Hedgerow Bitter | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

111 Reviews
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.

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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 161
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$6.35 bomber from Abe's.

Hazy, slightly dark orange body, topped by a fluffly, rocky white four finger head. Good lacing.

Aroma features fresh bread, with a yeast accent.

Soft semi-sweet caramel malt beginning, followed by heaping balance of earthy English hops.Taste really is well balanced, as hoppy at the end as it was malty to start, each getting equal time on stage.

Firm light-medium mouthfeel.

Overall, a very enjoyable English Pale Ale. Pretty Things delivers again.

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Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is dark yellow and slightly hazy in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that died down, consistently leaving lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of bready malts and floral hops in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of bready and grainy malts and has a light amount of bitterness, which persists through the aftertaste.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is easy to drink and is very sessionable.

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Photo of pburland23
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a dimpled mug.

I'm watching some EPL football this dreary Saturday morning and wanted a beer that fit the occasion, so I grabbed the bottle of Hedgerow Bitter from the fridge.

Beer pours a light, golden color with rusty highlights around the edges. About two fingers of clean, white head were the by-product of the pour. Great head retention and some please wisps of lacing remain.

Smell hints at bitterness with notes of pale malt sweetness. Taste is creamy with aggressive upfront, herbal hops bitterness. The bitterness from the English hops varieties is more dry and earthy than the hops you usually encounter. There some malt backbone, but enough to completely balance out the marauding hops bitterness. Finish is exceedingly dry.

Mouthfeel is middling and quite creamy. Lots of carbonation which adds to the creaminess. A touch prickly, but very drinkable.

Overall, a lot of flavor and character packed into a 5.4% beer. Flavorful, but would be helped by toning back the dryness and bitterness a touch. Both hang around a little bit longer than optimal.

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Photo of nassaubeercop
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
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 Hopilator
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped a twenty two ounce bottle, as I poured it into a pint glass, I was greeted by a yeasty aroma. The beer has a new copper color, with an orange hue, and a low head that disappeared quickly. Almost no hop aroma, but replaced with an air of malt and yeast. Fresh, fine bitterness on the tongue, good carbonation (which hides some of the malt character), lacing. This is a beer that is meant to be drank, if you know what I mean.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 8/31/11 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, some honey, some fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a good burst of hops bitterness comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to pound down for a long time.

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Photo of claspada
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Aromas begin with earthy, damp, leafy herbs and coupled with some citrus rind. Then you get the biscuity, bready, doughy, slightly sweet maltiness.
The tastes begin with semi-powerful bitterness, lingering citrus oils and lemons, a bit resinous surprisingly. There's a biscuity malt flavors, but the hops linger and dominate the aftertaste. As it warms you get more of the hops flavors including some leafy and earthy hops, a bit bready.
The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with moderate carbonation. Finish is fairly crisp and clean but drinks a little heavy for the style.
Overall this is pretty tasty, not really to style, but still good. A little too bitter for an English Pale Ale, would def classify it more as and English IPA or a super ESB. It's good but not amazing or worth the price in my opinion.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a wine glass (from notes):

A: Pours pale yellow (straw), completely clear. A finger or so of white head that fairly quickly dissipates, leaving a bit of lacing.

S: English hops (earthy and floral with just a hint of citrus) and toasted pale malt (perhaps some biscuit too). A little hoppier than I'd expect from an EPA, but no complaint's from a hop-head like me!

T: Well crafted balance of the English hops and pale malt. Hop character is straight on with the nose, some earthy and floral notes with a little orange. Past the light hop surge to open up is a good depth of pale malts, there are several layers of grain that add a welcomed complexity. Finish is slightly bitter and mostly floral.

M: Light body, moderate and creamy carbonation. Clean and crisp finish.

O: A very easy drinker with a ton of good balanced flavor. Definitely walks the line between an EPA and ESB. I'd love to be able to get this local in NH.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a copper color. My goodness, there is so much carbonation rising up from the pour. The huge, sudsy head keeps growing in stature from the seemingly infinite rush of the carbonation. One of the most aggressive heads I have seen. Leaves funny rings and splotches of lacing.

S-Interesting nose. Light and sweet malts combine with a metallic twang on the back end of the aroma. Along with the previously described scents is an aroma of tart apple juice and some light spice. Aroma is not intense but is inviting.

T-I have heard that this brew is exceptionally bitter. While it is bitter, I do not find it to be excessively bitter. Herbal and grassy hops meet the spice and light fruits. The malt is sturdy and sweet and there is definitely a tart taste.

