This content was originally published by The Hop Review, a digital magazine that joined the Hop Culture family in March 2020.
This piece was written by Jack Muldowney.
Proudly claiming the distinction of “47th most populous city in the U.S.,” Tulsa, OK is also home to one of the country’s most experimental and progressive breweries. Prairie Artisan Ales, started by two Tulsan brothers Colin and Chase Healey, sits on the far edge of the Midwest and runs with the tagline “Made by people who truly care.”
If you’ve ever seen their label artwork, your first thought may be that these weird bottle wrappers are a bit chaotic – touching on the kitschy, tongue-in-cheek, and just plain odd. But, inside these bottles you will find some of the most complex and interesting ales around, truly made by some of the most passionate folks in the industry. So, don’t take these playful illustrations as a brand without some serious thought behind it.
As the Prairie website states: “We wanted to do something that was awesome. We have the talent, and most importantly the years of experience needed to get it done. So we did it. We have funded the company on our own, and only want to work with people that care about beer, super good beer.”
We followed up with Prairie’s Co-founder, and self-proclaimed “Art Guy,” Colin Healey to describe in a few thoughts the approach of the PAA brand and aesthetic:
“I want the art on the bottle to reflect the beer inside. Something complex, unexpected, progressive – yet still accessible. Wrap all of that up in a tortilla of nostalgia and I’d say that’s ‘Prairie.’ When it comes to art, I mostly don’t even know what I’m doing and I think that’s worked to my advantage. I’m constantly evolving and it’s great to see this little world that is Prairie Artisan Ales continue to materialize.”
So don’t pass up these bright and funky bottles next time you see them at the beer shop. This truly is some memorable beer made by bust-your-ass talented people, who don’t take it all too seriously.