Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review: Two Brothers Prairie Path Golden Ale

Brewery: Two Brothers Brewing Company
Locale: Warrenville, IL
Craft Circa: 1997
Style: Golden Ale
ABV: 5.1%
IBUs: 25

Notables: Available year-round; Gluten Free

Label: Nice and simple. There’s a path through what looks to be a prairie with a partly sunny sky above. No “Little House on the Prairie” depicted here.

Overall: Very good. Ales are usually not my beer of choice. However, I thought, “Hey it’s from Two Brothers so I have to give it a shot.” I follow my own two sip rule. I usually know by the second sip whether I like the beer or not. It could be psychological but I think the first sip kind of prepares your mouth or, to be fancy, cleanses your palate. And by the second sip I knew I liked this beer. Prairie Path had a slight bitterness to it but was very smooth and bubbly. It’s refreshing, not a strong flavor, but not lacking in flavor either. With the heat wave hitting Chicago this beer was welcome refreshment. It felt like I was at a ballpark enjoying America’s pastime but actually enjoying the beer too for once.

Acquisition: 6 pack $8.99

Tidbits: What does IBU mean?

Per Wikipedia The International Bittering Units scale, or simply IBU scale, provides a measure of the bitterness of beer, which is provided by the hops used during brewing. Bittering units are measured through the use of a spectrophotometer and solvent extraction.

The bittering effect is less noticeable in beers with a high quantity of malt, so a higher IBU is needed in heavier beers to balance the flavor. For example, an Imperial Stout may have an IBU of 50, but will taste less bitter than an English Bitter with an IBU of 30, because the latter beer uses much less malt than the former. The technical limit for IBU's is around 100; some have tried to surpass this number, but there is no real gauge after 100 IBUs when it comes to taste threshold. Light lagers without much bitterness will generally have 5 IBUs, while an India Pale Ale may have 100 IBUs or more.

In case you didn’t get enough on gluten, here’s a Wikipedia page on gluten-free diets.

Got it? Good!


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