Once Upon A Time 1879 East India Pale Ale | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

very good
45 Ratings
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Once Upon A Time 1879 East India Pale AleOnce Upon A Time 1879 East India Pale Ale

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

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by PeterIngemi on 12-22-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of unclekeith
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Thomas_Picton
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jlindros
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

last one in my ancient recipe series from them, for now, which makes me kinda sad as I love trying these experimental stuff.

Pours a nice fluffy 1.5 finger head that fades semi slowly as it's reinforced by nice stream of bubbles from the etch at the bottom, with nice soapy lacing, quite clear straw honey colored beer.

Nose brings plenty of hops, but doesn't seem overly bitter at least from the nose, grassy hops mostly, earthy and slightly spicy hop as well, with some light grainy malt base, a mild sweetness, with a touch of an herbal and slightly fruity citrus hops on the back end.

Taste starts with grainy sweet malts, a little biscuity and chewy malt like but mostly clean, and quickly the hops come up. Fairly bitter right out and increases as it goes. The hops bring lots of herbal earthy flavors, grassy and a little spicy even. The hops get chewy and really spicy the more it goes, but quite bitter and borderline astringent and slightly salty like. Finish is long bitter, but not astringent or over bitter, but lingering grassy earthy spicy hops, and not much else, and fairly dry.

Mouth is med bodied, nice fluffy carbonation.

Overall fairly interesting, not a whole lot of complexity, as I'm sure most recipes from the 1800s were fairly straight forward with very few other ingredients to make it with, but it does have a nice flavor. However, it packs nice flavor and aroma into the little ingredients they have, and I can see how this led to most English IPAs as well as eventual rise of the American IPA, it's almost like a bridge between them.

 1,568 characters

Photo of kaelingirl
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of ComRock12
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of msondel
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of CarlKnerr
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Took a chance as I've never heard of this brewery or this beer.I was pleasantly rewarded. I love tons of bitter and minimal sweet. This delivered with excellent and low on the sweet. A little sour, but don't let that dissuade you at all. I really enjoyed it and will be looking for it again.

 291 characters

Photo of calmstock
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of rab53
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of b2hogan
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

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

Hazy, dirty gold color. Modest head, but it has some lasting power that leaves a solid ring of lace.

Good blend where the strongest smell is slightly sour. Light floral hop.

Far more bitter than the smell suggests. Very brief malt flavor. Completely peppery in the finish and aftertaste. Moderate body and carbonation.

I like the historical perspective; one can envision the need for the high-hopped brew to travel through the warm climates on the way to India. This is a pleasant beer that comes across with the basic elements of malt and hop and little complexity.

 569 characters

Photo of ChrisL24481
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Massbmx
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Gatch
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, golden yellow with a fluffy, pillowy, foamy white head. Great lace and little retention.

S: Great balanced aromas from the hops and malt.

T: Delicious, balanced flavor full of slightly spicy hops and sweet, sugary malt. Very English. Dry, bitter, a bit skunky (in a good way).

M: Crazy smooth. Super creamy. Very tasty. Malt can be a bit cloying as it warms when several sips are taken quickly.

O: Awesome recipe. Unique and very enjoyable. They were drinking well back in the day.

 495 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear amber hue. Head is a nimbus cloud of white fluff. It dies off but still manages to sat and about two inches tall. Head leaves moon-like crater marks along the glass. All things considered, this beer is very pretty.

S-English all over the place. Steeped tea hops and boiled floral hops. Shares a similar (albeit less muscular) hop profile to their Meadowlark IPA. Some sweet citrus. This is all balanced by sweet, wet Animal Crackers and honey-drizzled biscuit. No mistaking its English origins.

T-The flavor is noticeably better than the nose. Much more pine, grass and citrus. This actually has a serious bitterness level. So if this is what the Brits drank back in the day then they must have been hopheads. Floral and tea hops join the pine, citrus and veggies. Hey, there is still a bunch of malt backing here. Fluffy bread and liquified caramel. The flavor was a full standard deviation above the nose.

M-Feels bigger than its ABV. Creamy and mostly bitter. Like most English ales, this would be a wet dream through a cask. Sneaky carbonation.

O/D-Definitely skeptical at first. Then I smelled it. Unimpressed. Then I tasted it. Much more impressed. I love the idea behind their "Once Upon A Time" line of brews. If the recipe really stands true to its ancestral lines, the boys of yester-year definitely sipped on some hoppy suds. I liked this better than Meadowlark by the way.

 1,404 characters

Photo of splendidsplinter
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle Into a pretty things stemmed beer glass.

A: pours a hazy golden orange with a touch of amber. About half an inch of frothy looking white head, after a normal pour, that dissapates nicley to a film, very nice lacing... Looks refreshing.

S: nice dank grapefruity citrus, nice hop aroma, looks and smells remarkably similar to some west coast citrus forward ipa's you see today.

T: wow, this is really tasty, great chewy grapefruit citrus, along with some light piney and earthy hop notes, great hop blend. Wow is put this up against most current day ipa's, had I not gone into this knowing, I never would have thought this recipie was from 1879.

M: nice full medium body, with some very nice creamy carbonation, a dry finish with a lasting grapefruity resinous hop aftertaste that coats the mouth.

O: this is a delicious beer regardless of when the recipie originated. Absolutly delicious , Not what I was expecting at all. Thank you pretty things for brewing up this one. Loved it

 1,013 characters

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Once Upon A Time 1879 East India Pale Ale from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
3.91 out of 5 based on 45 ratings.
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