Baby Tree | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Baby TreeBaby Tree
Very Good
820 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 820 |  Reviews: 351
Photo of ottovon
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

shared with whiterascal

A: pours out a dark mahogony with a light tan head, that fell after a minute or so.

S: it has a sweet smell. smells of caramel, dark fruits and plum, breadyness.

T: it starts sweet with some dark fruit notes. has a bit of caramel/toffee in there. it finishes somewhat bitter. i wasnt expecting that.

M: it has a thin-medium mouthfeel. the mouthfeel isnt bad, but a little thinner than i would think for a quad.

D: it is quite drinkable for the abv. it is a tasty beer.

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Photo of corby112
2.14/5  rDev -45.3%
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 ChainGangGuy
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The whimsically labeled Baby Tree pours out a clouded, very dark brown body with a tall, creeping, light beige head.

Smell: A maltiness that's dark, bready but, when combined with the sweet-smelling and spice aspects of the nose, takes on a seasonal spice cake scent. However, the aroma is not, at any point, particularly profuse, kind of mild, in fact.

Taste: A spicy coating of freshly-grated cinnamon and earthy nutmeg atop oven-toasted bread and lightly roasted grains. Sprinkling of sticky dark brown sugar. Fruitiness akin to dates and prune skins, though there's also a small hint of banana-flavored bubble gum lurking within. A bit more table sugar. Picks up a bitterness nearing the end that, with the aid of a cutting vein of alcohol, helps to temper the initial sweetness for the spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body and a medium-plus carbonation combine for a somewhat hefty mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It's nice. An interesting brew that grows on you as easily as farm-fresh babies in a tree.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Baby Tree. Bottled June 2010. Batch 6. Just about 7 months old.

It pours a hazy light chestnut brown with crimson and orange highlights. The finger thick head of frothy light tan is relatively short lived. It leaves wide swatches of lace behind, but they fade to medium sized spots rather quickly.

The aroma displays dark skinned fruit and light caramel malt. It's lightly phenolic and spicy from the Belgian yeast. Pleasant and unobtrusive.

The flavor follows the aroma. It's a bit bitter, however. I hadn't looked at the listed style (quad) until now, and I didn't recognize it as such; not so much because of the amount of malt present as much as the higher level of bitterness. The yeast character is nicely balanced, and I love the spice, raisin, and caramel.

If it's to be considered as a Belgian-style quadrupel, the body's a little thin. It could at least use a little more residual sugar to give it a bit of a dextrinous edge. Yet it remains somewhat creamy; and at least smooth. The alcohol doesn't help, but at the same time it's at least fairly well hidden within the flavor.

Forgetting style, and simply taking it for what it is, I find it to be an enjoyable beer, and fairly interesting. It is a bit bitter, but I don't feel that's completely out of place. Would it work better if it was a bit sweeter? Most likely, yes. If it didn't follow a particular style would it work? I'd also say yes. However, it is a bit less drinkable because of it. The bitterness of the hops and the bitterness of the dark fruit skins combine, and then stick in the mouth. It almost finishes with a bit of a licorice note. But then again, I have to ask, is that such a bad thing? Style not taken into account, maybe not. You'll have to judge this one for yourself.

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Photo of kwjd
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Botted in June 2010, batch 6. Pours a ruby brown colour, with very thin head. Head dissipates fairly quickly. Smells stongly of dark fruit, must me the plum. There is also some brown sugar with a mild Belgian yeast aroma. Flavour has a bit of tartness to it, but quite sweet overall. Thin mouthfeel for the style.

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

June 2010, batch 6.

A: Deep amber-brown with a light-tan head, thin ring of retention, some leg/lace.

S: Prunes, brown sugar, maraschino cherries, light spicing, sponge toffee, rye bread.

T: Dried prunes (I know it's plums, but I taste prunes), brown sugar, treacle, dark caramel, sponge toffee, rye bread, maraschino cherries, light earthiness and orange rind. A little more bitterness than typical for the style. I like it.

