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Hedgerow Bitter | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Hedgerow BitterHedgerow Bitter
161 Ratings
Hedgerow BitterHedgerow Bitter

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

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
“Hops are bitter weeds of spite, That blunt the sugars, try to bite…”

We wanted a beer that was dry and bitter, and that’s what we got. 5.4% abv with all UK grown hedgerow variety hops: Pioneer, Boadicea and Sovereign. No American hops are used in the making of this beer.

You know what? If you think you like hoppy beers, this might surprise you. It’s a different kind of bitterness to US hops. These hops are leafy weeds, very bitter and less aromatic. The overall impression left is a slightly-roasty, special bitter with an aggressive and quite “wild” bitterness with a substantial dryness that lends to its drinkability. A pint glass beer, good for dry throats after long days of work.

58 IBU

Added by jamie2dope on 09-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 161 |  Reviews: 111
Photo of donkeyrunner
2.44/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

"If there's a bustle in your hedgerow don't be alarmed now." -Led Zeppelin

Dan is becoming like where's Waldo: from Buzzard's Bay to Holyoke and now brewing this at Mercury in Ipswich. Dark, opaque copper color with a white top hat. Good retention leaves whimsical, snowfall lacing. Bottled August - "1st Batch!"

Honestly, this beer smells like a mud puddle. As a trail runner and ultrarunner I know a mud puddle when I smell one. Faint aroma of damp soil and wet undergrowth. Some buttery caramel malt.

Despite an almost non-existent hop aroma this beer packs plenty of bitter. At least the name is appropriate. No real hop profile just plain, swampy bitter, and tobacco earthiness. Malt profile is a starfish despite a nice dry mouthfeel. I really had trouble finishing the bottle.

In summary: mud puddles and vines.

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Photo of Faina
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of socon67
2.58/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours pale golden with a gurgling foam on top. Clouy, and with decent lacing.

S - Slight smell of fruit. Has a bit of a hoppy scent, but very mild.

T - Not impressed. Tastes like a dry white wine; fruit notes of apple are there. No hop or malty profile at all. It really comes off like cheap table wine. The bitterness at the end feels slightly off-putting. Perhaps a bit unbalanced?

M - Bland. Not that it is offensive at all, but I could get the same kick off a macro. What makes this better than Bass Ale? I say very little.

O - Was floored to see the Bros like this so much. But to each their own. I just didn't find it worthwhile and have now gone off the hype of Pretty Things.

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Photo of bum732
2.65/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

S: Very bold pear esters, some mint, apple blossoms, floral, mostly roses.

L: Cloudy burnt orange, nice off-white creamy head, great retention and lacing.

T: Bitter leafiness, slight fruity malt that is quickly consumed by an astringent herbal dryness. An earthy and bitter leafiness in the finish with lots of dryness. Very attenuated.

M: Medium bodied, medium high carbonation. Astringent quality, unbelievably dry.

Wow, talk about being overattenuated. The bitterness in this beer gave me cottonmouth. Not sure if this is what the brewers were going for, but i needed at least some maltiness or sweetness, especially if you're going to call this an English pale ale. Very disappointing, especially since i loved all of their other beers. Didn't even finish the bottle.

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Photo of DrJay
2.68/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1st batch, bottled Aug. 2010.
A fluffy eggshell cap left tons of clumpy lacing on the glass. The beer was a bit cloudy, amber in colour. Good head retention. Hoppy aroma, not overly aggressive but certainly pungent. Notes of citrus zest, a bit powdery, fruity and earthy with mild caramel malt character. Powerful bitterness, lingering citrus oil and lemons, a bit resinous. There's a biscuity malt flavour present, but it's completely overpowered by the hops. Other flavours include some fruit and veggies, leafy and earthy hops, a bit bready. Medium to light bodied with moderate carbonation, fair texture, but seemed a bit thin in the finish. I'm not sure what happened here, but this seems out of balance to me.

