Prairie Artisan Ales, located in the heartland, gives me the feels all through my heartland. What started as a labor of love from two brothers in Oklahoma, has blossomed into a trendsetting operation for craft beer. These guys push the envelope whenever possible, with their ever hearty stouts, funky saisons, boozy imperial IPAs, and brain-stretching bottle labels. I wait with bated breathe for the next release, always stalking their movements, like a cat on the prowl for her next meal. And a meal from Prairie never disappoints. So…Prairie Artisan Ales…how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
This DIPA is full of juicy flavors. Pouring a hazy deep copper with floral, orange blossom aromas. The flavors follow suit with bitter orange peel and rich caramel malt sweetness that creates a perfect balance. It finishes resinous, with lingering alcohol at 8.0% ABV. This guy’s got a full body to boot.
Pe-Kan is an Imperial Stout brewed with…you guessed it….pecans. It has vanilla as well, which you can taste throughout. The jet black color and pale brown head let you know this beer id about to hit you hard. And it does…with toasted pecan shells and bittersweet chocolate in the nose. Your first sip gives you burnt sugar, and the next sip, dark chocolate, and the next sip, licorice, and chocolate pound cake, and toasted caramel, and on and on until you can’t take it anymore! Well anyway, it’s freaking good. And worth every penny at 11.5% ABV.
I know, I know. Prairie makes amazing sours and saisons, so why another imperial stout? Because they’re really good, alright? And I really, really like imperial stouts, alright? And this heavenly variety is brewed with coconut and vanilla, which go together like peas and carrots, milk and cookies, Trump and Putin…you get the picture. Jet black and ready to party at 13% ABV, the aroma kicks in as rich dark chocolate, sweet coconut, and a hint of coffee. Flavors are similar, with a touch of vanilla booziness. That booze lasts and lasts, all night long, until you’re begging for more.
4. Birthday Bomb
This exquisite incarnation is brewed every year to celebrate Prairie’s anniversary. They keep the base imperial stout of their regular Bomb! but add one extra ingredient each year. This year’s Bomb! is brewed with coffee, cacao nibs, chili peppers, vanilla beans, and handmade caramel sauce. This beer is Full with a capital F and worth its weight at 13%. The coffee shines through the most along with bitter dark chocolate and rich caramel. Toffee and licorice notes are also present, but to a lesser extent. This beer is seriously the bomb. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
If stouts aren’t your jam, first of all, there’s something wrong with you, but really, I get it. It’s summer, who drinks stouts when it’s 90 degrees with 100% humidity? Prairie’s got you covered too, with a number of amazing beers that will tickle your fancy. Some of my favorites are:
Prairie Hop-a hop-forward Saison with lots of fruit notes with a nice hop balance. Drink it if you find it, cause it’s not always around.
Prairie Standard-everyday, low-octane Saison that’s dry-hopped with zesty, fruity New Zealand hops. Yes.
Prairie-vous Francais-Brett Farmhouse ale; modeled after their original Prairie Ale with an ABV around 3.9%. The Brett leaves the beer highly attenuated with complex sweet hay, pear, and white pepper notes. Supremely drinkable with tons of flavor.
These beers hit all my sweet spots and deliver on all their promises, like a good man should, and they keep me coming back. Again and again. It must be true love.