M: Well-attenuated, moderately full body has a light residual sweetness and a hint of acidity.

D: A really easy drinker for the style/weight.

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Photo of anotherpg
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- a beautiful pour. Rust color, with a bright head right out of the bottle that settles down and then leaves a nice lace down the side of the glass.

S- smells of brandy/candied pears. The alcohol comes off slightly here.

T- first taste is sweet then the prunes kick in. Yes, this beer tastes strongly of prunes -- also known as dried plums. It's an unusual, not entirely unpleasant flavor, but what others have described as medicinal, I would say is merely the natural flavoring of plums plus bittering hops.

M- chewy, frothy, like a good Belgian beer.

D- again, there's so much to like about this beer but the flavor makes it a little slower to drink and by the time I finished the 22oz bottle, I didn't want another straight away.

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Photo of loren01
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
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 LiquidBread219
3.08/5  rDev -21.2%
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 deltatauhobbit
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled September 2010
Batch 8

Pours a dark amber color with a dark purplish color, hardly any head and it fades lightning fast, no lacing on the glass, looks almost flat and calm at times.

Smell has a rich malt aroma, subtle hints of dark fruit, obviously plum, I can pick up a hint of astringency, candied sugar.

Taste is surprisingly thin for this quad, the carbonation is very very soft and almost no existent but I wouldn't call it flat, the primary flavor is candied sugar mixed with plum and malt, for the most part it works quite well except for the strength, the alcohol is quite evident.

This bottle is quite fresh, I think maybe having a year on it would do wonders and I'd be willing to try it again sometime, especially since I'm a huge plum fan.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 8. Tremendous thanks to ventura78 for the amazing hookup!

A - Dark, rust colored, and murky. There was about a finger and a half of bubbly tan head.

S - Definitely some belgo-yeast funk. Loads of dark fruits; definitely the plums. Sweetness, and more fruit esters. There is some banana in there as well.

T - Dark and fruity, more of that banana. Slight yeasty spice, caramel and some extra sweetness.

M - Medium in body, little carbonation, smooth.

D - A real easy drinker. ABV is not noticeable, and overall, tasty quad.

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Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Belgianesque, with a massive head that sits atop the mahogany liquid; plenty of lacing action

Smell: Plummy, with spice cake and candi sugar elements

Taste: Dark fruit flavors, up front, with prune (excuse me, dried plum) and spice cake elements; by mid-palate, however, the beer diverges from the expected path, as a bitter medicinal aspect takes over and after the swallow, the medicinal flavors linger on the palate (Dann, the brewer, considers it to be a marzipan flavor)

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation; very Belgian mouthfeel

Drinkability: Other than the marzipan flavor, which I don't particularly care for, I like everything about this beer

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Photo of bobsy
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich mahogany with a finger of off-white head. Some nice lace spots left behind. Sweet, spiced aroma definitely has plum notes, but lacks a little depth. Surprisingly bitter upfront, with a definite mineral character. Plum, cocoa, cofee, nuts and brown sugar follow it up to create a decent profile, though unbalanced and ering too close to bitterness to work well for the style. Decent medium body and carbonation.

A pretty decent quad, though I find the bitterness distracting, and can't help but think that something mellower would let the plums shine more. Cheers Eric!

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 6, bottled June 2010 - brought back from Victoria this last time.

Pours a dark mahogany, a finger of creamy off white head. Nose has a light spicy character, toffee, earthy dryness, hint of tart fruits.

Interesting take on the style, wouldn't really call it a quad though. Toffee, toast, rich caramel malts, earth, nut shells, walnut,cocoa, molasses, hint of plum which comes across slightly tart, really long lasting bitterness from the hops, bone dry finish. Light sweetness but left feeling, that to showcase the plum a bit more, less bitterness and a more rounded sweetness would help. Still, I enjoy a dry complex beer so this is still pleasantly drinkable.