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Photo of FunkyMacGroovin
2.76/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber labeled August 2010 (batch 1) poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Pours a deep, nearly opaque amber. Head is light, 2-3 fingers, and fades very quickly leaving a small amount of lacing. The nose is predominantly roasted malt with a bit of hops underneath. I've never had a beer made with entirely dwarf hop varieties before, and there is a noticeable difference in the smell between this and more standard hops.

The first few sips tasted of almost nothing but caramel malt, but as the beer warms a bit a strong hop bitterness comes through when I swallow. There is almost no hop taste besides the bitterness, which is unpleasant and lingering. The malt flavor does little to offset this, and overall the beer seems unbalanced and not particularly enjoyable. The mouthfeel is better - medium-full bodied and slightly effervescent - this much I like.

I don't know what direction Dann Paquette is going with this beer, but personally I don't really care for it. Drinkable but not impressive, it's my least favorite Pretty Things release to date. Thankfully there's still plenty of Jack D'Or to be had.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a amber red color with a nice fluffy white head. Aroma has subtle hop character of grass, tea leaves, and floral notes. The yeast adds a fruity character, but overall gives a young, green fermentation character.

Flavor lacks the malt depth I was expecting from an English Pale. Bitterness overshadows most of the malt character, but has an overall bland flavor and edge to it. This bitterness really doesn't add much to the beer. The "green" yeast flavor comes through again, tasting like a poorly aged homebrew. Mouthfeel is moderately carbonated with an appropriate malt body, but it feels a bit bland and lifeless. Not very enjoyable.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.81/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Another piece in my Pretty Things collection of ticks.
Bottled AUG 2010 1st BATCH! on the neck label. This is probably past its prime. Oh well.

A- It looks really nice. A big rocky white head is torn off in chunks that stick in patches to the glass. The beer is a burnt orange color with a little bit of a chill haze problem or something.

S- Dwarf hop varieties, eh? The aroma is pretty English pale smelling but hopped up (this is American, lets not forget that). A little bit of butter, toffee, dough, grass, pollen, clover honey, it smells almost like a hedgerow.

T- I keep going back and forth between a 2.5 and a 3 here, but I think Im going to settle at a 3. I have to consider the age, and for a 6 month old 5.4% pale ale it has stood up pretty well. That is to say the hoppiness that I imagine they were shooting for is still pretty strong. And it is certainly uniquely hopped, which I also believe is part of this beer's concept. The taste starts out buttery, on the smooth side and crackery. Wild flower and shrubbery overgrowth flavored hops break in and disrupt things. A little bit of boiled vegetables and husk rears up. The finish is pretty darn bitter and loaded with a medicinal taste. Ugh, I changed my mind. Better make it a 2.5.

D- Its that aspirin finish that ruins it. Perhaps thats due to this beers lack of freshness, but its making it really hard for me.

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Photo of aerozeppl
2.81/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Really hazy orange copper color. A finger of slightly off white head with some lacing.

S: Little bit of hop bitterness. Continental hops. There is some malt there but nothing really is popping out at me. My guess is a fairly complex grain bill.

T: The malt complexity is there but it really is just too bitter for the style. A little bit astringent as well. A touch of tobacco which was nice but not to style. It is quite fresh tasting though.

M: A little over carbonated. Light body for the most part.

D: This beer was a big miss for me. The malt is interesting but the carbonation hurt it. Maybe on cask this would be something. Not that enjoyable.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.83/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Brown colored beer, no haze, small white head. Faded to a tight ring.

S - Some herbal and grassy hops, some toffee, lightly toasted malts, a smell of something a bit rotten that is slightly discouraging.

T - Boring. Has some herbal notes, bit of toasted grain and some yeast.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Not a ton to say about this beer, I didn't like it a ton but it was only mildly offensive at worst. Basically just a boring beer I won't have again.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.88/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled July 2011. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

A - Thin white foam settles to a near-complete, thicker collar, and no lace. Transparent bronze body.

