Prairie Artisan Ales makes some fine stuff here in Oklahoma and is really leading the mission to put the state on the map as a contender in the national beer scene. You can go out of the state to Kentucky, Colorado, wherever, strike up a conversation with a beer nerd, and they will bring up Prairie as soon as you mention Oklahoma.
Prairie loves to make rich, dark, stouts and light, tart, and refreshing farmhouse ales. This one is closer to that second camp and hits the spot on a hot day. Here we go.
Company: Prairie Artisan Ales
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Style/Description: Pale ale aged in oak barrels with brettanomyces
Nose: Funky bubble gum. Seriously, think about bubble gum, then think about funk, then smell this beer. I mean that in the best way possible too…somehow. There’s also some nice tropical fruit on the nose, so maybe it’s funky Juicy Fruit?
Taste: There is a subtle sourness to this beer that I like quite a bit. I expected more due to the brettanomyces in the barrel, but I think it’s a perfect amount for this beer. It retains some of the sweet fruit and bubble gum notes on the palate with some salt and that sourness. It’s a pretty well rounded sip and is actually really refreshing.
Side note: My wife think it tastes like a combination of band-aids and epoxy. I’m not sure how she knows what that stuff tastes like, but hey, different strokes for different folks. I don’t agree with her and obviously I enjoy this beer, but you know…marriage.
Finish: Some of the oak comes through on the finish as the sweetness fades. The end of finish is actually kind of dry with a bit of funk and a salty residue-type feeling. Not bad, but not great either.
Overall: I think they have nailed what they were going for on this brew. I’m sitting outside, it’s kind of hot, and this stuff is complex and damn refreshing. The brightness and balance are spot on, with the only knock coming on the tail end of the finish.