M-Medium bodied. Bunches of carbonation. The carbonation is prickly and intense. Finish is very dry. A tad bit slick.

O/D-This beer is actually pretty bitter. The bitterness accumulates over the course of the 22 oz. bomber. A pretty tasty brew. I find it to be a unique flavor. It was enjoyable and perhaps a bit underrated. Pretty Things makes some damn good offerings.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy, light amber color that came forward rather quickly. Some nice and light carbonation could be seen bubbling up from the bottom of the glass that came to the top as a two inch layer of white foam that quickly settled down, leaving little side lace in its wake. Nice layer of sediment on the bottom was noticed after it was all said and done.

The aroma was very nice, light grains and nice bready malts that combined with a light almost pear like aroma. Hints of some citric hops dancing around in there as well as it warmed up. Much more of this continued on as the flavor started to roll across the tongue. Nice hints of grass, fresh orange peel and a good touch of light grain all blended together quite nicely. For a pale ale, it was simply splendid. I could have drank this one all day to be honest.

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Photo of cavedave
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge billowy beige head atop a clear and golden amber beer. Slathers of lather's thickly on the glass, and the head relaxes some, but stays the whole ride down.

Smell of English Ale yeast, slightly tart and a bit of mineral, grassy and floral herb, some toffee sweet and grainy, nice reminiscence of an authentic EPA bouquet.

Taste is the real deal as weal. Starts with a hint of bitter, some sourdough, grassy and light bitter hop, floral, and the sweet kicks in as the bitter also increases for a semi-juicy and tasty finish.

Nice mouth, less carb. than it looks, nicely viscous with good cling and good cleanout, and a very good finish. Refreshingly light drinking.

This is an excellent English Pale Ale, the second wonderful American attempt I have tasted in the last week, and I can picture a London Pub serving this to grateful ale lovers, it is that good.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz beer poured into a pint glass..

a copper colored body sits below big foamy white head that recedes to a thin layer pretty quickly but laces quite well. bread crackers lemon zest and pepper make up the nose. lemon zest and pepper most apparent in the taste crackers bread in the back with a good lingering hop presence thats not overbearing. carbonation is on the high end but it works. overall this is one damn fine offering from pretty things and the more i think about it maybe one of their best.

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Photo of clearlydiluted
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a growler to a tulip duvel glass (I know, I couldn't find my pint glass).

brewed july 2011.

a: copper orange with a single finger of head and fine lacing that clings to the side of glass.

s: sweet malty and toasty notes along a slight metallic note that borders on a earthy dirt note.

t: slight toasty note and hint of caramel sweetness before being hit by a wall of bitterness. the hop aroma on the palette is both floral and spicy. there is that hint of green plant matter in the finish before it finishes with a cleansing bitterness that lingers just enough to dry out your mouth of any trace of beer. except for a slight lingering bitterness.

m: it is a light-medium body with a nice level of carbonation.

d: it is very drinkable. the hops keep it refreshing while the malts are just present enough to balance the thing. if anything I'd say this would be an american's take on an English bitter, which it more or less is...

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled July 2011. Coppery orange with a big bubbly head. Leaves a large amount of bubbles on top. The nose is tangy, malts and some earthy hops. Smells like pennies. Taste is similar, pennies and earthy hops. Tangy malts that are slightly bready. A earthy/floral finish with a balanced hop bitterness. Metallic flavors dominate but good.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
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 joepais
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of those breweries that I haven tried a bad beer from yet. I poured the bottle into a strait pint glass and was greeted with a great two finger fluffy white head. It sat on top of a clear amber colored body. The brew was malt forward in the aroma department. It was earthy and grassy to the nose. Now I think the flavor really is where the brew begins to shine. It is wonderfully hoppy for a British style ale, but slightly towards the bitter. So I think it is more of a Pale than a Bitter, the name may be a misnomer. Mouthfeel was medium with ample carbonation to it. This brew was a pleasure to drink and I will be grabbing a few more thru out the year.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was poured from a bomber into a pint glass. The label says AUG 2010 1st Batch like some of the other reviews for this beer.

Appearance: The beer has a hazy/foggy orange color. Pours a one finger head that leaves lacing as the beer is consumed. The beer has a medium carbonation to it too.

Smell: I don't really know how to describe it and really wonder whats going here. Strange, but nothing jumps out at me.

Taste: The beer has a citrusy and slightly bitter taste. Must be produced by the dwarf hop varieties that can produces these interesting tastes. Interesting tastes to go with an intersting smell.

