it, but this one was just too much to buy again. Common sense re-engaged it seems. Oh fiddlesticks.