Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hot Damn of the week: New Beer From Pretty Things

This Sunday, I had intended to be posting about the hyper-intensity of Southern Tier's Unearthly IPA (more on that later), but my trip to Cascadia resulted in a cheerful surprise: a new beer from Boston-based Pretty Things.

On a recent trip to Boston, I had the good fortune to meet Dann and Martha at an art show of the funky labels that adorn their excellent beers, and I'm happy to report that they're the sort of lovely people that are scattered throughout the brewing community like rainbow sprinkles on a beery doughnut. From that same trip, I can also tell you that their Fluffy White Rabbits hopped triple is the perfect accompaniment to spinach and ham eggs benedict at 10 in the morning. Hey! I was on my holidays!

The coolest thing about Pretty Things is that they're a sort of nomadic brewery. They use space in other established breweries to create crazy beers and then move on, like a hermit crab going through a mixer six-pack.

The beers are something else too: I let my wife have a sip of this one and she went "WOW! mmm... Crazy! Ohmygosh it'ssoweird! Bah! Yecch!" (to be fair, she's not a bitter hop fan).

How the hell am I supposed to follow that?

Here's the beer in question:

It's a historical recreation of a recipe first brewed on November 15th 1901, or at least that's what it says on the bottle. As such, it's an opportunity to drink beer like Sherlock Holmes would have done, in-between intravenous cocaine injections, and being a fictitious character.

It pours as coal-black as the face of the guy who stoked the boiler aboard the Flying Scotsman, with a chocolate foam that recedes from the edges like the fading glory of an Imperial domain. Put it another way: it's dark and cloudy, like British weather.

Hops. This beer has more hops than a re-enactment of Watership Down done by the Harlem Globetrotters. First you get smacked in the mouth by a soot-cloud belch of black maltiness, and then there's swelling bitterness, like that felt when losing to Australia at the cricket. Quite simply, it's delicious, and makes me want to don spats and trade in my Subaru on a locomotive.

Pretty Things "KK"
Recommended if:
-you enjoyed "The King's Speech"
-you're interested in drinking history
-you own a steam engine

Not recommended if:
-you're married to me
-you like your beers to be modern, fizzy and yellow
-you're Mahatma Gandhi

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