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American Darling - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

American DarlingAmerican Darling

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

246 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 246
Reviews: 138
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.14%

Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jamie2dope on 07-17-2009)
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Ratings: 246 | Reviews: 138 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheHudgeSF


4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First beer from Pretty Things, has a faint aroma of grass and earth with some bread aftertones. Really nice flavor profile for an ale, has a bit of a heavy aftertaste/hoppy feeling that's carried by the relatively high ABV for an ale. Drinks really easily though and overall is a great beer I would have again. Love the marketing as a "lawnmower beer" - the beer you should enjoy while mowing the lawn. Well said, and encapsulates a lot of what this beer is.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 01:28:08 | More by TheHudgeSF
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with active carbonation that keeps a one finger creamy white head growing slightly in the glass. Aroma of sweet pale and biscuit malt with light grassy hops. Flavor is biscuit and crystal malt with grassy hops, finishing with a mild cream corn and lingering pilsner style hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a nice mouth feel. A well made light lager that has a nice hop bill that is complemented by the full biscuit malt body. Not an exciting style, but as usual for Pretty Things, nicely made and great to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 04:04:17 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to drlovemd87 for hooking me up with YET ANOTHER wonderful beer, this guy deserves a medal. better than your average summer type lawnmower beer, this is sweeter, richer, and far more malty. its nose and smell match its color wheel pinpoint, where yellow just begins to melt into brown, dim but lively. heady and lacy and fit for some white summer wedding. the smell and taste are decadently malted and only bittered on the hop front. its definitely a lager too, with a bready and dry quick finishing yeast that hints at old school european stuff. grassy hops round it out, but yeast and sweet malt are whats memorable for me here. my critique of this beer, and it is indeed substantial, is the 7% alcohol by volume. such strength is not useful in this style, makes it heavier, and honestly sacrifices some of the better properties of a good lager to pursue such strength. the beer works in flavor, but bomber is a tough dose when you are flying solo, and when you want to jump around beers and styles, this gets a little chewy, but its a cool brew, i just wish for reduced residual sweetness and booze, not that i can taste the alcohol, but i can feel it, and with all the sugar thats still in this beer, it gets a bit terminal. that said, these guys are clearly brewing some of the best beer in mass, and i am grateful for the opportunity to drink this one. not really late december beer, but nevermind that.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 06:43:31 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of RaulMondesi


3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, this sucker is 6 months old, so we could start there...but why stoke a set of coals that will no longer burn? (You know who I'm talkin' about, girl.) Now let's move on...

Woo, grassy. But this ain't no Bakersfield crab grass, this is the kind of stuff they grow at Augusta - I mean, pure! Supple and clean flavors like the laundry mat after a Victoria's Secret fashion show...Raul's like, yeah.

This right here is "The Great American Lager," my children.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 02:59:01 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of AgentMunky


4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a New Belgium balloon glass. Bottled in June 2013.

A: Incredibly pale, milky gold. Lightly hazy with fluffy white head and effervescence.

S: Not bad! Clean, deep, tasty yeast smacks me upfront. Light lemon. Hint of metal.

T: Pleasantly spicy, with a bold, bready undercurrent buttressing the flavor. Earthy and sulfuric, with noticeable noble hops adding topnotes to the beer.

M: Carbonated and enjoyable. Significant body. Creamy smoothness.

O: If this is a "true lager" as the label claims, I want more! This is a delicious, drinkable, interesting, impressive beer. Highly recommended to all.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 06:04:31 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of BEERchitect


3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After a quite complete repertoire of Belgian-themed beers that sit very well with the palate and the tummy, out comes this Bohemian-type of lager that celebrates the early years of Pilsners with rustic charm and challenges.

With a mild haze, America's Darling kicks off with the stalwart straw-gold coloration. It builds an expansive head of off-white foam that casually recedes to a sheet across the surface. It trails with spotty and broken rings of lace as the beer fades from the glass.

The blend of earthy and refined aromas really battle out its balance until the earthen notes take hold. Its initial aroma is of floral noble hops, but the comes a grain scent that introduces a rounded corn scent. As the aromas develop, the "cream corn" notes introduce apple esters and a sulfury tone to seem like burnt match sticks. Even an elevates level of tomato juice really takes hold as the beer turns to taste.

