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Stealing a Sip of Prairie Pirate

Ribstone Creek appears to be channeling their inner rustler with the recent release of Prairie Pirate. In what is actually a collaboration effort with Last Best Brewing in Calgary, Ribstone has woven an interesting tale around the creation of the beer.

Ahead of the beer’s launch in mid-October, Ribstone tweeted out a series of cartoons that told the story of an underhanded pirate based in Edgerton (where Ribstone is located) who snuck down to Calgary and purloined a new batch of hops that had just arrived at Last Best. However, it appears the pirate is not all bad as he left Last Best with bottles of the brew he created from their stolen hops.

I find this a clever backstory for the beer and it offers an interesting twist on the now common collaboration beer thing. It also has me wondering if they are setting this up as a series and that we will be seeing the prairie pirate sneaking around other Alberta breweries looking for bounty.

What of the beer? It is billed as a Double IPA and clocks in at 8.8% alcohol.

It pours light copper with a noted haziness to it. It builds a dense, rocky white head that forms nice peaks and a noted lacing along the glass. The head is impressive. The aroma shows off bright citrus of grapefruit and lemon with some pine in the background. This citrus character is backed by a fruity, light toffee malt aroma. Quite appealing.

In the taste I pick up orange, grapefruit, and other fruit to begin. There is also some meadow honey and a fruity malt sweetness offering some contributions. The middle brings out an intense fruity hop flavour of orange, lemon, pine, earth and a touch of floral. The bitterness is quite assertive, leaving a noted orange linger. I find the mouthfeel is fairly light for the style, which is intriguing.

The bright fruitiness and light body give the beer a New England-esque feel, but not quite. Its noticeable bitterness inserts a more West Coast character to the beer, making it more of a hybrid in its impression. This beer could actually be quite dangerous as it has a surprisingly light body and very little indication of the alcohol points that lurk in the glass. It is almost too drinkable.

I can say without hesitation you should find a way to steal yourself a bottle or two of this beer before it is gone.


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