S - Fruity English ale yeast, some herbal hops with a faint vomit and garbage note, and sharp toffee. Not bad, but nothing special either.

T - Taste is a little worse. Neutral bread and yeast backdrop, with a hint of honey as well. Tangy herbal hops and moderate bitterness.

M - Slightly grainy medium body, moderate carbonation, no alcohol, and a oily and resinous finish.

D - Not horrendous, but pretty dull. Perhaps this was better fresh? I'd give it another chance if it were less than a month old, but otherwise I can't see myself taking the time to bother.

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Photo of rudzud
2.89/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a slightly hazy gold with a small slightly less than one finger head. Head dissolved quickly but left some nice light lacing along the side and on the brew.

S - Indistinguishably earthy. Not really citrus, or grass, just...earthy. Light bread/yeast notes but not much more.

T - Sadly, this isnt nearly as bitter as I thought it would be. Some light earthy notes and yeast flavors, much like the nose. There is some nice bitterness, but again not nearly as strong as I was led on to believe.

M - Almost rough. The medium/high carbonation, plus the dry aspects makes this rather rough around the edges.

D - Not bad, but not the best. So far my least favorite of the Pretty Things. Not bitter enough to be an English Bitter (they say this isnt a bitter), yet too bitter to be an English Pale ale, this is somewhere in the not so good middle.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a hazed, burnished gold body with a sudsy, white head. Satisfactory lacing.

Smell: An earthy nose of dank, damp, leafy herbs and a small sprinkling of citrus pith atop some simple biscuit-scented malts underneath.

Taste: Brief biscuit-toned maltiness, relatively light, and with a restrained level of sweetness before you're off to puckering bitter lemons, white willow bark, oil of rue, and spicy, dried, resinous herbs squeezing and smothering the tongue like the gnarled, thorny vines featured on the label. Cutting bitterness lasts through to the dry finish and beyond.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight oiliness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Sorry, but I'm just not seeing or tasting much cohesion among the various elements. Very meager malts set against particularly weedy, earthy hops akin to make a tea brewed of random roots, herbs, grass clippings, and barks found in one's backyard. While I've been keen on their other brews, I did not care for this one. Ah well.

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Photo of spycow
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of birchstick
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of mbs11
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of hreb
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Cold 22oz bottle, "bottled Aug 2010 1st batch" Served in pint glass. Beer pours a hazy orange amber with a fat white head. Faint tangy, yeasty aroma. The flavor is yeasty and bitter. Sharply carbonated. The main course of the beer is a healthy dose of hops. The label says "dwarf hop varieties", and I'm sure there are several, but the result is a muddled, mediocre flavor.

Maybe on draft or hand pump this would be a better example of the style. As it is it is overly gassed, over hopped, under clarified to be called an English Pale Ale. Sorry pretty things, this is not the most successful brew.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz poured into shaker.

This beer pours a darker yellow to copper with some haze. The problem I had was it was super carbonated. I poured very very slowly and it still foamed all over the place. It did smell pretty good though, with a bitterness to the nose, some lemon and a grassy bite. Taste was ok with a grass, and pine with a lemony soapy aftertaste. Mouthfeel was very effervescent to a point where I think it took away from the residual bitterness that could have come out on the tongue. Easy enough to drink, but I would probably pass.

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Photo of nassaubeercop
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle into a Sam Adams Pint/Nonic.

A- Pours Golden Brown with 3 finger "fluffy" white head, which dissipated in a few minutes leaving some nice rings of lacing.

S- Yeasty with a subdued balance of malt and hops.

T- Like the smell, well balanced yeast, malt a little hop forward. Dry and bitter on the finish.

M- Moderately high carbonation. Goes down very easily, like water. Drying and bitter aftertaste.

O- A nice and easy drinking Pale Ale. A little bit boring for my taste I should stick to IPAs. This beer would be a good intro for newbies to the world of craft brewing.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes from last night.