Grainy-sweet in its flavor, the beer kicks off with fresh-baked bread and a mild husky grain taste. All that quickly balances out the with the floral quality of lemon blossoms and honey. After that, the beer turns spicy and dry, and unfortunately exposes the corn, sulfur and acidity that gives levity to the tomato and corn that rose in the beer's aroma. Those echoes are only suggested in taste but lessen its desirability to the taste buds, but only slightly.

Crisp and dry on the palate, the Lager's rustic roots leads it past a short-lived crackcer-like breadiness and a grainy middle and ushers in a finish that's a bit rough around the edges with all the sulfur wafting about. But still, the Lager remains drinkable and refreshing even if the old-aged taste of lager still impede its flavor spread.

American Darling is almost a mockery of what the industrial macro-brewing culture has done to beers. Even as it displays a few warts in ts portrayal, it also highlights how these flavors would have beer prevailed in beers from even a hundred years ago.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 07:07:42 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of TheMultiYeast


3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I grabbed this in New England just because I wanted to try more stuff from Pretty Things. Even though it was bottled in June 2012 it's pretty damn good with some age on it.

American Darling pours a soft, foggy, pale yellow color with a finger of head that quickly fades.

Big malty nose with some biscuity sweetness. Caramel apples and some floral fruitiness balance out bready malts. There's some faded German hop aromas in there.

Malt dominates palate with a boost of sweetness, biscuit, esters, mild fruitness. All of these flavors come at one quick moment and leave a trail of pilsner-like bitterness.

More body than expected and soft carbonation.

Overall this is a solid brew from Pretty Things. Next time I'd like to try it fresh.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 00:10:19 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of Oakenator


4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pale yellow with one plus finger of head. Some retention of the head on top of this brew 15 mins later. Little to no lacing.

S: Citrus aroma.

T: Light yet full of flavor lager. One could easily mistake this for a pale ale. Refreshing citrus flavor - some lemon and grapefruit.

M: Light on the tongue. Carbonation dissipates quickly and left with a lager flavor.

O: Good brew and not your typical mild flavored lager.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 21:25:23 | More by Oakenator
Photo of BEERMILER12


4.01/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a straw yellow color with a fingers worth of head that slowly recedes to a cap that lasts for a while

S: Starts off with a light fruitiness and husky maltiness and goes into some earthy and grassy hops and a bit of breadiness

T: Starts off with the husky maltiness and works its way through a bit of graininess and fruitiness. Finishes with a light sweetness, earthy and grassy hops, and a touch of bitterness

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: The label on the bottle says 5.8% abv, so I'll go with that and say that regardless of the abv, it's very easy to drink. It definitely has that grainy and huskiness going on so if you like that in your lager, then this will be a great beer for you. Not too shabby for under $6 for a bomber, either. Recommended

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2013 00:48:53 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a clean light golden yellow pour, minimal amount of white head, nice retention.
smells of citrus (lemon peel), bready yeast, coriander.
the taste is a bit odd - there's an overall harsh taste of alcohol, the citrus and a slight hint of coriander is there from the smell, and there's a funky / tangy bitterness that i can't identify.
medium body, high carbonation, slight cream on lips, warmth from abv

i've liked every beer pretty things made so far. this is my least favorite and so far, the only one i won't pick up again. the alcohol taste is completely rugged.. like nikoff vodka was just mixed in with the wort.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 05:53:07 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of ricchezza


4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Initially a punch of yeast (warm bread) followed by a husky malt backing.

Taste: I’m a bit surprised for the style that my first taste brings a touch of honey and slight clove to the forefront. True to style is a flowery, yet subtle (Noble) hop presence followed by a strong pilsner malt backing. More grain than hop bitterness. Long dry finish that sweetens as it fades.

1/8” white head that never seems to fade for the duration the beer is in the glass.

My overall impression is that this is a delicious beer. Sure to impress “yellow” beer drinkers who have not strayed from big macro brews (may even convert a few).

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2012 12:42:16 | More by ricchezza
Photo of Gatch


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear, golden-yellow with a big, fluffy, pillowy, white head. Very little lace and retention.

S: Plenty of pale malt, grass, mineral, and some sugary booze.

T: Much like the nose. Good, fruity malt presence with a hint of hops in the finish. Slight booze in the finish with the high ABV.

M: Highly drinkable. Highly enjoyable. Highly recommended.

