Drinking On A Monday: Prairie Artisan Ales / Evil Twin Bible Belt

Drinking on a Monday Tuesday is a short column where I share that one bottle that I open after the most dreadful of all weekdays.

Prairie / Evil Twin Bible Belt

Just like Prairie & Evil Twin, this stout + TJ’s ice cream sandwich is a match made in heaven

After spending the last month or so really focusing on farmhouse ales, its time to change directions a bit and check out something on the high ABV, roastier side. As I mentioned a few posts back, I’m pretty obsessed with Prairie Artisan Ales these days, and while I was at Bottlecraft in San Diego in May, I managed to snag a bottle of their collaboration with Evil Twin Brewing, an Imperial Stout aged on coffee, vanilla, chilis and cacao nibs. But drinking 13% stout during a heat wave can be a little much, so I decided to do something a bit different this week and pair it with a delicious chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich from Trader Joe’s.

Bible Belt pours a thick pitch black with a dark cappuccino head that really expands as it hits the glass – settling at about 2 inches, which tells of active yeast. It retracts again nicely and leaves a beautiful lacing all around my snifter. You barely have to put your nose near the glass as the aromas of coffee and chocolate fill the air around you. The scent of vanilla develops and as it warms, the yeast is definitely present as well. The sip is surprisingly smooth, with an immediate punch of velvety dark chocolate that evolves into a rich coffee roast. The chilies are quite subtle until the exhale and the spice is definitely there on my breath. The mouthfeel is thick and full bodied with a lovely silky texture.

With the ice cream sandwich the chocolate flavors get disguised and you get much more vanilla and coffee. The spice from the chilies pops out as well; like they have drizzled chili powder on the top of the glass. What’s amazing here though is that the booze just isn’t there – and at 13% tha’ts astonishing. Even the sweetness doesn’t linger. The bottle goes down no problem, and if I had another bottle I would be tempted to go back for more.
With every beer that I’ve had, Prairie really solidifies themselves in my mind as one of the top American craft breweries of the moment. How they can craft fantastic saison/farmhouse styles like Birra and Puncheon, and also nail something as strong but nuanced as this beer really shows the skill they are working with. I’m not sure if this beer is still on shelves, but if you have the chance to taste it, don’t miss out.