Prairie Brewpub… So Glad to See Ya!

I had a quick business meeting with some old friends/business partners and suggested we meet at the Prairie Artisan Ales‘ Brewpub.  The Brewpub had recently opened and having seen some articles from the local paper and posts on Facebook I knew that I needed to get there soon… Yes, needed, as in an imperative.

(Went back the other night with a friend.  There were some updates so see below.)

Location…

The Brewpub is located in the Brady District of Downtown Tulsa area.  It is great having more options such as this in Tulsa and especially in an area with a number of entertainment and dining options.  Helping to make the Brady District a destination.

Specifically the Brewpub is located across the street from the Vanguard and Hunt Clubs and down the street from Cain’s Ballroom.  What I would consider the middle the busiest part of the downtown entertainment district, with the Old Lady on Brady to the West and the Drillers’ Ballpark to the East.  Specifically it is located at:

223 N Main Street
Tulsa, OK
(918) 936-4395

Services…

There are laws being changed in Oklahoma and that also means changes to how breweries can sell their beer on site/cold.  So once those laws go into effect we should see the full Brewpub up and running and have more options. We hope that Growlers will be filled on site also. I know mine is needs to be filled soon. I may just have to run across the river to the Brewery to get it done.  The brewing is getting set up on the south side of the space.

In addition, the Brewpub in a grand fashion has food.  There are options of traditional bar food and even some selections from another notable restaurant in town, Burn Co Ribs.  We had the chicken cheese fries and they had a nice spicy bite to them.  Very Good suggestion from our server Andi.  She did a great job taking care of all of her customers.

Atmosphere & Taps…

PB Inside2The center piece of the bar is the Huge Barrel housing customized taps with the bar surrounding it.

Multiple areas in and around the bar are available for you or your group:

  1. Bar Area – The bar where you can sit and a few long/tall tables that accommodate large or multiple parties.
  2. Dining area North of the bar.  Table service for the food menu, most of the tables 4 tops.
  3. PB Inside1More intimate seating area around the fireplace south of the bar.  Reminiscent of a coffee-house seating with couches and stuffed chairs.
  4. To the south of the building is an outside bier garden between the buildings.  Well done but with the heat of OK it will probably only be populated on cool night.
  5. Meeting Room on the north side.  A glass room like a fishbowl.  Visible from the street.  Would be a good place for a meeting.  Missed this the first time. (update)

This is not a dive bar, it is a brewpub and as such is clean and crisp. It does not have the feel of an old warehouse building redone into a bar/brewpub.  There are more pictures on their Facebook page (excuse me for grabbing a couple to use here).

Beers…

What I found unique about the brewpub was that they had other regional craft beer options available on tap.  Did I drink any of them?  No, stuck with Prairie this visit but may in future visits.  I only had 2 beers on this trip.  It was for a business meeting after all:

The most up to date draft menu is posted to a couple of chalk board areas on either side of the bar.  Use these to make sure a beer is available off of the provided paper menus.

Beer BoardBeer Menu1Beer Menu2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing that Prairie does their experimentation and beer development across the river, at their Brewery, and most of their major production at other facilities, I am really looking forward to see if they do some small batch experimentation at this site in the future.  I would love to have a chance to taste and critique a small barrel batch of an experimental brew someday.  (If anyone knows the size of the system being installed please let us know in the comments.)

Update, Flights:  On the first trip they did not have flights of beers.  On our second visit they had just started them that night, essentially while we were sitting at the bar.  If you want to do some tasting this would be the way to go.  Here is their flight menu:

PAA Flights

Summary

GO… Go often and enjoy the quality beer, food, and atmosphere at this brewpub.  This is going to be a place that will definitely be a destination to visit when visiting the district for a night of concerts, craft beer, dining, vodka, etc…  I believe it will only get better with time.

So sit back, relax and drink ABigBeer at the Brewpub.


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Virginia is for Chocolate?

