The Annex

Archives: February 2016

Just tapped: Jack D’Or – Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Just tapped: Jack D’Or – Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project 6.5% ABV jack d or

Brewer’s Notes:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.
“Jack D’Or” is a simple table beer, or “Saison Americain” as we’re referring to it. We are not trying to coin a beer style – we’re just having fun. The Jack D’Or (pronounced “Jack Door”), is at the very center of Pretty Things and nearly three years on we’re still pleased as punch that he joined us!

As you know, PRETTY THINGS doesn’t brew “styles” per se. Close, but we re-imagine everything and leave the style numbers in books on the shelves where they belong. What that means is that while other people might be able to put our beers into a category, we have a hard time with it! Our beers are first and foremost creative beasts, not “types” of beer. Jack D’Or is the kind of beer Martha and Dann like to drink before, after and during a great meal. Heck, we’ll drink this sort of beer any time.

On Dann & Martha’s honeymoon in France and Belgium they stashed quite a few cases of Wallonian beer into their trunk. Every night after setting up their tent they’d cook lardons and lentils on a camp stove and enjoy fresh “saison” under the stars.

Inspired by some of our favorites like Saison DuPont, but also DeRanke’s XX Bitter, De Dolle’s Arabier, and local IPAs like Smuttynose, the Jack D’Or starts off with North American Pils, Vienna, Wheat and Malted Oats (among others) and is hopped with a combination of four hops, finishing with Palisade and Nugget. The bitterness is the real backbone of the Jack D’Or. It’s a proper “plant-like” bitterness with all of its jagged edges, beginning deep in the soil, then to the stem of this beer and up into to the very tippity heights. Fermentation-wise we use a blend of four yeast strains to give Jack D’Or its refreshingly dry character. Finally, despite all of the spicy flavours in this beer it contains no actual spices – only malt, oats, rye, sugar, hops and yeast. One more time: there are no spices or citrus in Jack D’Or. Wheat lends acidity at Jack’s edges, then rye and our blended yeast character come into play for a bit of polyphony, displeasing the notion of “balance” and creating the fire in the belly of Jack D’Or!

The creature on the label is Jack D’Or himself, conceived and drawn by Dann. Far away in a small clearing in the woods of New England, ankle deep in the mash tun, he contemplates and conjures himself into a batch of beer. For those of you who are new to this, Jack is a grain of malted barley, but more than that: he is the unifying force behind all of the Pretty Things. Jack D’Or Must Die!

57 IBU

Just tapped: Meadowlark IPA – Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Just tapped: Meadowlark IPA – Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project 7% ABV meadowlark

Brewer’s Notes:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Meadowlark IPA is a new juicy and floral hoppy, hoppy ale we brewed to celebrate the flavor and spirit of American craft brewing. This 7% alcohol beer has a sunny orange-yellow colour, 85 International Bittering Units, a smooth mouthfeel and layer upon layer of soft flowery hops. We wove earthy Citra and bitter Bravo hops from the Pacific Northwest with intensely fruity and aromatic Galaxy hops from Australia. The malts are pale malt & mild ale malt, pale crystal (1.3% of the grist), flaked barley with malty highlights from Munich malt and a bijoux of Roasted Barley. The resulting patchwork is as “American” tasting as short ribs and slaw, and provides an excellent accompaniment to that kind of food too! Very hoppy and bitter. Yum.

In the Spring of 2012 Martha became a US citizen and shortly after we embarked on a cross country trek by car, from our headquarters in Somerville, Massachusetts to San Diego with stops at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Kansas City, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Denver. There was a lot of barbecue and craft beer along the way and it was a sprint rather than a crawl, but the trip provided more than enough inspiration for our first ever American-style beer. From clambering over the red rocks of Utah to buying cowboy boots in a chicken-and-feed store in Arizona, we had an American adventure, ending up at the Craft Brewers’ Conference in San Diego. On the way, we also brewed our first ever collaboration beer with Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, a Yorkshire Stingo.

We’re flattered that some people are surprised to hear that Pretty Things is making an American IPA. Martha and I spent almost three years in England, a vast beer paradise mind you, often craving hoppy American beers. These beers are very much part of the great fabric of the beer world just as bitter or bock or lambic, saison or stout. It would be a true omission if we left this one out. Also, I (Dann) spent two decades working in breweries here in the U.S. making and perfecting IPA’s. Perhaps you’ve never heard of any of these but I formulated and brewed hoppy beers like North East Brewing Company’s “Lobsterback IPA” (1996-2001), Concord IPA (2002-2004), Rapscallion Blessing (2002-2004), Haverhill’s “Leatherlips IPA” and “Supershow 69″(2005?). It’s part of my heritage as a first-generation craft brewer and I very much feel a need to express and enjoy this.

