Baby Tree | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Baby TreeBaby Tree

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

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Baby Tree was our first Easter beer. We LOVE Easter here at Pretty Things. Usually after the long Boston winter, we’re itching to bring out the bunnies, bonnets and yellow fluffy chicks and get on with our Springtime.

The Baby Tree is a real tree. This must be said. It dwells in Sexhow and carries cavorting baby-dolls and in season, a few pears appear. It belongs to great friends of Dann & Martha, and they chose to rescue these small plastic people from a landfill-fate by allowing them to ride in their pear-tree many years ago. And thank heavens they did.

Our Baby Tree is a very magical, traveling tree filled with waving, happy babies, some of whom may or may not resemble Mikheil Gorbachev. There may also be some discrepancy in the number of limbs, but we cannot be sure where other baby heads may be poking through the leaves so we don’t worry ourselves about it. If you want, read our poem about it.

Baby Tree beer is a Pretty Things take on the best of Abbey-style brewing from Belgium. Inspired by monastic and abbey quadruples, embellished with dark fruit flavours, not too sweet, not too heavy, it’s a springtime beer with some of the richness of late winter. It makes it perfect year round, so that’s when we offer it! You should be able to find it most months of the year, on draft or in bottle.

All in all, it’s our way of bringing a bit of Springtime to you and to us, all year round. Hooray!

Added by twelvsies on 04-21-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 351 | Ratings: 820
Photo of Rhettroactive
1.45/5  rDev -62.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

From 22oz bomber to snifter on 8/18/11
*From notes

A: Unpleasant turd brown. It looks dirty. A standard pour yields a 1.5 finger head that fade fast. Almost no lacing rims the glass.

S: How is it possible that a Quad smells like a Kolsch? Simple earth. Bland and uninspired.

T: Warm caramel up front, though that's where the pleasantries end. Have you ever been unlucky enough to catch the smell of a paper plant, downwind? Well folks, that's what this (so-called) beer tastes like. Fart inoculated prune juice, literally dipped into a monster truck rally Porta-Potty. It's toxic, and abusive to my palate, my stomach and the drain.

M: What feel? Close your eyes and you'll swear you're drinking an adjunct lager or blasé session beer. Really, I'm not kidding. Thin, overcarbed and oily.

O: Pretty Things Baby Tree is a massive, epic failure beyond compare. It's a terrible, vomit inducing beer. It's also an insult to the Quad classification. If asked, "What's the worst beer you've ever had?" Baby Tree will certainly be on my short list. I sincerely hope there was something wrong with this particular bottle, but I'll never return to this redheaded stepchild to find out.

I'd rather huff jenkum then drink this again.

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Photo of corby112
2.14/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a dark mahogany/plum color with dark ruby hues when held to a light source and a one finger yellowish beige head that slowly fades into a thin cap and lasting ring.

Very earthy(soil like aroma) that is slightly tart with lots of estery, sweet dark fruit notes and subtle earthy hops. When I say earthy I mean that this literally smells like earth/dirt. There's also a lot of sweet alcohol and plenty of dark fruit. Lots of plum, raisin, tart dark cherry and berries.

Earthy medium body that is very sweet with a soft tart presence. Again, there is a very earthy, dirt like flavor up front that lingers throughout. Lots of estery sweet dark fruit notes especially plum, prune, raisin, tart dark cherries and other dark berries. Slightly cloying but there is a decent amount of tart character to balance this. Slight alochol sweetness but no warmth in the finish. Slightly metallic and syrupy with subtle hops. There's just a bit too much going on here for my liking and I find it way too sweet.

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Photo of laituegonflable
2.24/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a murky red colour that thins out to the bottom. Head is fine and off-white, thin film with a steady bead. Lace is sticky but not too thick. Looks good.

Smells a bit meh. Slight spice and a fair amount of yeast and sweet grain. Slight bland sourness like a soft drink and some corn and vanilla on the back. Bland, bit sweet and simple.

