Zach Prichard of Oklahoma’s Krebs Brewing, who produce beer under the Choc Beer brand, has announced the purchase of the Prairie Artisan Ales brand. Writing on a blog post that seemingly flew under the radar last week, Prichard revealed that the deal actually took place last year. Prairie has been contract brewing at Krebs since 2012.
WHY IT MATTERS
Prairie has, in its short existence, become one of the darlings of the craft beer scene. This is through beers such as its Bomb! imperial stout and an artful selection of saisons and dry-hopped sours, and numerous collaborations with its founder, Chase Healy.
Contract brewing like Prairie have done, which is sometimes referred to as ‘gypsy’ brewing due to the nature of some outfits brewing at whatever sites are available, has in the past been met with stigma from both the consumer and the industry. But outfits like Prairie were one of a few breweries who effectively removed that issue from the parlance of most beer geeks in the past few years in the U.S. — and now sheds ownership entirely as it becomes part of the Krebs family.
For his part, Healy is moving on to an even more niche concept called American Solera - a barrel-aging sour project.
Could this be the start of a shift of brands selling in to their already established partnerships? And are more conventional projects serving as a stepping stone in to more and more niche ideas that are closer to the producer's heart?
— Matthew Curtis
A LETTER FROM OUR PRESIDENT – Via Prairie Artisan Ales