Pours a darkish orange-amber. Good one finger foam with some nice lace. Very green aroma, hedges and shrubbery. Feels a bit raw. Not enough malt subtlety shining through...hard to say if this is classified correctly. There's some herb mid-palate with a restrained bitterness, some other yeast character overpowering. Not a fan, feels a bit out of key throughout drinking the entire glass. The flavor is dominated by this greenness. Perhaps my avatar would like it better.

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Photo of joehiatt
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber bottle poured into a stemmed glass.

A - Not particularly attractive but not far from most english bitters. Some (chill) haze and a nice two fingers of stiff white head, though very coarse. Nice orange-y red hues.

S - Subtle, bready and sweet notes. Low hop aroma. Though I have a cold :)

T - Good, not great. A little to bitter for the style, IMHO.

M - Full, finishes a little dry, which is nice. Best attribute of the beer.

D - Was going to rate this lower but the lingering bitterness makes you want to take another sip, so...

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Photo of jegross2
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewing the Hedgerow Bitter from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project out of Massachusetts. My girlfriend's uncle and aunt from the Northeast got me this one. Thanks guys!
Score: 73

No bottling date. This bottle was received in late December 2011. Served in a Half Acre tulip and enjoyed on 02/26/12. This is a backlogged review from a beer tasting I hosted on Oscar night.

Appearance: Pours a translucent yellow/orange color with an orange core that fades to yellow at the top and bottom of the glass when held up to light. One and a half to two fingers of foamy off-white head at pour quickly settles into a thin foggy cap and bubbly ring around the glass. Above average lacing, above average retention. 3.5/5

Smell: First pull is bitter Fiji apple and a "juicy citrus" smell. There's also creamy malt, a "breadiness" and a barley-like spice in the aroma as well. The aroma is very subdued and not very complex. 3.5/5

Taste: Malty Fiji apple, barley and subtle hops. Maybe some pear. There's some stale apple juice upfront too. Super bitter malt backbone. A light tart apple flavor towards the back half. Not much else going on. Aside from the bitterness, the flavors are pretty subdued. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied, medium-light carbonation. Water mouthfeel. Savory, malty and bitter finish. 3/5

Overall: Reminds me (in a negative way) of Founders Pale Ale. Too juicy/malty, not enough hops, and an odd mix of bitter and sour flavor. The subtle flavors and bitter malt flavors scream "English style" here. I was glad to get the chance to try Hedgerow Bitter, but I would not approach this beer again in the future.

Recommendation: You can safely skip this beer unless you love Founders Pale Ale and bitter beers. Casual beer drinkers probably will not enjoy this one.

Pairings: Rum.

Cost: $7.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for half of this bottle

Review adapted from notes taken 2/5/11

Appearance: Nice, foamy head, an orange-brown color - nice lacing, certainly looks like an English Pale

Smell: Extremely earthy, leafy, herbal - toasted caramel malts underneath - smells dry and mineral-like, doesn't really create an inviting aroma

Taste: A bit strange - dry, extremely earthy - hard water - hops are grassy, herbal - somewhat bitter, but mostly just tastes like dirt - the lightly toasted biscuity malts make more of a presence as it warms up

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth despite the dry character, well-carbonated

Overall: Good, but very blah

Maybe this is not what I was expecting out of an English Pale Ale, or maybe I just do not care for hedgerow hops. Regardless, I did not love this beer. It was not bad, but it was not remarkable.

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Photo of NCSUdo
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, batch #1

A: Murky copper/brown body under a huge white head. Good lace and retention, which makes up for the body.

S: Herbal, medicinal, sometimes vegetable like hops, some kind of spice note in the aroma as well. After sitting a minute, the hops subside and give way to some caramel malty notes.

T: Sweet up front, then the muddled hops. Herbal, then pine, some mild bitterness in the finish and maybe some toasted malt in there too. A little all over the place.

M/D: Medium bodied, low carbonation. Drinkability is so-so and the mouthfeel helps. Overall, just a muddled beer, not balanced and not very good.

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Hedgerow Bitter from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 161 ratings
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