Taste is... actually worse. Grainy, with a bland and watery adjuncty edge. Corn and rice mainly that descends into a chemical and metallic mid-palate, bland as well with a dour dryness that really has no character. Just tastes like fermentation with nothing behind it. Dry, bland, mostly unpleasant but not quite impressive enough for me to form much of an opinion.

Thin, mostly invisible body. No texture, really. Bland and insipid.

I was served this blind and had no idea it was meant to be a quad. Now I recognise quad as probably the hardest style to brew well, but I think there's been a big failure here even to create a faux-quad character. It feels like there's substitute ingredients, no interesting flavours and an overall distasteful sensation. Disappointing.

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Photo of telecomz
2.36/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty Things are homeboys. I love them. This beer disappointed.

A. Color is a medium to dark brown. Minimal head.

S. Aromas are weak, No fruit. Some yeast. Some caramel malt and smells of brown sugar. Not the best quad smell.

T. Taste is way too hoppy. I love hoppy; just not in this style. No real fruit; some sweetness. No complexity. OK.

M. Medium bodied. .

D. I love quads. This is no quad. So disappointed.

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Photo of far333
2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Mahogany colored, not quite opaque, with some ruddy orange at the edges. An off-white head rises up to a half-inch of foam that settles out way too quickly.

Low aroma of sweet malt and yeast funk.

Flavor fairly matches the aroma, full of rich malt, some dark fruits, and an overpowering yeasty and phenolic flavor that detracts from the whole experience. Somewhat one-dimensional.

Watery mouthfeel, a bit slick. Overall could be darker, richer and maltier for me, with reduced phenols.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.87/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to angrybabboon for half the bottle.

Appearance: Deep reddish/brown. Head is off-white, slightly rocky, and thin. Leaves faint cap on the top of the beer. Pours on the thin side. Carbonation looks high.

Smell: Plums and Belgian yeast. Spice and dark fruit. It smells on point. Booze, caramel malts, faintly bready. Loads of spice, clove and pepper. Lacks some depth. Big aroma up front, but not a lot on the long take. Sweet, almost like fruit juice.

Taste: Big surprise here, plums and Belgian yeast. Sweet caramel malts and candi sugar. Fruit is raisins and just a touch of dark fruit juice (plums!). Warms to a Belgian monstrosity. Tastes more akin to a dubbel than a quad. Flavors fail to meld in any cohesive way. Big yeast assault followed by malts. Also, booze.

Mouthfeel: Thin and slightly overcarbonated. A little harsh on the sip. Drinks like a fizzy dubbel.

Overall: One of the more lackluster offerings I've had from Pretty Things. The flavors never really hit it for me and the carbonation was killer. It's a nice try for the American take on the style, but there are better examples out there. I'm missing the desired complexity of the style.

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Photo of mikul93
2.89/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A Pours a very murky dark brown with a tint of red. Nice healthy head. Minimal lacing.

S I'm not really liking the smell. I'm not getting much. Some plum is coming through, caramel and slight bready malts.

T Much better than the nose. You get that sweet malt right away, some dark fig. Slight bitter aftertaste

M Medium body. good carbonation.

O This beer was a disappointment. I would not seek this out again. The nose was just not that great and the taste was forgettable.

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Photo of Homebrew35
2.93/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dec 2010 tag.
Pours one fingers worth of off white creamy head. Cola
colored clear body.

Smells of Carmel, earthy hops, some figs and plum. Touch of alcohol mixed with big fruity esters.

Taste is sweet dark fruits, cherries, plums and grapes. Mixed with Carmel and earthy hops. A sharp and lingering metallic taste just about ruins this one. It's a bit disappointing to be honest.

Mouthfeel is medium thin. Medium carbonation. The finish is a touch oily to go along with the metallic taste.

