How many of you are fans of Prairie Brewing beers? Pretty amazing stuff, right? Chase Healey is the warped mind behind those massive brews, and now he's gone. No, he didn't die, but he sold Prairie to Krebs Brewing Company, the guys who have been brewing the beers all along, under contract. Prairie, founded in 2012, has quickly become a nationwide name, and respected internationally, which is what everyone wants, don't they? Apparently not. Chase sold Prairie because it had grown too large, too fast, and he lost control. You have to admire his dedication to the craft. Don't feel sorry for Chase, I am sure that he made out quite well. In fact, he has already begun his next project, American Solera, in Tulsa.
We had heard whispers about the project and all of the chatter was very complimentary, so we decided to take the arduous journey north to give it a shot. Not an attractive drive through the back waters of Oklahoma, and pray that you have Sirius/XM or a MP3 player, because the radio selection is bleak, unless you like country music and/or religious programming fading in and out..... but I digress. The brewery is located in a remote area of a remote city in a remote state that confused my google maps app so thoroughly that I had to call for directions after being trapped in a dead end, but the prize at the end was worth every second of the monotonous trip.
Chase's focus on beer crafting has completely changed with the new project. The people at the brewery insisted that Chase is as intent on not growing the brewery as he was intent to grow the Prairie brand. His insistence on not growing and controlling every aspect of the production is meant to insure that the quality is never an issue, and that beer probably won't stay around long enough to become boring. Instead of massive high gravity beers, the beers produced by American Solera are more about sour, wild yeast and brettanomyces beers aged on oak barrels. Most of the beer produced has been aged in oak barrels from between 6 - 18 months in their cellar containing 16 foeders, puncheons, and wine barrels. The tasting room is quite spacious and good for a couple of hours of hanging and tasting.
On our visit, we first tried the Sherry Barrl Western Culture Coolship Ale (5.4% abv). The beer, produced using open fermentation, was lightly sour and funky as hell. You can only imagine that the brewery, being located next to the not so clean and pristine Arkansas River, has a plethora of funky yeasts floating around to access. The beer was quite an easy drink and delightful
Second on the tasting was the Ould Friend Brett ESB (4% abv) which they tell us was an accidental creation. They were trying for something a bit more sour using Brett, but it came out mild and quite funky, so he named it an ESB, which is absolutely is not. Good nonetheless.
Third up was the Old Dishoom Sherry Barrel Old Ale (8.5% abv). Holy poop on a stick! This is one of the funkiest beers that I have ever tasted.... almost indescribable. Ever so slightly sour, almost astringent. The official description is that it is an old ale aged in sherry barrels with 'a selection of brett cultures'. I could bathe in this brew .... actually, it kind of tastes like I already did. Magnificent.
The last on the tasting list was the Raw Emotion Imperial Stout (13% abv). It was not last on the list due to them not having more beers to taste, it was simply because I was getting waxed and still had quite a drive back to Dollars, Taxes, because we don't want to stay in Tulsa overnight, do we? This is a massive stout, sweet, and with an underlying coffee flavor, though they assured me that there was no coffee added. Absolutely nothing like the Prairie Bomb.
They have a good selection of bottled beer to go, so we purchased several bottles to bring home and will be placing the reviews on our Facebook page as we get around to trying them. As that at this point, Mr. Healey has no intention of growing the brewery, or even allowing the beers to be distributed, you must make the trip north, through the radio desert, to get these brews, but drive you must because this place is worth the trip.
1801 S 49th W Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74107