So, anyone who has ever traveled up or down the east coast has made it through Virginia at least once or twice in their lifetimes and most people have seen the God-awful State slogan “Virginia is for lovers.” While Virginians may not have a knack for State slogans, I can attest that they make one of the best coffee milk stouts I have ever tasted. AleWerks Brewing Company, in Williamsburg, Virginia, makes this rich, smooth, chocolatey wonder called the Cafe Royale (ABV 8.0%).

I discovered the Cafe Royale while on a recent Christmas-time vacation to Colonial Williamsburg. You know the kind of trip I am talking about, right? The kind of trip that sounded good on paper but, after 15+ hours in a minivan with your in-laws, soon requires multiple strong drinks. One highlight of this particular trip was a “Wine versus Beer” tasting event, which served multiple small food samples and asked if the food tasted better paired with the selected wine or the selected beer. The Cafe Royale was served with the dessert course and it was the overwhelming crowd favorite.

From the Brewer

http://alewerks.com/admin_beer/uploads/glass_14.jpg
Image source: http://alewerks.com/

“We age a stronger version of our CoffeeHouse Stout in Virginia Gentlemen Bourbon Barrels for 3 months. This aging adds layers of complexity including notes of vanilla and Bourbon to this big coffee beer. 8% ABV”

STYLE:
Barrel-aged Imperial Coffee Milk Stout

My Tasting

This beer was served only slightly cold and had very sturdy, creamy foam. As shown in the picture from the AleWerks website, the color if very deep, dark brown and, although described as a coffee milk stout, was much more chocolatey and slightly sweeter than I expected. The aftertaste really brings the chocolatey, coffee-ness of the beer right into the back of your nose.

My best recommendation for food to have with this beer would definitely be dessert. I think it would pair well with chocolate anything, but would also pair nicely with vanilla ice cream, strawberries, or custard-based desserts (a good tiramisu or creme brulee, comes to mind).

Summary

As I am writing this post in mid-April, and had this beer in late-December, I can easily say this beer leaves a lasting impression. The flavor of this beer leaves a lingering taste in your mouth for long after the glass is empty, but leaves an even greater craving to have another one tomorrow.

The most unfortunate part of this tale is that the beer is only available in and around Williamsburg, Virginia; so, I will have to wait until the next time. Civil War road trip, anyone?!


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Yeti & Iron Monk battle…

So I went out with some buds to have a few beers a while back.  Went to the best Beer Bar in OK, McNellie’s South City.  See my post/review of McNellie’s posted earlier.  Also see my review of the Belhaven Black Scottish Stout I had that night.  When I got there it Stout Night was in play.

Dark and Roasty Drafts
Dark Beers on Draft at McNellies, 3/2016

I sent a picture of the On Draft Dark and Roasty beers to my buddy Bill who lives in the Burgh.  Asked him his thoughts on what to drink.  His first reply was the Yeti then Narwal, and Lagunitas.  So I went with the Yeti Imperial Stout and was not disappointed.  I figured I would circle back around to either the Narwal or one of the Lagunitas but that was not to happen… I wish I had remembered his suggestions.

Yeti Imperial Stout, CO, ABV 9.5%

The Yeti is how I like my stouts.  Dark, rich, with a hint of burnt malt and ends with a touch of sweet.  It also has a great nose and good strong bitter finish from the hops.  It had a good amount of carbonation that helped to relay the nose and give a bite to the flavor.

Yeti Stout
Yeti Imperial Stout, 9.5%

At ABV of 9.5% it will knock you on your tail if you were to drink a pint or more (yeah I have been to places where this happens).  Luckily on this night it was not served in a pint, but a smaller glass befitting its strength. It has IBUs of 75 so there is a good amount of bitter.

The Yeti has won a number of beer awards over the years and has stood the test of time.  I really enjoyed the Yeti and will drink it again. This is a beer that will go well with a nicely seasoned/seared/grilled chunk of beef.

