Friday, September 27, 2013

Prairie Artisan Ales

  Podcast: Prairie Artisan Ales at the Festival (Flash)

After spending time working for other breweries, Chase Healey felt that it was time to strike out on his own path. He founded his family run Prairie Artisan Ales in Sept. of 2012, and a half year later he brought a handful of beers into the marketplace. Their first offerings were two different sour beers and two different Saisons -- all four "farmhouse" ales. In no time everyone was seeking out the intriguing offerings from the small upstart Oklahoma brewery.
Mom, Chase and artist brother Colin at The Festival.
Like many new brewers, they began leasing brewing time at an already existing brewery -- Krebs Brewing (Choc Beer Company), but had their sights set on a facility of their own. They took a huge leap towards that goal with a Kickstarter campaign that brought in about $24k, financing a big part of the new brewhouse, to be situated in Tulsa.
Prairie ales are characterized by a refreshing dryness, creative use of hops and the utilization of wild yeast. They're big on barrel aging (rum and bourbon barrels), aren't afraid of incorporating lactobacillus in the process, and are keen on the use of non-standard ingredients in some brews, such as coffee, chili peppers, and vanilla. The spirit of the beer is mirrored in the individualistic, singular character of the people behind it, putting creativity, quality and integrity before all else.
The division of labor at the operation is simple: Chase makes the beer, his brother Colin creates the label artwork, and their mom is their relentless promotional force! Chase says that he makes beer styles that he would want to drink, himself. Apparently, as evidenced by the popularity of his creations, he's far from being alone in that category!
Expect to start seeing Prairie's exciting beers on the East Coast in 750ml and 12oz bottles in the fall of 2013!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Complete Beer Course

On Sept. 10 the Brooklyn Brewery hosted a book release party for craft beer author Josh Bernstein. We interviewed Josh about two years ago when his first book was published, Brewed Awakening. We bought his new book, The Complete Beer Course, at the party, and we're quite eager to read it! The book has already been reviewed elsewhere.

We thought that it would be interesting to hear which beer themed books some of the people at the party recommended, including Josh! Here are some of their favorite titles.

and of course:
Brooklyn warehouse king Gerald, Josh and B.R.
In addition to all the great beers on tap at the brewery's tasting room, Brooklyn served up Black Chocolate Stout floats!
Beer and ice cream.... yeah.
Full brew house.
The author signing books for fans.
On the way home -- Thomas at Proletariat.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Earth Eagle In Portsmouth N.H.

Podcast: Earth Eagle In Portsmouth (Flash)
Non-Flash podcast

Earth Eagle Brewings in Portsmouth, N.H. just doubled their brewing capacity -- from one barrel to two! While the size of the batches may be small, the quality of the beer, the creativity of the recipes and the heart that goes into it all is immeasurable.
Earth Eagle was founded by homebrew buddies Alex McDonald and Butch Heilshorn, who also happen to be brothers in-law. The brewery is attached to the A&G Homebrew Supply shop, owned by Alex and his wife Gretchen, which opened prior to the brewery, in 2011. The brewery began serving to the public in their tasting room in November of 2012, offering one-of-a-kind brews with an experimental angle. For these guys it's not enough to only make a good beer -- it has to be a good and interesting beer!
Alex of Earth Eagle, Dierdre, Jay, B.R.
The concept of the brewery seems to be to sell a great variety of non-typical beer styles directly to the public via 1- and 2-liter growlers. They've also created a cozy, unassuming tasting room/bar, where they sell samplers in 4-oz glasses and sampler flights of whatever six beers are currently on tap. And thanks to a soon-to-be implemented change in N.H. beer regulation, which was lobbied for by Alex, they'll be selling pints in the tasting room, as well.
On tap: Brown Ale, Gruit, American Wheat, another Gruit (with horehound), Black IPA and ESB (with Earl Grey tea)!
Alex and Butch have a keen interest in utilizing all manner of herbs, roots and spices in beer, and are avid brewers of gruit. When we visited in early September, they had the Josselyn's 1666 Ale on tap, made from one of the earliest known New England beer recipes and brewed with wormword, sassafras and molasses. They also recently brewed a gruit for a historical themed dinner at Portsmouth's Strawberry Banke, an outdoor history museum of the Colonial American era which, "through restored buildings, historic landscapes and gardens, and interpretive programs, tells the stories of the many generations who settled in Portsmouth, New Hampshire's "Puddle Dock" community from the late l7th to the mid-20th century."
And in case you were wondering about their name, "the qualities Native Americans attribute to the Earth Eagle (a.k.a. the common wild turkey) speak to our philosophy as brewers and business owners: ecological, charitable, resilient, and unconventional. 'Brewings' is our nod to the first brewers who made small batches for their families crafted from local grain, herbs, and yeast. At Earth Eagle Brewings we embrace a Belgian-inspired, pre-Reformation spirit where hops are but one of the hundreds of ingredients employed in the alchemy of brewing."
If this unique brewery isn't compelling enough to get you to Portsmouth (pronounced "PORTS-smith") -- and it really should be -- then check back soon for an accompanying blog post on the exciting, vibrant craft beer scene on N.H.'s rugged, beautiful seacoast.

In The Brewery

A&G Homebrew Supply Shop