Overall this had some good qualities but the metallic finish hurts this one quite a bit.
$6 a Bomber

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Photo of DearthVader
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bomber poured to Green Man snifter (thanks for the awesome glass Alex).

Pours a charred brown with vibrant read hues around the edges. When I put it up to the computer screen, it does let some light through, but not much. A nice slightly off white head forms, but fades quickly to a thick crown. Spotty lacing is left behind.

Smell is of raisins, cherries, figs, other dark fruits. Everything is kind of dull, and I look for a very bold aroma in my quads.

Taste is upfront with a cherries and figs. Its very hard to pick up much else. Once again, I expect more from a big beer like a quad.

Mouthfeel IMO was extremely light. Very watery and unlike most in the style.

I am very glad that Pretty Things' distribution is making it's way to California. I've liked a lot of the beers I've had by them, but this one was somewhat of a let down. I wouldn't mind giving it another shot sometime, but it just wasn't for me.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 22 Feb '11

A: Brown Red Ruby and orange tinted. 1/4" head dissipates quickly with minimal lacing

S: Not very fragrant at all. Really have to get in there good to get anything. First thing I get is spices, touched with candied sugar. Allspice, clove... hard to get any of the plum in the nose.

T: Light body, taste, and barely any detectable alcohol. Some barely there, curious sweetness complemented by an also curious hint of barely. Again plum not detectable. It seems like the dryness of the malt body:carbonation dynamic masks a lot here. Not belgian like at all. Interplay of things is interesting but honestly nothing is prominent or very noteworthy.

M: Malt flows throughout in this light mouthfeel, leaving a slight dryness which seems to be at no cause of the moderately low carbonation.

O: Had high hopes, and was prety dissappointed. I will revisit, possibly after aging this batch, and trying others.

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Photo of nkersten
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Batch 4. Poured from bottle into Oerbier tulip. Pours a cloudy dark opaque brown, quarter inch head fades to sides with nice lacing. Not a lot in the smell. Some fruit, a decent amount of hops given the age, iron, and belgian yeast. Taste is also bitter, much more hoppy then i would guess for the style or age. Yeast flavor follows, some candy sugar and a bit of roasted malt. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and clean, but I would like a quad to be a bit heavier. None of the flavors really mesh up in this beer, every taste is fighting to be in front. I find myself begrudgingly going back to this, so based on flavor alone this has a low drinkability.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled June 2010 Batch 6

A= Pours a dark mahogany, a finger of creamy off white head. Nose has a light spicy character, toffee, earthy dryness, hint of tart fruits like (plum)

S= I really smell the dark fruits like plum in this nose it kind of stands out for me.

T= Dark fruits really come out in the taste with a little bit of spice. Kind of on the bitter side for me.

M= To me it was kind of a medium beer leaning to the heavy side.

D= Was kind of hard for me to finish the bomber didn't really care for it that much.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

August 2011 Bottle Date, enjoyed 4/28/13

A: The beer pour out of the bottle brown in color that looks decent clean and allows a lot of light to peer through. About two fingers of off white head builds up, but only waits around for a few minutes. No bubbles are noted. 3.5

S: The aroma is very sweet, with some dark fruits coming through although I wouldn't describe this as fruity. It's musty, with esters and Belgian yeasts playing the strongest notes. 3.5

T: The taste is very sweet, but otherwise balanced. The candied sugar, yeasts, spices, and a caramel character all come together, but can't quite balance out. I'm left with an aftertaste that isn't great, but that I don't particularly like. 3

MF: It's too thin and below average on the carbonation front. The drinkability is injured by the bad aftertaste. 2.5

O: It's good, but doesn't stand out in this style. Would have benefited from the dried plums they stopped adding about a month before this came out. 3

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Photo of hannydawg
3.11/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 6 June 2010

Poured into a Rochefort Chalice

A- Deep brown with red and orange tints. A one and a half finger off white head fades into a light film. Moderate lacing is present.