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Photo of Mess
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber, dated October 2009 - batch 3. Cellared. Poured into a Rapscallion snifter in a nod to Dann's past.

Rich mahogany color. Inch thick off-white head. Jam, sweet tarts? in nose. Plum there too. Nice Belgian lace.

Sour and tart, with hint of sweetness. Cloys a bit like cranberry juice. Last time I tried this a few years ago was a totally different beer. Wild yeast infection likely - Brett? But surprisingly works. Finishes tart and dry.

Rated it based on Quad - but for an infected Quad - fairly complex. Perhaps try this on purpose?

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Photo of claspada
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby/brown with a medium frothy light tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left nice lace.

Aromas of light caramel and biscuity malt sweetness and some notes of prunes, apples and pears. Alcohol notes as well as it warms.

The tastes are all dark fruit up front with prunes being the most notable. Caramel/molasses sweetness is present but not overwhelming in fact it accents the fruit flavours very nicely. Mild earthy hop notes and a touch of alcohol warming in the drying finish.

The mouthfeel is medium-heavy but not too thick or cloying, which is a huge factor when I judge a beer.

Overall this is quite nice and a solid American Quad offering, less carbonated that the traditional Belgian examples which is good or bad depedning on your preferences. Nice flavors meld well together and make for a very pleasant brew.

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Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber: This one pours a dark caramel brown color. There was a pretty substantial off white head on it that lingers a bit and leaves some lacing. Nice nose, but a little light for a quad. Some spices up front, of which clove is the most prevalent. Some sugary caramel and some dark fruits also. Medium bodied, which seems a little light for a quad. Taste is good. A nice little bit of spice to the start. A bit of caramel, dark fruits, but a very minimal sweetness to it. A nice enough beer, but not quite up to par with some other Quads.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from batch 4 poured into a tulip glass.

Look: dark, rusty color and orangey foam. The head retains well and leaves a good deal of lacing.

Smell: dark fruit with some spices, like clove and pepper. Plum, grapes, and alcohol are all there in equal measure. Smells very sweet.

Taste: follows the nose. Dark fruit, especially plum pop out very strongly, with some grape flavors almost like a red wine. The alcohol is obvious to the point that I'm surprised it is just 9.00% ABV. I would place it at around 12.

Feel: medium bodied, nicely carbonated, some alcohol warmth, and not much bitterness without being too sweet.

Drink: drinkable... for a quad. I wouldn't have this all night but getting to the bottom of the glass is not a problem.

Overall, a decent beer. Its not world class but its a respectable effort. I would give it a try but wouldn't seek it out if it weren't available to me. Cheers!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Finally getting the notes in for this one. Picked a bottle up from Capone's quite a few months back. Served in a tulip glass.

The color is dark brown with a nice tan head and a good dosing of lacing as the head sinks down to a thin layer. The nose is quite a bit of dark fruits with some figs and plum skin plus a bit of molasses and brown sugar. Some very light roast character.

The flavor is along the same lines with a bit of booze. Dark fruits pervade along with a bit of Belgian yeast. The plums are apparent, but not overpowering. The mouthfeel is a big of a big dive from here, as there is an unpleasant metallic astringency in the finish. It drinks well enough in the end, but there are a few little things that prevent this from being all that drinkable.

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Photo of bruachan
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

good froth on deeep ruby. respectable lacing to start

dark fruit aromas. quite yeasty. i smell something plummy

very spiced flavors. very bitter. very dry. i taste dried fruit to be sure, but i don't know if i would have identified the fruit dried as plum. strong woody and blackcurrant hop flavors

mouthfeel is oddly dry, which a quad doesn't wear too well. and the hops are over the top...let the yeast and complex beliganisms shine! i feel the same way about residual sugars: leave some so that i can revel in the yeasty-strong-quad complexity!

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Jwiss22 for this bottle. Cheers, pal!

