Prairie Brewpub – Downtown Tulsa’s Pioneering Brewpub is off to a Stellar Start

By on August 11, 2016

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While on vacation in a new city I never miss the opportunity to seek out a local brewpub. Enjoying good food and atmosphere with local beer brewed fresh on site is always a treat. Tulsa’s new Prairie Brewpub, in the heart of downtown’s Brady Arts District, is a welcomed and much-needed addition to Tulsa’s rapidly growing food and craft beer scene.

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Before even walking through the door, my eyes were immediately drawn to the massive barrel that sits behind the bar, and at 10 feet by 8 feet, it does look a bit like something out of a Viking king’s beer hall. The barrel, called a foeder (pronounced “fooder”) was originally a French wine fermenting vessel, and was purchased by Prairie for aging beer. Not being in ideal condition though, it found a better use as a center piece for the bar that also conveniently houses their tap systems. In addition to the bar top, plenty of seating options are available within the lounge area, the high tops, and the dining area tables as well.

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Rustic wood is the dominant interior theme, with a modern but natural feel which extends out to their beautiful all-wood patio benches and tables. The vibrant, eye-catching artwork from Prairie’s beer labels is hung around the restaurant, and the floor to ceiling windows give an open vibe that keeps you feeling connected to the bustling downtown surroundings.

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After taking a moment to appreciate the look of the place, it was time to sample what flavors they had to offer. I started with their Beer-Battered Fried Green Tomatoes, which were served with their house-made lemon aioli and a spicy “ancho rancho” sauce. The breading on the tomatoes was perfect and had a savory, light sweetness to it that was great with the subtle heat of the ancho rancho sauce. Pairing these with Prairie’s Phantasmagoria Double IPA though, I found a bit of the lemon aioli to be the perfect addition to complement the abundant, citrusy hop flavors of the beer.

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For my entree, I was pleased to get to try one of their weekly specials, a Grilled Porter Peach Pork Chop, served with cheddar grits and brussel sprouts sauteed with butter, bacon, and onions. I paired this with one of their on-site only beers, the Prairie Foeder-Weisse, and the citrusy, mouth-puckering tartness of the beer was a perfect contrast to the sweet and succulent flavors of the pork chop and grilled peaches. Delicious.

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Looking to end my meal on a sweet, spiced and coffee rich note, I throughly enjoyed the Pirate Bomb Bread Pudding. Prairie’s Pirate Bomb is an imperial stout aged in rum barrels with coffee, cacao, vanilla and chilies added, with the rum cask imparting extra vanilla and coconut flavors to the beer. Serving as the flavor inspiration for this dessert, it’s made with real chocolate and coconut and covered with a chili rum sauce. Thankfully, since it’s namesake beer is only seasonal, they did have Prairie Paradise for me to pair it with, which uses the same base beer as Bomb, but with real coconut and Madagascar vanilla added. And while it would be easy to assume that the similar flavors would be too much together, the rich smokiness of the beer mellowed out the sweetness of the bread pudding, and let the luxurious vanilla and coconut flavors really stand out.

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Downtown Tulsa has been begging for a truly local brewpub for years, and the folks at Prairie have really delivered. They open at 4pm throughout the week for dinner, and are open early (for brunch) to late (1 AM) on weekends, so any time’s a good time to go have a beer and check them out at 223 North Main Street. http://prairiepub.com Cheers!

Andrew Howard

About Andrew Howard

Andrew Howard is a Tulsa native and has been a self-described foodie, craft beer nerd, and a figure in the local service industry for many years, all of which has left him with a passion and interest in Oklahoma's growing culinary and bar scenes. A frequent attendee of local beer tasting events, he looks forward to showcasing all the great beer and food related events that go on in Tulsa.

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