S- Prunes dominate other dark fruits, with caramel malts and spicy yeast present as well.

T- Very pruney, some spiciness due to the yeast. As the beer warms, the fruitiness turns bitter, almost medicinal . I have found this "medicine" taste in quite a few American interpretations of this style.

M- Medium body and the carbonation seems about spot on.

O- I am glad I had this if nothing else to confirm my notions that quads should be left to the Belgians. The yeast didn't incorporate into the fruits, and the whole thing was a bit muddled.

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Photo of impending
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz into a tulip. Pours a copper cola, dull uninspired color in the glass, minimal head, nearly non existent lacing.

Aroma of a rich strong dark, the plums sing loudly backed by yeasty caramel. The scent is high notes, none low. A nice phenolic touch.

Taste begins nicely with the bitter sweet dark fruits. Unfortunately a metallic, phenolic note comes on strong as the aftertaste begins to fade. Medium bodied mouthfeel.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is dark amber in color with a couple fingers of off-white head.

S: Rather heavy on the toasted malt aromas. Caramel sweetness with a little bit of burnt sugar and hints of dark fruits. A mild level of roasted malts. There's a slight acidity to the nose, not quite sour.

T: Caramel and toffee give a decent enough sweetness. But, this is pretty bitter for a Quad/Belgian strong. Some sweet dark fruits, toasted malt, and the same acidic character from the nose. There's also a little bit of a metallic taste.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Pretty Things beers continue to disappoint me. This just didn't have many/any of the characteristics I look for in a Quad.

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Photo of Krakistophales
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very dark plum color with almost no head and just a bit of lacing with some bubbles up top.

S: Some sweetness, a touch of caramel and malts, though very faint. Otherwise, not much going on.

T: At first a touch of unidentifiable sweetness, followed by a bit of zest I would imagine from hops, followed by a slight caramel finish. Not much going on here either.

M: Well carbonated, goes down easily, warms nicely.

O: This has to be the blandest quadrupel I've ever had. Maybe it's too cold? I'm not too sure. Even flavorful cold beers have flavor when chilled well.

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Photo of loren01
3.17/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark red color, not very much head, no lace down the glass
S: Smells of dark fruit. Apples/pear. Belgian yeast.
T: Fruity (apple/pear) also dark fruit plum, fig. Finishes very dry and astringent.
M: Medium bodied a little light on the carbonation
D: Not real easy drinking, kindof astringent and dry. Not the best quad ever.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Bottled April 2009, First Batch" Opaque dark brown with a light, beige head. Continental bubble retention throws up some splashy lace.

Smells of spicy tropical fruit (like a Belgian monk fermented some Starburst), prune, and a charred firewood kind of caramel.

Plum, spice, and woody chocolate powder. Airy and lighter than most quads but also muddled and kinda eh. No lingering aftertaste to demand the next sip, the flavor dissapears with the swallow.

I hear tell Pretty Things tweaked batch 2 so I may give that a go but I'm pretty (ha!) all set with batch 1.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650ml bomber brought back from New York to Sydney, shared with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a pleasant deep brown, with a slight haze to it. Head is very light, almost eggshell white, and forms some patches of splotchy lace. Body is pleasantly thick, and fine carbonation is abundant when tilted. Looks decent.

Nose is round and slightly sweet, with hints of vanilla and just a touch of spice. It has very little depth or complexity to it, but it does exemplify the Belgian aromas well enough.

Taste is flat. Thin with little sweetness or depth. it sits on the tongue for a while and then disappears. Slight spicy esters and a boozy heat, but there's almost nothing to it flavour-wise. It almost tastes like a beer that is way, way, way beyond its effective drinking date. Everything has flattened to an insipid, slightly oxidised nothingness. Mouthfeel is similar.

