Argus Brewery - Golden Prairie Ale
- ABV: 6.0%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 62
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Stange or Pilsner Glass
- Malts: Canadian 2-Row, Special B, Caravienna, Roasted Barley
- Hops: unknown
This superb altbier is brewmaster Ted Furman's original recipe, and the central flagship beer of his Golden Prairie brand, which he founded in Chicago in 1991. Now produced at Argus, this brew lives on, and the Chicagoland area is all the richer for it. Altbier (which translates from German as "old beer") is a style that emerged in Düsseldorf, and is the product of a style of beer-making older than the lager styles that Germany is most known for. Instead of bottom-fermenting lager yeast, altbiers are fermented with strains of top-fermenting ale yeast that prefer cooler temperatures than typical ale yeasts. Additionally, altbiers are conditioned longer then most ales, making them smoother and typically less fruity than other ales.
Golden Prairie Ale presents a true-to-style brownish-amber hue topped with lots of persistent foam. Richly malty in the aroma, look for big bready notes bolstered by equally big caramel, along with some nuttiness and a certain earthy and spicy hop character. In the flavor department, big caramel and toffee notes take the lead right away, backed up by roasted nuts and toasty bready tones. We found the hop bitterness moderately firm – more prominent than in many other altbiers we encounter – but perfectly suited to balance the robust malt character. Round, smooth, and substantial on the palate without feeling heavy, this brew makes a friendly pairing with all sorts of stick-to-your-ribs cuisine. German sausages are a natural pairing, along with all sorts of grilled or roasted meat, fowl, and root vegetables. Shepherd's pie or salmon dishes are a couple of other options that spring to mind, but the potential list is long, so feel free to experiment. Prost!
Argus Brewery was founded in 2009 by long-time homebrewers – and father-son duo – Bob and Patrick Jensen. Located in Chicago's Pullman District, the historical home of the Pullman train car manufacturing company, the brewery is situated inside a building that at one time served as a stable for the delivery horses and carriages of the Schlitz Brewing Company. With terra cotta horse heads still adorning the building, the horse head logo is a natural fit for the brewery, as is the ongoing horse theme in the names of their current and past beers, like Clyde's Ale, Holsteiner, Pegasus, and Ironhorse (which plays off the train theme too).
In 2015, Argus brought on Mary Pellettieri to serve as brewmaster. Pellettieri started her career as a chemist and microbiologist at Chicago’s world-renowned brewing school, the Siebel Institute, where she later transitioned into a teaching role in Sensory Management during the 1990s. Her 20+ years of experience, including time spent at Chicago’s highly-regarded Goose Island Brewing Company, is a powerful addition to the Argus team. In 2016 another Siebel graduate, Ted Furman, also joined the team, bringing his almost three decades worth of experience to Argus. Founder of Golden Prairie Brewing Company in 1990, Ted has employed and trained many successful brewers from well-known breweries such as 3 Floyds, Jester King, and Revolution Brewing. Argus now serves as the home of Furman’s Golden Prairie brand, including this month's featured Golden Prairie Ale.
The brewery produces several Argus-branded beer styles and they also brew private label beers for a few local pubs and restaurants. Additionally, Argus has begun brewing an exciting “Special Barrel” series of barrel-aged small-batch beers, including Rosie Cheeks, a one-off saison featuring rose hips which was brewed especially for release to our Rare Beer Club members in 2015. We’re excited to see what the team comes up with next! For more info on the brewery, including brewery tours, call 773-941-4050 or visit www.argusbrewery.com.
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