Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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American Imperial IPA
3.91 | pDev: 8.44%
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Notes: Welcome to another fun Double IPA. This one is called Hopfenpop and will be available through mid-September, 2015. We are calling this a “pre-prohibition double IPA”, part of a new series we’re calling “Never Upon a Time”.

“Why?”, you ask? Well, it’s because we did an old-school, big boy cereal mash to give it exceptionally light body (especially for an 8% abv beer). A cereal mash uses corn grits, which are not really a craft brewing thing. In fact, we couldn’t buy them from any of our regular suppliers, such is their “big beer” stigma. Well, they have their uses! (one of which in this case was clogging up our lauter tun big time… but we’ll come to that). The use of a cereal mash allows us to bring down the color and body of the beer, while keeping the ABV and allowing us to hop the beer “stupidly.” The simple sugars derived from corn are basically fully fermented out – not leaving behind any body or any corn-like flavors.

So, we present to you a pillowy yellow, 8% abv, relatively low bodied, refreshing, double IPA. The words refreshing and double IPA don’t ordinarily go together, but we think you will agree they do here.
The hops are Mosaic and Sorachi Ace. And there’s plenty of them. High fruit aroma, high lingering flavor, medium bitterness.


67 IBU
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Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 31 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of fitzy84
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle at the Beer Shop in East Longmeadow, MA. The beer poured with a straw yellow, murky appearance, good retention and some patchy lacing on the sides. Excellent aromas of orange-lemon citrus mix and a hint of earthy honey. The flavors explode with some citrus sweet hops and a some spice in the aftertaste. Crisp body and mouthfeel makes the drink somewhat refreshing. Overall, really loved the citrus aromas and taste flavors with this one.

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Photo of Gavage
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a 1/2" head that falls to a foam that sticks to the glass.

Smell: lemon zest, earthy tones, and some tropical fruit sweetness create a pleasant aroma.

Taste: caramel, lemon zest, orange, mango, and a nice sorachi hop bite.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less crisp at the finish. Long lasting flavors stick to the tongue.

Overall: a DIPA where the alcohol is not noticeable at all. Very fruity but nicely refreshing.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Bottled in August 2015 notched on the label. Pours a beautiful golden-orange with a tight, half inch, bright white head. Head eventually settles into a solid, 1/8th inch cap. semi-concentric swaths of lacing are present during the tasting and exhibit excellent retention. Nose is somewhat subdued - a suggestion of tropical fruit (passion fruit), honeysuckle and a hint of spice. Taste is really interesting - consistent with nose; however, there's also some additional honey sweetness and a spicy/peppery quality to the flavor profile - one of the most complex I've experienced with this style in some time. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an even carbonation just shy of assertive and a light oiliness to the texture. Overall, I really like this beer! One of my favorite PT offerings I have to say. Well worth your time if the opportunity presents.

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Photo of SABERG
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle dated August 2015 into a modified tulip glass.
A - Fall yellow, honey colored. An aggressive pour yields a modest frothy cap. Steady carbonation works its way to the top through a thick body.
S - Surprisingly muted nose. honeysuckle, tangerine and white cedar lead the way. Botanical notes from the Sorachi , I suspect.
T - Wet hops? Some white pepper, a bit of old pineapple, and calla lily. An odd flavor runs through every sip.
F - Heavy bodied and would be expected, the feel is full, and a bit oily, the finish reminds of pine not citrus. Sharp bitterness in the very long linger.
O - I admire what Dan and Martha do, this is no exception, a big round IIPA, with a bit of getting used to I am enjoying this offering.

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Photo of jlindros
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Yay love new beers from Pretty Things. Bottled August 2015.

An aggressive pour yields a decent fluffy bubbly 1 finger head that fades at a slower pace, decent soapy lacing, very clear golden tan pale color.

Nose brings lots of hops, fresh hops at least, grassy and herbal all over, with some pine sap and earthy forest notes, a touch of a fruity note, but mostly the earthy herbal grassy piney spicy, a little lemon peel, citrus, eventually bringing some mild citrus tropical like notes, and a touch of sweet candy malt profile. I believe Mosaic hops.... reading the description sure is, and that grassy lemony note from the Sorachi.

Taste brings juicy hop characters, fresh hop wet hop almost with the fresh pine sap notes, grassy again with big herbal spicy earthy forest floor notes again. then into lemon peel again, fresh grassy flavors, with lemon zest, into a generic citrus, a touch of a tropical note. Then candy malt flavors, not syrupy or caramel, just a fair sweet malty character, combining with hops to bring a candied sap character. A hint of booze warmth, a clean warming booze. Then a little buttery diacetyl... tsk tsk! Finish is sticky, very sticky and mildly sweet, but dries a bit and brings a bit more warming booze, quite bitter with pine sap lingering, a little earthy and quite spicy.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bod, nice carb, little warming booze, sticky finish.