Mouthfeel: The beer actually goes down smoothly, but I keep taking another sip to try and figure things out.

Overall: I keep taking another sip, but wish this beer could tell me what it is supposed to taste and smell like. I will have to try one of these next time around and younger than 7 months to see if the beers are similar or soething weird and crazy was going on with this one. I wlll have to say that this is a very interesting beer, but not that bad at all.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

Hopped with UK-grown hedgerow variety hops: Pioneer, First Gold and Sovereign. Somewhat hazy, dirty peach with a healthy foam head and subsequent lacing. Nose is very clean, with subtle earth and greens. The taste is bone dry and complexly bitter. Puckering citrus, green, sharp grass, aspirin, spicy, prickly, green apple skins, bark and pith. It's like thousands of dwarf hop varieties are jovially stabbing at our palates with their astringent alpha acid daggers. Any malt character has taken a backseat. No, has been gagged, duck-taped and thrown into the trunk; you think you can hear muffled noises, but did you really? Finishes dry and bitter, too. A beer that proves extremes need not rely on ABV.

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Photo of BenjieK
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Have loved all of the beers from pretty things. Picked up this bomber at Downtown Wine and Spirits. The amber boby has a big white head that leaves some lace. The smell and taste are both odd for me, I am sure because of the odd hop choices. Very bitter and herabl. Not very drinakble and has a harsh after taste. Not sure I will pick up another, but glad I tried it.

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Photo of joehiatt
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
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 MbpBugeye
2.81/5  rDev -24.1%
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 PEBKAC
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$6 half growler from Whole Foods.

A hazy pale, yellow & tarnished. Whitewash head.

A bit mossy & shrubby & quite potent. Potent bushels of bushes. Sweet smelling like pears & toasted cereal.

Lightly sweet, crusty bread & a bitterness that you kind of get when chewing on an inedible part of a vegetable. Bit of sharpness before that bitterness. Finish is bitter & briny like a mouth rinsed in seawater. Quite lingering.

Body is light & easy, with a fair amount of carbonation. Alcohol is moderate, maybe even a bit strong for whatever Pretty Things is attempting here.

Does anyone else think Beck's when drinking this? Or maybe when it seemed tolerable 10+ years ago? Just a little sweeter.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.01/5  rDev -18.6%
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 Kendo
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My 666th review posted here on BA. If I'd planned ahead it would've been an Alesmith Horny Devil or Devil's Dancer or Duvel or something like that. Ah well. Opportunity missed. I did notice this is the 66th review of this beer, however, so that cosmic alignment of 6's must mean something, right?

Bottle says "Batch #1, August 2010." Purchased on 12/30/10 in MA, consumed on 1/13/11.

A: Poured from the bomber into a Spirit Haus pint glass (MA theme tonight, I guess). Holy geyser, Batman. Following a forceful "PFFFT!" I get 3, maybe 4 fingers of foamy, airy, ivory head over a slightly-hazed lightish-amber body. Leaves some foamy lace clinging to the glass, and a fairly large crescent-shaped chunk of foamy head sits in the middle of the glass for quite awhile. Second pour from the bomber and I get the explosion all over again. D'oh!

S: Interesting - and pleasant. Hops bring the nose to the party; talking about slight citrus (lemony) and some floral hops. Smell of light malt underneath.

T: Solid, and clean. Some biscuity malt provides foundation, then herbal and floral hops. Finishes with a drying lemony bitterness that lingers on the palate. Whatever the "Dwarf" hop bill (as per the bottle) contains, it's clearly not the usual American-style hops (i.e., not grapefruity or piney). But this is fairly hop-forward for an English-style ale; the more I drink, the more hop bitterness coats the palate.

M: Carbonation is active, as expected given that pour. Heft falls on the lighter side of medium - or more appropriately, on the medium side of lighter. Does feel a bit thin at times, though.

Notes: Bottle says "Bitter," BA says "English Pale Ale." I could see both descriptions having some merit.

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Photo of mirish72
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up as I like to try everything that Pretty Things brews. Bitters are not my favorite style, so take that into account.

Beer presents mahogany brown with a balanced malty aroma and little head. It is simultaneously bitter, bready and malty. Overall there is a nice balance to this beer as the UK hops seem a bit more mellow than I am used to. Would definitely try again, a very different beer than I would normally drink.

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Hedgerow Bitter from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
3.7 out of 5 based on 161 ratings.
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