Archive for the ‘Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project’ Category

Fall is in full swing. One of the things that I love about new house, is our fireplace. We’ve been using it a lot and it makes the house smell amazing. Anyways, let’s talk about this beer.

fringe

ABV: 5.3%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “FRINGE AMERICAN PALE ALE is a dry, pale golden, 5.3%, hoppy pale ale using Ella hops. The dryness and soft body are driven home by an almost dank melon-like character. If you just read the last sentence and thought ‘my goodness that doesn’t sound like a Pretty Things beer’, then this one truly is our ‘fringe’ beer. Fringe is the sort of beer you crack a bit cool on a hot day in the yard. Don’t save it for a rainy day though – drink it now. We’re brewing another batch in a week (after we’re back from serving our beers at Boulevardia in Kansas City).”

Random: I love the simplicity of their labels. They always jump out at me on the shelves.

This beer poured with a huge, three finger, off white head that dissipated slowly. It left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was strong with notes of grass and light tropical fruit, specifically mango. I didn’t pick up any malt on it. The taste had light bitterness, with grass and some grapefruit. The tropical fruit wasn’t as apparent on the taste, which was disappointing, because I really enjoyed it on the nose. Again, I didn’t pick up any malt on this, which was fine with me. It had a medium thick body with light carbonation and could have benefitted from more. The finish was swift with grapefruit. This was $8.49 for the bomber, which came to $.39 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer, although it wasn’t mindblowing. Since it’s not distributed to Jersey, I probably won’t get the chance to have it again, but I’m glad I got to try it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Happy 4th! This is one of the beers that I had after work last night. Let’s see how it was.

winefride

ABV: 7%

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Lovely Saint Winefride is a ‘brown’ lager, created by Dann using a complicated and extremely-rare decoction mash. You’re correct, ‘Brown Lager’ isn’t actually a style, but we wanted to make the most deliciously malty lager imaginable. At the same time we wanted this to taste like a lager you’d actually find in Germany, bursting with authentic character and suitable for the most discerning old-timer. Besides the decoction mash, we fermented Saint Winefride at 52 degrees and lagered her over a period of 9 weeks in the deep of winter. They just don’t make lagers like this here in New England. The beer is malty, containing a blend of German malts and roasted German malts. There’s even the wisp of smoke near the end. St Winefride lived in post-Roman Wales from 600 to 660 A.D. She was charming and intelligent, and decided to become a nun. Unfortunately, this news went down poorly with her suitor, Caradoc, who hacked off her head. Luckily, her Uncle Beuno was able to perform the miracle of reattaching it and she recovered fully. (Hooray!). She became an Abbess and governed Gwytherin Abbey in Wales until her death on November 3rd, 660 A.D. The lager, yes lager, started out as an idea to create a very rustic beer with a roasted character and a brown disposition. We imagined a pre-Great War sort of beer that might have been on its last legs of popularity. The kind of beer young folks of the time would laugh about as being ‘an old man’s lagerbier.’ Well Pretty Things is the old-man’s-dream-beer-brewer, so we decided to give it a whirl. We started with malted barley and hops from the German tradition and employed a single decoction mash. Decoction is a slightly complicated, time intensive and little used technique (on this continent anyway) that insured temperature accuracy in the age before real temperature control. Got it? Okay, that was a boring explanation. How is this: we took a portion of the mash and boiled it at 212 degrees F for 15 minutes. Trust us, boiling a mash is rare. Dann has only done this a handful of times in his twenty year career (on purpose anyway). Ahem. We continue by saying this brown lager is also quite delicious and nice to drink. If you choose to not think about boiling mashes and old men we assure you this beer will still very much please your palate.”

Random: I love beers with a story behind them.

This beer poured with a two finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. It also left a half a finger of crown on top of the dark brown body. There was no carbonation visible. The nose had brown bread, smoke and nuttiness. The taste was filled with brown bread as well. There was also nuttiness and pepper. Malt was present too. The body was thick with light carbonation. It had a long, bready finish with lots of nuttiness. This was also a beer that my parents picked up for me, so no comment on the price of this one. This beer was well-crafted, no doubt, I just wasn’t a huge fan of the flavors. I wouldn’t have this one again, but it’s more of a qualm with the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Here we go. Another beer from Pretty Things that was picked up from Half Time. Let’s see how I liked it.

