Prairie Artisan Ales in Oklahoma is a brewery not well known outside of circles of esoteric-beer lovers. Its portfolio of just five beers offered year-round include the heavy-hitting Bomb! imperial stout and Phantasmagoria double IPA, but it is the Prairie Standard Farmhouse Ale ($15 for four-pack of 2 oz. bottles) that is likely to delight drinkers looking for a dynamic but light-tasting summer ale. The farmhouse category is named for its beers’ use of natural yeasts (as opposed to those lab-grown or cultivated) found in farm settings and brewed for drinking during harvest seasons. These wild yeasts lend the beers a broad range of characteristics that make for an equally wide spectrum of aroma and flavor profiles without making them too heavy.
The Prairie Standard is a beacon of the farmhouse category in America, with a nose of acidic tang balanced with floral hops. This poised composition continues on the palate, where an easy, almost lager-like mouthfeel gives way to subtle complexities of pear cider and apple strudel intermingling with a pristine balance of wild yeast flavors and delicate bittering hops. This is perhaps the ideal farmhouse ale and wonderfully easy to drink at 5.6 percent ABV.