Thursday, November 7, 2013

578. Prairie Funky Galaxy

So Prairie beers are now in Ohio. Which is good. I consider this beer the official fruits of my Kickstarter benevolence. After all, where do you think that sweet branded glass came from? You all know I ain’t the “finding-and-purchasing-fancy-beer-glasses” type. But should a brewery decide to send one along to me along with a sweet t-shirt, well, I’ll happily make use of both. I almost forgot about the glass, actually, hence the two different glasses in the pictures. Yes, I used two glasses. Which is all just another way of pointing out how classy an operation we run around these parts. Our previous Prairie beer, Prairie Hop, was the inspiration for my aforementioned benevolence.

Described on the label as “a Galaxy hopped black Farmhouse ale,” Funky Galaxy pours a roasty dark chocolate with a cocoa-colored head that has solid retention and re-rouses easily. The nose is musty earth, citrus, and hay, with the citrus and roast malt combining into a tart, overly-ripe tropical citrus aroma that reminds me of the aroma of paw paws—with its alkaline and cocoa hints—although without the more intense tropical papaya and mango components to it. I find the nose actually quite beguiling. Maybe what I am circling around here is the passion fruit everyone speaks so highly of; having never tried passion fruit, however, I have no clue. Flavors open with a chocolate roasty sourness that tastes equal parts yeast- and malt-derived before heading into citrus and grassiness in the middle. There is also a slight vinous character, along with some bitterness, leading into cocoa and mineral bite that prefaces the finish, which offers a good healthy return of the tart, over-ripe citrus. As the citrus fades, chocolate, roast, and bitterness linger on the back of the throat. The body is medium—it is a bit heavier than I thought it would be—although the carbonation is bright and clean; there is some residual chalkiness and grittiness on the tongue from the dark malts, although the finish of the beer (not the flavors) is surprisingly clean. I do keep coming back to the nose of the beer as I drink it; I do like the beer, but the nose really stands out—the aromas hint at a sourness and acidity not found in the flavor profile. Which leads to my one criticism of the beer: I think it needs to increase the tartness/acidity/sourness in the body, either via an increased percentage of acidulated malt in the mash or through selectively augmenting fermentation with a Brettanomyces strain intended to accentuate the tartness of the beer. The snap provided by either would help pull flavors together—it would bring the body more in line with the current nose while maintaining the subtle balance between malt and hops. Still, an enjoyable beer. Here’s to Prairie being in Ohio!

From the Prairie website: “Funky Galaxy is a black ‘farmhouse ale brewed with 3 lbs. per barrel Galaxy hops. The beer is conditioned with 2 brett strains and wine yeast.”

ABV: 8.0%


No comments:

Post a Comment