IMG_3164

ABV: 7.5%

Style: Bock

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “How did we do it? For after all, ‘Bocky’ began this journey as a real-live-human-being. To make this transformation, we first planted Bocky in the rich soils of Europe and North America’s barley growing regions. We have often heard that Bocky leads a busy life. Well, this project really took him to the limits of his free time! As Bocky the barley plant matured he was harvested and transferred to several malting facilities, most notably Weyermann in Bamberg, Germany. There he sprouted tiny white shoots as he lay in the warm germination boxes. This may have been a peaceful, even blissful start to the process. But the restful times didn’t last for long! First the dry heat of the kiln, then the violent tumble of the roasting drums. A small amount of Bocky was even smoked over an oak fire! Bejabbers, the lengths to which Bocky will go for a great beer!”

Random: The cat keep sliding on the hardwood floors. It’s hilarious.

This beer poured with a two finger, thin, tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark brown color with only some visible carbonation. The nose had caramel sweetness and toffee. The taste was nutty up front and then went into the realm of seriously malty. Honestly, it was a little too malty for me. It had a touch of hot booze. The body was thick with light carbonation. It had a long finish with sweet caramel. For $9.99 a bottle, this came down to $.45 per ounce, which wasn’t that expensive, but just didn’t do much for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The other half and I are watching the season finale of “Empire.” I seriously love this show. Anyways, here’s another beer from Half Time.

IMG_3156

ABV: 8.2%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “And now add to that list KOHATU. This newish New Zealand hop is one of the major components to our new 8.2%, hoppy ale called ‘Cutie Pie.’ This ale has a blushing light amber colour, soft body, low bitterness with a small amount of residual sugar to balance its cornucopia of fruity characters and an earthy, almost noble-type hop character. We employed two yeast strains, one of which is known for its fruity-ester production and it didn’t disappoint. At our launch at State Park quite a few people noted a strawberry character. It’s really so much fruit. On top of the yeast we also played around with our deep well water, giving it a new composition that helps promote the fruitiest bits of the hop. So start looking for Cutie Pie soon in bars and stores near you. It’ll probably be a one-off, because these hops don’t come around often. And the monster on the label is pretty creepy, so maybe once will be enough!”

Random: I made the cat do a dance and he was not happy about it.

This beer poured with a three finger, cream-colored head. It was slow to dissipate and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, copper color with lots of carbonation visible.
The nose had a lot of grapefruit and tropical fruits with mango and pineapple, specifically. I didn’t pick up much malt to it. The taste was really nice with lots of grapefruit and pineapple. It had light malt at the end that provided sweetness. I didn’t get any booze warming from it. It had a medium thick body with high carbonation on the tongue. The finish was long with bitterness and mango and pineapple. For $10.99 a bomber, this broke down to $.50 an ounce, which isn’t cheap, but given the flavor, was definitely worth it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Here’s a beer that I was really excited to try. It’s been a little over a month since I’ve had a beer from Pretty Things. Let’s see how this one went.

IMG_2649

ABV: 7%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Fieldmouse’s Farewell is our Harvest-time seasonal beer. A saison that is slightly sweeter, slightly more full-bodied and golden than Jack D’Or, and therefore might be slightly more approachable, depending on your taste for hops (fewer bittering hops in this beer). The hops are wonderful, old-world French hops from Alsace. We happened upon them, along with their representatives, at the Craft Brewers’ Conference and we were immediately smitten. 2013′s ‘vintage’ of this beer has even more grains than usual, with the usual high proportion of rye malt giving spiciness. We fermented with all one saison yeast and it’s a very saisony tasting beer this year. We are happy. Early Fall: the fruit and grains are ripe and nature’s work is almost done. It’s time to think of moving on… which is exactly what this little mouse is planning on doing, so find him while you can. You might notice that Field mouse has moved from Springtime to Harvest-time, because it seems like our mouse would be more likely to up-sticks at this time of year, with the fields becoming empty. Perhaps he is following the sun… Cheers to you all, hope summer was great and busy and that Fall will be peaceful and fruitful.”

Random: I think this label is adorable.

