Pretty Things Ale & Beer Project
Great things come to those who wait; or at least that’s what Diageo told us in the late 90’s. In my case, I’d been waiting for a way to get my hands on some of Dann and Martha Paquette’s beers since interviewing them back in March. There was something that hooked me in straight away when it came to PT; and none of it was about the beer itself. The fact that they referred to themselves as ‘A Beer and Ale Project‘ rather than a Brewery (they are, if you did’nt know, Cuckoo Brewers). The cute, DIY visuals they use; the slight boho-nouveau-rustic charm that the site – and the beers had.
Alongside all these things that hooked me in, is their personal story. In PT you have a strange little twist; American Brewers influenced by the UK: Yorkshire in particular. Dann’s love of Old Peculiar, North Yorkshire and other things that we maybe take for granted runs through PT’s beer, and makes for an intruiging mix.
Finally, the waiting ended. BeerRitz had worked their magic and nabbed a few cases, and this week I’ve been opening the beers like the scene in Indiana Jones where the Ark of The Covenant is opened. Or something like that. Field Mouses’ Farewell (7%abv) is a vibrant, brassy Golden Ale, with a fair old amount of rustic charm thrown in. There’s plenty of Bretty, wet-straw notes on the nose, along with a sharp note of Lemon pith and Tangerine. However, it’s not a light, throwaway beer – the body is surprisingly substantial, with a good amount of carbonation lifting some peardrop and apricot fruits out of the slightly wheaty, honeyed body. The finish is long, dry and more bitter than I expected – that Lemon pith note coming on strong. As with it’s partner, it drinks nowhere near 7%abv.
Jack D’or (8%abv) is PT’s Flagship brew; and PT are rightly proud of it. I just admire their stance on making a Saison thier focal point; you don’t get many brewers in the US doing that. It feels right for PT to make this choice, and the whole package just works. Dubbed a ‘Saison Americaine’, what you have is an amped-up Saison; but with plenty of subtle charm going on. Lighter in colour than Fieldmouse, it’s clearly of the same genus – some aromatics on the nose such as coriander seed, and a familiar estery profile. There’s that same, chunky wheat-led body – substantial, however – but there’s much more citrus on the hop profile and finish, which is dry and robust. Again, the condition of this bottle was perfect; spritzy enough to keep things light and interesting. It stops just short of being lip-puckering, in an altogether good way.
I’m altogether pleased that I got the chance to finally taste PT’s wares, and I hope that this is the start of something beautiful in the UK for them. Or something Pretty, at least.
Posted on 16/07/2011, in Uncategorized and tagged beer in Leeds, Beer Reviews, BeerRitz, craft beer, Cuckoo Brewers, Farmhouse Ale, Fieldmouse's Farewell, Jack D'or, Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, Saison. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.