8/7/19: Prairie Artisan Ales' Lil' Nap

3:48 PM

It seems like a ton of my posts recently fall into the same "long time coming" category. Part of me wants to apologize for that: When I slate a brew into the "A Beer You'll See Here Soon" spot, I really intend to get to it next or, at the very least, immediately after next.

Another part of me doesn't feel like I should apologize: If I don't get around to the beer in that spot for a while, who really cares? It just means that I've happened into some other cool brews to discuss.

But, here we are now. Finally. The day has come for me to talk about this beer I picked up in April. Let's crack into the can.

Prairie is based out of Krebs, OK, but they also have locations in Tulsa, McAlester and Oklahoma City. Founded in 2012, the brewery is dedicated to exercising creativity in the beer they make. This manifests itself in such ideas as bold new stouts or farmhouse ales with a dash of funk. Be sure to check out their website if you want more information on who they are or what they do.

According to Lil' Nap's Untappd profile, it's a 4.5% ABV fruited sour ale with blackberry and lime that's been aged on cedar spirals. So, I'm expecting sour, fruity, with a slight woodiness. How does the ale hold up to this?

Surprisingly well, if the nose is any indication (and, let's be honest: it usually is). I get a wallop of citrus immediately. I don't know what of this is attributable to the souring process of the beer and what to the cedar. Maybe neither. But, a second waft presents me with fresh blackberries, which is really what I wanted, so I'm happy it's here with so little searching. While I enjoy the aroma, I can't say similarly for Háma: Poor guy gave my can one whiff and one whiff only. Sour obviously isn't his thing.

Ham's the easy choice here because he's a large lad like the cat on the can.
The flavor is all sour upfront--this ale'll definitely cause some serious puckering, especially if aged as long as I've let mine age (it was bottled April 9th--nearly four months ago!). I am finding an abundance of blackberry here in the flavor, and it's sweetness helps to temper the sour. The citrus I found in the bouquet doesn't carry over, nor do I find any of the woodiness I'd hoped to uncover (although I wasn't even certain if it'd be here). In the finish, there's a slight bit of tannin present, like the bitterness you'd find on a grape or plum skin. This isn't unpleasant and, like the blackberry before it, helps to ground the beer. It also makes me want to lift my can again for another pull.

Lil' Nap's mouthfeel is pretty unassuming and incredibly easy drinking. If anything, it's akin to a lager. If it wasn't for the sheer sourness of my can, I'd say this would be a hell of a lawnmower.

I've never been one for naps outside. I don't really know why; too many uncontrollable variables, if I had to guess. Seriously, I could rattle off the number of naps I've taken outside on one hand.

I have to say, though. When I do find myself napping outdoors, it's always a pleasant experience. While I've never napped outside with one of the cats (man, that'd sure be great), there was a time earlier this summer--technically it was still late-spring--when I caught a few winks in our inherited hammock.

One Saturday afternoon, I lugged the thing out to the partially-shaded part of our yard. I set it up and laid down with the intention of reading a book. Within minutes, I was out. Was I asleep for long? Nah, just ten or fifteen minutes. Waking up to the sun shining, the wind blowing, and the birds singing, though, was an inspiring experience, and one I should really make more of an effort to have. I'd be lying if I didn't say that thinking about that while drinking this ale isn't making me just a little sleepy.

In fact, I think I'm about ready for a nap. Once this post is up, I need to run to get some things for dinner but after that it'll be naptime. So, let me go ahead and wrap this up: I can't say if Prairie's Lil' Nap is what I expected because I didn't know what to expect. But the sourness and the blackberry are top-of-the-line. This is a great beer for those lazy dog days of summer, like where we now find ourselves (which is ironic because the can prominently features a cat). It gets a solid 8.5/10 from me. Keep up the good work, you fine folks at Prairie. 

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