Prairie Artisan Ales has developed a cult following for its willingness to embrace creativity, from the unique hand drawn art on every bottle to the bold flavors it embraces. So when a new Prairie bottle popped up in the local grocery aisle, it almost didn’t matter what waited inside—of course I’ll try it. Delightfully, it happened to be Deja Vous, a low ABV farmhouse ale brewed with hibiscus and conditioned with the infamous brettanomyces bruxellensis (aka “Brett”).
Appearance and Aroma
Deja Vous appears almost cranberry in color. A thin head quickly dissipates, leaving only rich color in the glass. The first whiff may be less alluring for many beer drinkers, though. On the funky scale, Deja Vous’s aroma lands somewhere between Sly Stone and George Clinton. The beer’s Brett addition seems to be conducting the band. A mild bit of hibiscus can be found, if you’re looking for it, but the farmhouse aspects of Deja Vous do not hide. You know something sour awaits.
While it could be divisive, I find the uber-funk aroma of Deja Vous appealing, but the beer itself doesn’t deliver the same intrigue.”
Deja Vous happens to be the rare beer that tastes milder than it smells. Lemon and grassy notes take on your tongue first, which is not at all what you’d expect from this beer’s coloring. Ultimately the ale is quite light-bodied and finishes dry—it can feel almost like a pseudo-alcoholic seltzer (or, at worst, like watery beer).
Deja Vous utilizes Prairie Vous Francais—a lower ABV, Brett-conditioned version of the brewery’s mainstay Prairie Ale—as its base, but it’s brewed with hibiscus. And with this, Prairie may have finally reached that point in this game of telephone where the original message gets eschewed. While it could be divisive, I find the uber-funk aroma of Deja Vous appealing, but the beer itself doesn’t deliver the same intrigue. Instead, it simply puzzles you—it’s pleasantly bitter to sip, but this abruptly clean finish strips away the pleasant parts (the faint hibiscus) and leaves grass—long lingering grass.