In a colorful building in Saskatoon resides Prairie Sun Brewery and with the help of Sam our Bartender and Kelita the bar manager we are going to find out more about this colorful brewery and the great beer it brews.
A love Story in Malt and Hops
Prairie Sun started just over 4 years ago (their 4th year anniversary was at the end of August). The CEO, Heather, and Brew Master, Cameron, started out at Paddock Wood Brewing, at the time, the only brewery in SK. Heather was the front end manager, and Cameron the Brew Master. Heather grew up in Colorado, which we all know has a huge Craft brewing scene. She and Cameron started dating and had a ton of ideas for beers and events, like the upcoming annual Sasktoberfest. They decided to branch off and follow their dreams to create their own brewery. It was a couple years in planning, but in August 2013, Prairie Sun's doors opened.
Hiring Passion and Bringing Inspiration
We asked Kelita the hardest and the best things about her job at Prairie Sun. Surprisingly finding the right staff. She remembers when she first started finding staff that are 'reliable, flexible and passionate about the industry' was hard but now craft beer is getting bigger in Sask they seem to have found staff that are all the above. As for the best part of her job, well it's something I have herd from a lot of brewery people 'seeing people's faces light up when they like a beer more than they expected'. I think this is a great indicator that people truly have a passion for giving craft beer to the world.
Now to the beer, with a good mix of seasonal and house beers to offer, Prairie Sun doesn't disappoint. A flight of each and you get a great idea of what this interesting brewery is all about. On the house side prairie lily, crazy farm, urban wheat and toffee 5. Each one starkly different from the next, my two favorites had to be Crazy farm and toffee 5. Crazy farm is definitely and intriguing beer, it's a combination of subtle citrus and a slightly herb after taste it (probably from the coriander) was hard to get my head around on the first sip. I'm sued to being hit with hops but after the second and third sip the citrus spicy balance made this easy and interesting to finish.
Now being English i'm always a sucker for toffee, so seeing a toffee porter is like being a kids in a candy store. Toffee 5 didn't disappoint, with a good porter flavor of chocolate and a hint a coffee rounded out with a rich smack of toffee to finish. Not to sweet just enough to make you want another.
Moving on to the seasonal's sunset lager, pineapple express, cherry raddler and old style porter. My two picks, pineapple express and old style porter. Pineapple express because every mouth makes me feel like i'm on a Caribbean holiday. A smooth wheat beer with pineapple and for me maybe a hint of banana (maybe that's just me) that I can definitely see going well with kicking back on the patio on a summer day.
Old style porter is like a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing. It looks like a porter and even smells pretty much like a porter but then you drink it and it lips smacking gum tingling sourness socks you right in the mouth. The roasty taste of a normal porter seems mellow with the sherbet sour added in but I seems to work. Definitely on to try.
So What's Next
Well from the looks of the packed taproom and in the words of their bar manager 'Prairie Sun will continue to get bigger, experiment with even more beer, and continue to support growth in our industry and supporting our fellow craft beer community'. There is also good chance they may even need to move locations to accommodate their growing fan base! Because if they keep making knockouts like Moose Tracks Hazelnut Espresso Stout (which they had to brew three 1000L batches of to keep up with demand) their following is only going to grow. But don't worry if you cant make it to Prairie Sun. They are planning on starting to can their beer. So keep an eye out for them in a store near you, I know I will be.
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