O: Another fine beer from Pretty Things! Can they make a bad beer? I don't think so.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2012 00:44:29 | More by Gatch
Photo of MoreThanWine


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big step up from the typical lager. Poured a 2" custard head with decent retention time. The body is a slightly hazed golden yellow. It smells mildly of toasted malt. The taste is a little sweet but with stronger than expected toasted malt, a saltiness, and yeastyness. In fact it's kind of like a concentrated lager except for the absence of the grassiness and bitterness so common. Fairly long finish.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2012 09:13:43 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of pburland23


4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into my Prima Pils glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a clean, bright golden yellow. Looks like your classic American lager. Three billowing fingers of snow white head leave some moderate lacing. Very, very nice looking pour.

Smell: Light sweet pilsner malts, flowery hops, mildly herbaceous with some lemon notes. Nose is pretty delicate but inviting.

Taste: Very malty with some German hops bitterness. Lemon and mildly spicy. Definitely more complex than your average American lager. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with some sharp prickly carbonation. Very drinkable despite its 7% ABV.

Overall: Why can't every pale lager be this delicious? Because of the high ABV, I'm not sure I'd drink it while mowing the lawn (despite the label) but it's a nice summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2012 02:38:45 | More by pburland23
Photo of CheezyBlaster


3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"But what if we took a Miller High Life, and you know, made it taste good?"

That's this tasty beer. Beauty of a poor -nice head, nice retention, straw/golden yellow, tiny seltzer-like bubbles constantly making their trip. Sweet grassy nose; mainland Europe noble hop presence. It's more of a BIG adjunct in flavor, even though it's all barley, and even though it's a bunch of hallertau. The sweetness of the malt just reminds me of that corn sweetness you get in some adjuncts. Super pale lager, maybe strong lager should be the style? It's fantastic, but there is a bit of a viscous texture combined with that sometimes corn syrupy sweetness that makes it not as refreshing as the style typically can be. 7% is a tall order too. Anyhow, get one of these if you're at all interesting in the "yellow" side of lagers.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 23:19:51 | More by CheezyBlaster
Photo of ryan1788a5


3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

A: Dull, pale straw yellow. Mild chill haze. Slow-moving streams of carbonation meander up the glass. Fluffy and rocky white head holds fast at a good two fingers. Clumps of lacing cling to the glass at random intervals.

S: Lemongrass, hay, twist of lemon, and orange peel. Hops are very floral and zesty. Sweet pilsner malt, very subtle hint of caramel. Simple, but very fragrant.

T: Multi-dimensional malt flavors open. Caramel, bread, toasted biscuit, a touch buttery (though NOT from diacetyl). Slight vanilla and pear. Hay and grass. Touch of spicy alcohol. Hops contribute orange peel, lavender and floral tastes, and quick, subtle flashes of citrus fruit. Finishes with shifting malt tastes and hay.

M: Medium bodied. Rich, smooth, and well-rounded body. Carbonation is mild but a little prickly. Some definite warmth in the swallow from the alcohol.

O: The nose and the taste are nearly opposites in terms of balance. The nose is a bit more hop-forward, while the malt is more dominant in the taste. Malt tastes are complex and shifty, thanks to the decoction mashing and the resulting melanoidin action. Tastes a little hot this year though, I don't remember the alcohol being quite as prominent when I had this in the past. Worth a try if you're into German-style lagers.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 03:31:14 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of Hopdaemon39

New York

3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pilsener- pours a clear golden straw color with 2.5 fingers of creamy white head, a few splashes of lacing, visibly effervescent.

Smells pretty enticing- pale malt sweetness balanced pretty equally with earthy yeast tones and a little dry hops.

Taste is not quite as well balanced- pretty heavy on the malt sweetness, much less of the yeast, and only a trace of the noble hops.

Mouthfeel is a little too sticky for me- medium light body with light carbonation; a little chewy. Not quite my idea of a summer refresher but decent. I won't get it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 02:45:59 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of BostonHops


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

pours a mostly clear (some chill haze) golden yellow while yielding a little more than a finger and a half of a creamy/foamy head. very respectable retention, though not a great deal of lacing. nose is not especially bold, offering faint grainy/bready/malt notes, maybe a little hoppiness in the background.

for a lager the flavor is very good. grainy with light malts and some floral hops. medium bodied mouthfeel, lively on the palate. crisp and refreshing.

overall i typically do not gun for lagers but am enjoying this, especially on this 90+ degree day. another above-average offering from pretty things. definitely worth a try.