I probably should have waited to have the high ABV  & bitter beer for the last beer of the night or I should have listened to my buddy Bill and had one of his other suggestions.  Instead I wanted to try a more local brew.  Looking at the list I had already had the Prairie Artisan Ales Bomb, ABV 13%.  Try drinking a couple pints of those in a night… remember I said something about that earlier.  So I went with the Iron Monk Milk Stout figuring to find something smoother and creamier to finish the night.

I would give the Yeti Imperial Stout a 4.5+ out of a 5.  I believe I need to drink a lot more of it to make certain of that ranking.

Iron Monk Milk Stout, OK, ABV 6%

Iron Monk Milk Stout
Iron Monk Milk Stout, OK

So my third and last beer of the eventing was the Iron Monk Milk Stout.  I went with the Milk Stout thinking about a smoother/creamier beer that would have more of a dessert finish for the night.  At 6% ABV it is a good beer, relative to the finish you off at night, if you had not been drinking a heavier beer before.  I am glad I didn’t drink one of the other high alcohol brews as I am not sure I would have been safe to get home, but still wish I had switched the two up in order.  The milk stout has IBUs of 26.  I did not find it bitter, but for some I am sure it would be.

It was a sweet and creamy beer that to me did not have much of a nose.  As I said earlier I did not find it bitter at all.  There was a touch of burnt or chocolate malt, mild hops.  The bit of nose detected was pleasant.

We got to talking around the table and it gave the beer time to warm up a little.  This helped to bring out the flavor and nose more and made it a much more enjoyable drink in the end.  A good finish to the end of the night.

Overall I would give it a 3.5 out of a 5.  It is definitely worth the drink and I will probably drink it again since it is local.  I hope to get out to Stillwater and visit the Iron Monk Brewery, est. 2014.

Conclusions

I liked both beers.  The Yeti was a better beer overall for my tastes, but I have been on a bit of an IPA kick over the past couple of years.  The Iron Monk Stout did deliver on what I wanted out of it.  I want to get out see the Iron Monk Brewery and try their IPA soon.  So now it is off to the next bar/beer to Sit Back, Relax and have ABigBeer.


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Welcome to the Beer Blog…

Here is the obligatory first post in this Beer category. What is the focus of this blog category and is it something you will want to continue reading? Well I hope it is a bit obvious, but these are the questions to answer in this first post. As with any subject, when you have a passion for it, the topics can be very diverse and far-reaching. We are not looking to limit this category to just one thing on the BEER topic. We are looking to hold the posts in this category to one topic; BEER.

What we plan from the start:

Reviews of Beers: Yep, this is expected to be the mainstay for the posts in this subject area. We will give our opinions of the beers we have sampled. If you find that you have the same taste in beer as the author then you may find a number of new beers that will fit your taste as more reviews are added. To that end we do not expect that all of our authors will have the same taste in beers. (Note to Breweries: We can be bribed to review your beer… Just send us beer and we will drink it.)

Beer Knowledge:   We are planning on passing along the knowledge we have garnered over time from the love of our consumption pleasures.  These posts will probably include some history and maybe some unknown facts extracted from the dark recesses of our minds.  So don’t expect much on general knowledge, because we were probably drinking when we learned it.

Brewing: A few of us brew. So adding our tips and techniques or even some discussion of things we have had happen to us is worthy of a read for the brewers out there. There may be some real horror stories posted that will hopefully keep you from making the same mistakes.

Brewery/Beer Bar Visits:  Nothing better than dropping by a brewery and meeting the brewmiester.  A recounting of tastings and atmosphere of the stop will be presented.  It may inspire you to take a roadtrip.  I know I am ready for some windshield time to seek out the wild brew.  Hitting an impressive Beer Bar may also occur.

Is it something readers will want to continue reading?

As the topic of beer enjoyment evolves, new authors get added, life happens, the topics mentioned above will likely change.  Always remember you can send requests as well. We are willing to explore topic requests.

You will have noticed that I have said WE a lot in the discussion above.  The plan is to include multiple authors on this site.  The reason being it is easier to have active and ongoing content when more people are submitting.  It may also give us all varying view points on some of the same specific topics presented.  So sit back relax and have A Big Beer.

Enjoy your stay.


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