Overall, I'm exceedingly disappointed with this. Pretty Things have done some interesting beers in the past, but this is pretty insipid, and an extremely average attempt at a quad that gives the style a bad name.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a chestnut in color, no foamy head and no carbonation. The aroma is weak with malts and some dark fruits maybe raisons.
Taste is of rich malts dark fruits and candied sugar.
Touch of metallic.
Medium body, dry finish some alcohol.
Perhaps better on tap somewhere but not from this bottle.

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Photo of ADZA
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok time for a quad and it pours a chestnut hue with the creamiest three finger head and lacing everywhere,the smell is brown sugar,sweet plums and candi sugar,the mouthfeel is full bodied but a touch syrupy roasted caramel,brown sugar,dark plums and finished with a candi sugar sweetness and overall for me it's just too sweet for a proper abbey ale instead of tasting like liquid bread it comes across more of liquid Xmas pudding and not my sort of quad cheers.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.22/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear medium copper color ale with a super large light brown head with great retention and some very good lacing. Aroma of light brown sugar notes with some light maple syrup notes and light dry fruits. Taste is a nice mix of brown sugar and light dry fruits with not as much character as expected. Body is below average for style with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I must admit to being slightly disappointed by this one with thin body and not much character but again though style to brew considering the best in style.

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Photo of kkipple
3.22/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Batch #2, July 2009! Thanks to kkipple for sharing this.

A. Light brown, nice dusting of tan head, cloudy red-brown, good lacing. So far...

S. Pretty (ha!) good nose, lots of esters, banana, clove, brown sugar, interesting yeast character, spice, booze... the works. Probably the best part of this beer.

T. Initially sweet, sugary, dark fruit, esters, (yes!), but rather falls apart as soon as you swallow this -- turns into a medicinal, bitter, Aspirin-like mess. Unpleasant. Man, why couldn't this beer finish out better? Almost there, but dies in the end. A pity.

M / D. Quads are hard to do right. This starts out well - good nose, flavor, body is just right - but ends in a thin, bitter, ugly abrasive finish. :-( And I mean, :-(

Baby Tree, why have thou failed me?! I really wanted to like you. Baby Tree is the attractive redhead at the bar who at first agrees to go home with you, but knees you in the balls when you begin the walk to her car. Use caution.

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Photo of stakem
3.22/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber bottled July '09, Batch 2 poured into a snifter. This is a very attractive looking brew. It pours a dark brown with 2 fingers worth of yellowish stained froth composed of large bubbles. The cap slowly fades leaving a webbing of lacework on the glass. When held to the light, this brew shows brilliant clarity and deep ruby hue through the body. A light swirl revives a finger of head back to the surface.

The aroma initially is sweet with candy moreso than malt. It picks up some herbal hop components and an indication of sulfur that hangs from the middle of the nose through to the back. As it comes up to temperature, there are some caramel malt indications that start to combine with the candy to form a pretty decent aroma that initially was not that appealing.

The taste is sweet with a slight belgian candy-ish flavoring that is met with a minor amount of caramel malt. Hops are present with an herbal bitterness to keep the sweetness in check. The alcohol is fairly evident for 9% with a calm dryness that persists to the finish along with a light spiced aspect somewhat like clove. The finish is a bit green and yeasty with some fusel alcohol warmth and flavoring mixed with some belgian phenols. I get a light mineral taste lasting inside the mouth long after each sip mixed with the herbal hops.

This is a medium bodied brew with a very modest level of carbonation. The alcohol is present and fitting for the listed 9% with both flavor and warming factor. This brew seems like a bit of a jumbled mess that never really came together and blended well. While the sweetness, hops and alcohol are balanced well, the flavors and aromas seem a bit off. It isn't a bad brew by any stretch but it also isn't something I think I would return to again if given other options. The label states this brew was made with dried plums. I believe there are other examples of the style available that incorporate more plum flavoring without actually using plums in the brew.

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Baby Tree from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
3.86 out of 5 based on 820 ratings.
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