Also, this beer was a chance to reunite with an old friend and former Head Brewer of Boston’s Tremont Brewery: Jeff Biegert. Jeff and I would occasionally secretly brew together back in the mid-1990’s before brewer “collaborations” were a thing. Fifteen years or so later here we were again, and Martha and I brought in Jeff to help brainstorm the perfect American IPA. We really think Jeff’s work on creating the perfect water profile was the start of a great beer. So cheers for indulging us and we truly hope you enjoy this one – we sure worked hard on making it a great IPA for you!

85 IBU

Just tapped: Grande Noirceur Russian Imperial Stout – Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

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Just tapped: Grande Noirceur Russian Imperial Stout – Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel 9% ABV grande nocier

Brewer’s Notes:
The Grande Noirceur (Great Darkness) is a dense black beer with robust roasted flavours. Its imposing bitterness is balanced by the presence of complex malted, caramel notes. It takes its name from the conservative policies of mid-century Quebec. The Grande Noirceur was born at our Montreal brewpub in March of 2004.

Just tapped: Freigeist Salzspeicher Sour/Wild Ale Raspberry Porter – Braustelle Freigeist

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Just tapped: Freigeist Salzspeicher Sour/Wild Ale Raspberry Porter – Braustelle Freigeist 6% ABV raspberry sour

Brewer’s Notes:
Limited and Brewed Once.
Based on Freigeist’s traditional sour & salty porter recipe, Salzspeicher Cherry & Salzspeicher Raspberry feature all the complexity & character of the of the original but go one step further with the addition of tart & flavorful real fruits during fermentation.
Not recommended for fans of sugary-sweet, fruit-syrup beers!

Just tapped: J’ville – Engine 15 Brewing Co

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Just tapped: J’ville – Engine 15 Brewing Company 5% ABVjville

Brewer’s Notes:
Engine 15’s NEW American Lager – J’ville. You guys are going to love this clean, refreshing beer that will have you pining for the dog days of summer.

Just tapped: Tangerine Wheat – Lost Coast Brewery

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Just tapped: Tangerine Wheat – Lost Coast Brewery 5% ABVtang wheat

Brewer’s Notes:
A refreshing citrus ale, Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat combines our Lost Coast Harvest Wheat with natural tangerine flavors. Brewed with a combination of wheat and crystal malts, and finished with Perle hops.

Just tapped: Racer 5 India Pale Ale – Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Just tapped: Racer 5 India Pale Ale – Bear Republic Brewing Co. 7.5% ABVracer 5

Brewer’s Notes:
This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed with American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. There’s a trophy in every glass.

Just tapped: Wells Banana Bread – Wells & Young’s Ltd

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Just tapped: Wells Banana Bread – Wells & Young’s Ltd 5.2% ABVwells banana

Brewer’s Notes
This dark golden coloured ale hugs the palate with great intensity. Its malty aroma is complemented by the gentle nose of Banana. Its flavour unfolds with a sensual sparkle and a smart crispness, which balances its aroma perfectly. Tropically fruity; its ripe banana flavour, emphasised by a hint of bitterness, comes from the addition of real fair trade bananas and finishes with an emphatic, steely dryness.

Just tapped: Bourbon Barrel Aged Super Secret Stout – Bold City Brewery

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Just tapped: Bourbon Barrel Aged Super Secret Stout – Bold City Brewery 10% ABVsss

Brewer’s Notes:
American sweet / dry / milk stout hybrid. Aged 6 months in Woodford Reserve Barrels. A large amount of roasted and chocolate flavors should be expected with a nice sweetness to balance out the finish.

Mug Club Members – $5 22oz Fills & Burger & Beer Deal

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Mug Clubbers! Join us tomorrow for $5 22oz Mug Fills and Burger & Beer Deal for $8.95! Not a burger-beerMug Club Member? Enjoy our Burger & Beer for just $10.95.
Enjoy a 1/2 lb Cheeseburger or Veggie Burger topped with your choice of cheese, lettuce, tomato and onions, a side of chips or salad and a select draft.
$5 22oz Mug Club Fills:
Duvel Single Belgian Pale Ale – Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV 6.8% ABV
Mango Jorts Wit – Proof Brewing Company 5.5% ABV 16 oz
You Got That Ryeght Rye/Lager hybrid – Collab Brew by Engine 15 Brewing Co.
Baba Black Lager – Uinta Brewing Company 4% ABV
SS Minnow Saison – Intuition Ale Works 4.3% ABV
Tom Yum Thai Gose – Tomoka Brewery 4.2% ABV