ABB’s latest great idea is a long and confusing acronym called “WYSBD:XYZ.” While you may think this is a clever and somewhat humorous acronym, the truth of the matter is that one morning we woke up hung over and this was tattooed on our friend Jack’s butt cheeks (insert colon joke here). We still have no idea what the true meaning is, or why Jack chose such a girly font for the tattoo, but we are guessing it’s an Arkansas spotlight feature for breweries– What You Should Be Drinking!
We are christening our first WYSBD article with America’s current dreamy crush for a brewery – Prairie Artisan Ales. Prairie Artisan Ales, or PAA in the spirit of acronyms, was founded by two brothers: Colin and Chase Healey. Chase is the brewer, and Colin is the artist. One makes artistic flavorful beer, and the other creates artistic and thought-provoking label art. From their website, the guys describe their company:
A company started by two brothers. We didn’t start it due to a lack of good beer, or whatever people like to say in this part of their website. We wanted to do something that was awesome. We have the talent, and most importantly the years of experience needed to get it done. So we did it. We have funded the company on our own, and only want to work with people that care about beer, super good beer. Our goal is to show people what is possible when you start with “step one.”
If Arkansas was your standard high school kid who dreams all day about being a star athlete, Prairie Artisan Ales would be the smoking hot girl next door. She has the goods. And we can’t help but questionably stalk her. To put it simply, they make amazing beer.
PAA is located next door in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and has secured a new location for a larger brewery: Glenpool, OK. While the rest of ‘Merica tramples over everyone to get a hold of some PAA, we can walk into our best liquor stores and pick these beers off the shelves. Yes, friends, we can go and grab our beautiful neighbor’s goods anytime we want. You should be indulging in this wonderful opportunity every week. Just in case you need it, here are just a few examples of their must-have beers:
Beer: PAA Bible Belt
Style: American Imperial Stout
This beer is a collaboration between PAA and the ever-so-popular brewery Evil Twin. They have taken core elements from Bomb! and Even More Jesus to combine and create a love child of huge imperial stout magnitude. You will find a symphony of flavor in this beer. Sort through the flavors to find espresso, bitter dark chocolate, slight heat and flavor from chilies, a vanilla like you’d find in whiskey, and a combination of roasted malts that leave you with a smooth and dry experience.
Beer: PAA Prairie Wine Barrel Noir
Style: American Imperial Stout
Wine Barrel Noir is more evidence that PAA can master barrel aging. They take their famous imperial oatmeal stout and age it in freshly dumped red wine barrels. This beer features a nose with wood, plum, sugar, and an interesting roast layer. The mouth feel seems appropriately chewy for such a complex beer; with showcase flavors like barrel wood, red wine with tannic and tart notes, dark berries and so much more. It finishes very smooth and dry – a wonderful taste note that Prairie is very good at crafting. You may want to age this one and relive the fun over a few years!
Beer: PAA Prairie Hop
This was my first PAA beer, and to paraphrase what was said after the first glass: “This is gosh darn good stuff right here, gee willikers.” That’s paraphrasing, mind you. Prairie Hop features two of my favorite hops, simcoe and citra, with a masterfully crafted saison. You’ll find notes of peach, mango, apricot and pine, sitting on top of a classic dry finish featuring herbal hints, pepper and fresh grass.
In summary, Prairie Artisan Ales is a brewery that has set out to make a huge splash…. and they are doing so very successfully. Their beers are not held back and aimed at the bud/miller/coors drinker, but rather someone who appreciates flavor. They started from scratch, and are completely in control of what beer they make, and perhaps even who they make it for. So far, they have found great joy in their neighbors appreciation of good beer – so let’s keep this good thing going! And remember – YOU should be drinking Prairie Artisan Ales!