Lovely Saint Winefride | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Lovely Saint WinefrideLovely Saint Winefride
Very Good
130 Ratings
Lovely Saint WinefrideLovely Saint Winefride

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

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Lovely Saint Winefride is a “brown” lager, created by Dann using a complicated and extremely-rare decoction mash. You’re correct, “Brown Lager” isn’t actually a style, but we wanted to make the most deliciously malty lager imaginable. At the same time we wanted this to taste like a lager you’d actually find in Germany, bursting with authentic character and suitable for the most discerning old-timer.

Besides the decoction mash, we fermented Saint Winefride at 52 degrees and lagered her over a period of 9 weeks in the deep of winter. They just don’t make lagers like this here in New England. The beer is malty, containing a blend of German malts and roasted German malts. There’s even the wisp of smoke near the end.

St Winefride lived in post-Roman Wales from 600 to 660 A.D. She was charming and intelligent, and decided to become a nun. Unfortunately, this news went down poorly with her suitor, Caradoc, who hacked off her head. Luckily, her Uncle Beuno was able to perform the miracle of reattaching it and she recovered fully. (Hooray!). She became an Abbess and governed Gwytherin Abbey in Wales until her death on November 3rd, 660 A.D.

The lager, yes lager, started out as an idea to create a very rustic beer with a roasted character and a brown disposition. We imagined a pre-Great War sort of beer that might have been on its last legs of popularity. The kind of beer young folks of the time would laugh about as being “an old man’s lagerbier”. Well Pretty Things is the old-man’s-dream-beer-brewer, so we decided to give it a whirl. We started with malted barley and hops from the German tradition and employed a single decoction mash. Decoction is a slightly complicated, time intensive and little used technique (on this continent anyway) that insured temperature accuracy in the age before real temperature control. Got it? Okay, that was a boring explanation. How is this: we took a portion of the mash and boiled it at 212 degrees F for 15 minutes. Trust us, boiling a mash is rare. Dann has only done this a handful of times in his twenty year career (on purpose anyway). Ahem. We continue by saying this brown lager is also quite delicious and nice to drink. If you choose to not think about boiling mashes and old men we assure you this beer will still very much please your palate.

Tasting notes: deep brown red colour, tannish head, fine carbonation, deep dark malt character with quite a lot of yeast presence in the flavour, refined Hallertau hoppiness. 7% ABV

Quite a lady! We hope you enjoy this beer!

Added by ManVersusBeer on 02-10-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 130 |  Reviews: 53
Reviews by valdieu2:
Photo of valdieu2
4/5  rDev +1.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dan claims to have brewed this beer with old men in mind. Bring it, whippersnapper.

Clear, dark brown with a bawdy eggshell tan head. Looks like a mean glass of root beer. Great retention for a lager it decorates my glass with a quaint set of lacey curtains.

Smells like a fresh Vermont mud puddle - earthy and blackish brown. I like earthy.

Mocha with more bitter, earthy carob in back. A little roast malt peeks it's head just before the finish.

I'm looking forward to the day I'm a crazy old man who sits on the porch and yells at the world passing by. I could do it with this beer in hand.

 599 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1 inch head, opaque, moderate carbonation

Smell: light toasted malt and some nut

Taste: nuts, some wood, English malt, light hops and leather

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, sweet start with a bitter middle and less bitter end

Overall: A cross between Saint Botolphs and and English Brown. Not a bad beer as it has moments of real depth and complexity. I have been blown away by several Pretty Things brews, however this one just struck me as just above average. Not likely to get this one again.

 549 characters

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of slasich
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pilsener (perhaps a mug would be a better alternative)- poured a dark brown color with moderate transparency around the edges and at the bottom of the glass. Less than one finger head, decent retention, no lacing.

Big roasted malt smell- almost like I'm brewing myself. Maybe comes on a little strong.

Roasted malt dominates the palate as well- there is some coffee and maybe a little nuttiness as well. Has a similar taste as dry stout. A little bit of hops at the end but not pronounced.

Mouthfeel is decent- full bodied, chewy, with medium light carbonation. Good beer- wouldn't get it again if I'm looking for a lager but maybe if I'm looking for a good dark brew.

 705 characters

Photo of beerman999999
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bum732
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Toasty notes with some hop bitterness, some pecan/praline, some cinnamon.

L: Fairly clear dark brown, light tan creamy head with good retention.

T: Dark fruits with toasted nuts. Herbal medium low bitterness leading to very bold toasted cracker and nutty. Sweetness in the form of dark fruits complement. Very malty and smooth.

M: Medium full body, medium-low carbonation, creamy.

Delicious, no real category for this, very unique.

 438 characters

Photo of OldIronLungs
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass a rich, dark caramel. Thick, low head that leaves rungs of lace.

Smells is rich dark roasty malts, a sip is bright and creamy with heavy malt hitting immediately after - deep roasty caramel dances with lightly burnt coffee knocked by some pseudocitrus bitterness at the end.

Huzzah, Dann! Dann used a decoction! See Dann decoct!
Decoct, Dann, decoct!

This is a mighty fine dark lager -- exactly the hearty, smooth, deliciousness other examples from the style seem to lack. I have to try it on draft, because this bottle was quick finished.

 567 characters

Photo of kmwilson76
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of timbre
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Kmlund
3.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of kirkse
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of trevorpost
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of liquorpig
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of double2chin
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of comrade_tony
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Deep Ellum in Boston, MA.

This one pours a dark, tawny brown, almost black, with a half inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

This one smells like brown bread, a bit of chocolate, warm campfire smoke, slight vanilla, and some nutty aromas as well.

This is really delicious and really well-crafted. All of the flavors meld together really well. The malts contribute such a nice warm nutty, toasty, and slightly smoky flavor. There's also some chocolate, and a slight bit of roasty nutty coffee. This has a lot of brown bread/pumpernickel characteristics that I really dig.

This is medium bodied, with a bready and full mouthfeel, and a moderate level of carbonation.

A really nice, just really pleasant beer from Pretty Things. I wish this style got more attention from breweries, it's awesome.

 810 characters

Photo of StealieClimber
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a flute glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a thin light tan head that dissipates to a ring around the glass. Nice aroma of toasted malt and chocolate. Flavor is toasted malt, charred coffee and chocolate, light grassy hops. Medium bodied. A nice ale on the border between porter and brown ale, but with more char and chocolate than usually encountered in those two styles. I'm not sure that Euro dark lager is really very accurate for this more complex dark ale.

 484 characters

Photo of atarantino
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear but very dark brownish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high light tan head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of brown bread and nutty malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but also has additional flavors of roasted malts, earthy hops and a light amount of bitterness, each of which lingers through the finish.
M: It feels on the lighter side of being medium-bodied and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The roasted malts lend a little dryness to the mouthfeel.
O: The flavors of earthy hops—particularly those that persist through the finish—don't make this one of the easiest beers to drink, but it a rather interesting beer to sip.

 885 characters

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Lovely Saint Winefride from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 130 ratings