Thursday, October 17, 2013

Prairie Artisan Ales - 'Merica

We're getting towards the end of the year, so I think it's time to take a look at the nominees for "Label of the Year." Drumroll, please. And the nominees are...OK, there's only one. Because nothing is topping the awesomeness that is the Prairie 'Merica label. It's sheer beauty. Let's take a closer look at this bad boy.

First of all, a good label needs a good name. Check. What could be better than "'Merica"? And if you're going to make a beer called 'Merica, you better have some 'Merican things on your label. Let's check it out. 'Merican Food? Check. Steak, fries, meatloaf, fried chicken, pizza, a hamburger with's all here. 'Merican Folk? Check. Two old dudes playing football, a chick being pushed on a rolling icebox, American Gladiators, a fat dude stuck to his lawn chair AND the founders of Prairie themselves with their red white and blue beards spelling '"Merica." Major check. 'Merican Stuff? Check. Barbeque, beer cans, cinder blocks and a juiced up cat shooting lasers out of its eyes. Is there really anything else you could want on a label? I didn't think so. Game. Set. Match. Prairie. Time to move on to the beer itself.

Prairie 'Merica pours a hazed almost grapefruit juice-looking color with a soapy, off-white head. Some awesome lace was left spattered down the glass with every sip. The smell was fantastic, with big notes of grapefruit pith, lemon, limestone, a touch of passionfruit and a good amount of barnyard. Grass, pepper and a touch of bread crust are evident as well. This beer uses a single hop, Nelson Sauvin, which may not exactly be American, but it tastes and smells so awesome you would think it was.

The taste opens with a slightly spicy hop kick, followed by a lingering grapefruit juice bitterness. Hay, barnyard and lemon all make appearances before a finish of lingering grassy bitterness and lemon meringue. The mouthfeel is lively and crisp without being overcarbonated. I absolutely loved this beer.

So, to wrap things up, Prairie has somehow crafted the best label I've seen in a very long time AND made a beer that may be just as fantastic. I don't know how they did it, but hats off to them. 'Merica is beautiful.

Oh, and one last thing...

Final Grade: A

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 129

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