Batch 4

Appearance -- Pours a deep garnet hue with two fingers of stiff and foamy beige head. Not bad for this side of the pond.

Smell -- Very aromatic, indeed. Yeasty, with an abundance of clove and banana. Prune, red grape, apples and pears. Some mild earthy hop presence. Surprisingly little alcohol.

Taste -- Wow, very unconventional. Sweetness and, to a lesser degree, alcohol, are muted. Like the nose, yeast flavors are in the forefront: earthiness, clove, some banana. Rum raisin, prune sweetness, and plum skin tartness combine for a unique interplay I've yet to experience in a Quadrupel. Bitterness is pronounced with earthy hops, fruit skin tannins, and perhaps some of the yeast character. Lingering yeast earthiness and plum skin tartness.

Mouthfeel -- Feels a bit light on the palate, but with ample fluffy carbonation. Could use more weight.

Drinkability -- I'm not sure what to think about this one. I, mean, I like it, but this probably wouldn't be what I reach for when I'm in a Quadrupel kind of mood. Nice depth of flavor, I do like the fruit tartness present, but I miss the sweetness and perhaps the alcohol as well. All in all, another interesting brew from Pretty Things.

Note: The more I drink this, the more I like it. Really comes into it's own around room temperature.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany colored body with ruby red highlights. A fluffy off-white head, about 2 fingers thick appears at first and slowly fades, leaving a nice lace behind.

Aroma is full of phenolic spice and lots of fruitiness. The large portions of plums adds quite a bit to the aroma, but they do not mask the rest of the aroma.

Fruits dominate the flavor, with the plums taking charge here. In the background, hints of phenolic yeastiness and some malty flavors. Hops flavors are essentially non-existent.

Mouthfeel has a medium body feel, with a nice velvety smoothness. Overall a very enjoyable beer and a unique quad.

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Photo of Pencible
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a hazy dark mahogany with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like juicy plumb and sweet brown sugar, with some earthy molasses and spicy Belgian yeast.
T: It tasted like grassy and copper hops and dark fruit, with a little brown sugar and spicy Belgian yeast. It had a clean but surprisingly bitter aftertaste.
M: It was thin with moderate carbonation. Wish it was bottle conditioned.
D: This was a mediocre beer, but it could have been much better if it was aged a year and bottle conditioned. Clearly an American attempt at a Belgian style, with strangely high hop levels. The alcohol was well hidden, so it was easy to drink, but it just didn't taste right. Not worth buying again.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

label says "first batch" april 2009. from notes, tasted in june 2009.

very dark, amber brown. dark ruby amber tones under the light. no sediment on first pours. 1.5-finger, light tan head, fades to thin, foamy, creamy layer, relatively constant, due to being replenished by the etching in my duvel tulip. just a few splotches of lace tho.

aroma: brown sugar maltiness, fresh prunes, cherries, rum, molasses, licorice, anise, hint of cocoa? mild grassy hop note. vanilla? dark caramel throughout.

taste: spicier and more phenolic, but still plenty of caramel, brown sugar and fruit. grassy hop gives mild to moderate bitterness, lingers gently. playing w/ spice and phenols. complex, but could be richer. moment of watered down character.

medium body, sometimes light, but pretty smooth overall w/ faint astringency in the finish. mild carbonation helps maintain body and gives lift to the flavors.

the taste score should be something like 3.8 or 3.9, but if i marked it 3.5, the weight of the scoring system would be too detrimental to the overall score. same with mouthfeel, which should be a 3.7 or so. to compromise, i gave the drinkability a 3.5, when otherwise i feel 4.0 would be appropriate.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a small, tan head of foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of raisin, plum and rich malt. Some floral hop aromas, too.

T - Great dried fruit flavors - raisin, plum and apple. It had a rich caramel malt flavor. Just enough bitterness to balance the sweet.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a slightly chewy mouthfeel. A medium to full bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a really tasty quad. I'm glad I got to try this one.

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Baby Tree from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 820 ratings