This brew poured with a finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left a little bit of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, dark amber color with light carbonation visible. The nose had a bit of coriander and clove along with rye. The taste started with moderate citrus and bread. Rye came out along with spicy rye and coriander with pepper. There was also a little bit of treacle sweetness on it. The body was on the heavier side with very high carbonation, which made this beer remarkably drinkable. The finish was long with some spice from the coriander and pepper. This bomber was $8.99 from Half Time beverage. That translates into about $.41 per ounce, which I thought made this a really good buy, especially with how flavorful it was. I really enjoyed this beer, which wasn’t shocking given who it was from. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Yet another brew from the Westchester, New York beer haul. You’ll be seeing these beers for awhile. This does make it so I won’t have to make a beer run for at least another week, maybe two. It’s been almost two years since I’ve had a beer from Pretty Things. Let’s see how this one fared.

IMG_2529

ABV: 7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Meadowlark IPA is a new juicy and floral hoppy ale we brewed to celebrate the flavor and spirit of American craft brewing. This 7% alcohol beer has a sunny orange-gold color, 60 International Bittering Units, a smooth mouthfeel and layers of soft flowery hops. We wove fragrant Citra and Bravo hops from the Pacific Northwest with intensely fruity Galaxy hops from Australia. The malts are English pale & crystal, flaked barley with malty highlights from Munich malt and Roast Barley. The resulting patchwork is as “American” tasting as short ribs and slaw, and provides an excellent accompaniment to that kind of food too!”

Random: There’s still no news of any big Phils being traded yet. I think that we’re going to lose at least one big name this year, probably more.

This brew poured with a four finger white head that dissipated really slowly and left lots of spidery lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy light orange-yellow color with light carbonation visible. The nose was fresh and light with grapefruit and grass. There was some lemon pith as well. The taste was just as fresh and light. I got grapefruit and lemon pith with a touch of bready malt and grass. It had some biscuit as well. The body was lighter than expected with moderate carbonation. It had a long finish with biscuit and grapefruit. This beer drank much lighter than I expected for the ABV and was another amazing beer from Pretty Things. They really need to distribute to Jersey.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Well, we’re getting to the point that Frankenstorm is going to make landfall. It’s pretty bad here. One of my neighbors already lost three trees. I really hope that they cancel work tomorrow. Honestly, I don’t even know how I would get there. Well, here’s the last backlogged entry, so then I could crack open another brew and do a new review!

ABV: 9%

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Baby Tree was our first Easter beer. We LOVE Easter here at Pretty Things. Usually after the long Boston winter, we’re itching to bring out the bunnies, bonnets and yellow fluffy chicks and get on with our Springtime. The Baby Tree is a real tree. This must be said. It dwells in Sexhow and carries cavorting baby-dolls and in season, a few pears appear. It belongs to great friends of Dann & Martha, and they chose to rescue these small plastic people from a landfill-fate by allowing them to ride in their pear-tree many years ago. And thank heavens they did. Our Baby Tree is a very magical, traveling tree filled with waving, happy babies, some of whom may or may not resemble Mikheil Gorbachev. There may also be some discrepancy in the number of limbs, but we cannot be sure where other baby heads may be poking through the leaves so we don’t worry ourselves about it. If you want, read our poem about it. Baby Tree beer is a Pretty Things take on the best of Abbey-style brewing from Belgium. Inspired by monastic and abbey quadruples, embellished with dark fruit flavours, not too sweet, not too heavy, it’s a springtime beer with some of the richness of late winter. It makes it perfect year round, so that’s when we offer it! You should be able to find it most months of the year, on draft or in bottle. All in all, it’s our way of bringing a bit of Springtime to you and to us, all year round. Hooray!”

Random: I finally brought a real beer glass to Katie’s house! Go me!

Yet again, I’m pulling from my Massachusetts stash. This one poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with light carbonation visible throughout. The nose was relatively fragrant with dates, tobacco and some smoke. I also got some alcohol heat as well. The taste was big dark fruits and smoke with tobacco, which was very similar to the nose. I also got some mild candi sugar with some yeast as well. On the taste, I didn’t get as much heat as I expected. The body was thick with higher carbonation than expected. The finish was long with some sugar. It was a decent quad, but nothing mind-blowing.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0