(originally reviewed: 07-12-2011)

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2012 04:14:37 | More by BostonHops
Photo of mactrail


3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Smells like malt liquor with a Little Tree deodorizer around somewhere. Golden amber in the glass, plenty of head.

Very bitter aftertaste without much hop flavor. Thin but highly flavored with pale malt. On the woody and slightly astringent side. Flavor washes out, leaving this bitter and tart watery feeling. My least favorite Pretty Things beer, but maybe it's better than the run of this category.

From the 22 oz bottle dated June 2010, Batch 2. Probably over the hill. Bought at the Old Philly Ale House, not noticing the bottle date, so beware if you shop there.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2012 04:25:36 | More by mactrail
Photo of tone77


3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a deep golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grains, some malts. Taste is alcohol up front, some grains, a touch of malts, makes me wonder if something is wrong with my bottle as more alcohol flavors are coming through. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2012 21:43:19 | More by tone77
Photo of russpowell


3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Riggsy, the last of my fantasy football winnngs, sigh...Bottled June ll

Pours a hazed & effervescent straw/apricot color with a pinky of cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Grassy & grainy notes

T: Crackery notes, white grape juice & a touch of lemongrass & orange peel up front. I get a bit of juicy fruit fruit up front & sweet cereal as this warms with slight astrgent grain bitterness lurking in the background, but mostly juicy-fruit & a whisper of coriander & white pepper. Finshes with peppery spiceyness, grainyness & sweet cereal

MF: Medium bodied, subtle carbonation, decent balance, a touch too sweet to sesion on

This is drinkable enough, but not anything I am really that excited about. This definetly a proper lawn mower brew

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 13:33:19 | More by russpowell
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12/10/11 notes. Picked this up at Schneider's in DC Friday night for $7.99. As I was popping it I noticed it said it was bottled in June 2011 on the sticker...next time I'll have to pay more attention. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a hazy bright yellow color with one finger of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some light spotty lacing left on the glass, and not a lot of head retention.

s - Smells of citrus hops, lemon, earthy malts, pale malts, floral hops, and light herbal notes. Pretty nice, a lot of lemon.

t - Tastes of lemongrass, citrus hops, floral notes, pale malts, light fruit. Tastes a tiny bit adjunct like, and a step down from the nose, though still enough citrus and floral hops to make it enjoyable.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty nice pale lager, though I wonder what it was like fresh in July. The lemon was very up front in the nose and taste, and there were some floral and citrus hops still there, but I imagine 5 months ago this was even better. Would like to have fresh and worth checking out, though I probably wouldn't buy a 6 month old bottle again.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 15:38:17 | More by mdfb79
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

golden amber with a crystal clear look to it. A small head of maybe an inch rose up, but immediatly fell back down, leaving a naked top to it.

The aroma was light. Lots of light grain and bready malts abound here. Small light fruit notes and an overall light profile. Taste was more of the same, light grain, light fruits, small doses of grain. A crisp, clean, and refreshing profile. Very light feel with an almost non existently light feel. Super drinkable

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 03:09:36 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of smakawhat


4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled June 2011.

Out of the bottle American Darling very much looks like an adjunct lager. A white very foamy and not much retention head but falls slowly, however a pleasant clear light gold and slow rising carbonation creeps and crawls up the glass. No lacing it seems.

The nose is pretty solid. Light malts, some floral sense and spices. Sort of crisp with hints of lemon and zest.

Taste is a great spice and sweet malt blast, mixing in some light hop like phenol sense. Crispness sense is replaced by a full body texture and a lemon zest spritz. Alcohol sugars become more obvious while drinking, but add to the dense malt feeling nicely, that shows up in the palate. What is left is a big juicy gushing lemon feeling and deliciousness!

Overall a very impressive full tasting bodied beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 00:41:40 | More by smakawhat
Photo of rudzud


4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in June 2011. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear straw colour with a nice white two finger head that fades slowly to leave nice clouding and a good halo.

S - Yep, an amped up lawnmower beer alright. Almost like a slightly amped up pils.

T - Sweet grains, light floral hops. Gentle bread notes too. Quite nice.

M - Solid mouthfeel. Nice carbonation here results in something incredible sessionable.

O - Overall really liked this Pretty Things offering. Definately a sessionable summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 03:36:11 | More by rudzud
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American Darling from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
88 out of 100 based on 246 ratings.