Overall, what can I say. first of all, Mosaic hops mostly suck at life... they want to be tropical citrus awesomeness but bring that smash of earthy pine sap grassy character that sucks the life out of it. Very few brewers have been able to bring a nice character from the mosaic, and I think that depends on the batch too. Next, the Mosaic really overpowers the greatness of the sorachi, which I get a little of but wish it came out more, it can stand on its own mostly if not dominated by the likes of Mosaic. Finally, I feel this style is out of Dann's element, def not his style of beer, but I feel he's trying to keep up with the typical beer drinker palate, which seems to have a huge hard-on for mosaic and big hoppy piney beers now, or what they think is tropical but it's not really. Dann, please bring back the old styles that you were revamping and making fun again, that old world lost style series or comparing the same beer in different years, that was original and awesome. This style is a dime a dozen these days, the DIPAs with mosaic are like checkbooks, everyone has one but nobody really knows what to do with it.

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Photo of ichorNet
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've kind of unintentionally skipped a few of the latest Pretty Things beers, but this one is reminding me of why Dan and Martha are damn good at what they do. I mean, I recall the first batch of Meadowlark pretty much being mind-blowing and newer batches, as well as other "hoppy" leaning beers they've done, to be lackluster. The hop bill on this was the major turning point for me... Sorachi Ace is a criminally-underused hop in the world of modern brewing, especially because it's a high-alpha hop that has very convincing, unique and evocative aromas and came out before a lot of the newer breed of hops going down that same route.

Mosaic, on the other hand, is a perfect counterpoint; with a rather "open" palate that seems to be able to change depending on the recipe it's thrown in with, it kind of meshes perfectly with the hyper-focused yet never-before-attempted idea Pretty Things is going for here. Corn grits being a huge part of the mash (enough to gum up their lauter tun, according to the press release) is a pretty bold move, but it seriously does allow the unique hop combination to shine, and the beer as a whole succeeds on the back of this idea. The smell is hugely unique with bright lemon, passionfruit and coconut popping out at the forefront. Very little caramel or, honestly, maltiness at all is noted. Feel is insanely smooth and light with a brisk carbonation and heavy body. Yet, somehow, this is very easy and satisfying drinking that defies expectation at every corner. It's actually kind of amazing, and the kind of change IPAs really needed.

This seems to be copping some ideas from other local NE breweries regarding drinkable, juicy, fresh and strong pale ales that don't really cut any corners. I'm exceedingly excited about this beer and I hope it continues to be produced, perhaps with even more outlandish and yet somehow fitting hop combos. Great work!

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Photo of Dope
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

August 2015 bottling date. Very fresh.

A: Clear golden pour with a very tall and very effervescent light tan head. Great head retention. Spotty, chunky lacing.

S: Grassy and citrusy.

T: Hmph. Big hop flavors. Super spicy and piney. Lots of lemongrass, especially in the middle. Bite hop bite everywhere. Mild grainy malt. Long lingering lemongrass and spicy, piney, herbal hops.

M: Medium bodied, lots of chewy, spicy hop flavors.

O: Not bad. Lots of big bold hop flavors but the combination just isn't doing it for me. Spicy and lemongrassy - lots of bite but just isn't sitting well with me. Subjective, I know. Still a nice DIPA, well executed.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden color. Thick, white head lingers throughout drinking. Nice lacing on the glass. Mosaic and Sorachi Ace come through on the nose with corn body following. Sorachi shows up at the front of the taste with the mosaic following. Alcohol doesn't show through which is nice at 8%. Mouthfeel is smooth, refreshing on the pallet. I like the concept of the style and enjoy this one very much.

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Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Talked to Dan and Martha about this one. They used a corn mash to give the color a light hue. But the ABV is 8%. I like the sorichi ace and mosaic hop profile but it doesn't pop. I think the sugar from the mash really brings this beer to a sweeter profile and weighs it down. They said on their site that it's a low bodied, refreshing beer. I think it is neither of those. It's more a sipping beer than a summery light beer.
Regardless whether I think it's what they say on their website, I still think this is a great beer. The one thing about Dan and Martha is that they always get what they're out to produce. This is a phenomenal double IPA. Bottom line is that if you like it, drink it. I'm drinking as much of this as possible, while it lasts.

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Hopfenpop! from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 31 ratings