At the American Craft Beer Festival in Boston, MA, there was a huge line at the booth for the Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project – an artisnal brewery out of Massachusetts. I got swept up in the crowd psychology and got in line, not knowing anything about these guys. At the front of the line, I hastily chose their “Jack D’Or” and enjoyed it. Though every beer geek I talked to later said, “What? You didn’t get the Baby Tree? Too bad.” So, though I enjoyed the Jack D’Or, I was saddened that I probably wouldn’t run into Baby Tree again soon. Then, at my new favorite Massachusetts beer stop (Acton Wine & Liquors) I saw it and just snagged it without pause.
The label is a little freaky – I noticed once I got it home that there are fat purple babies in a large tree on the label, which I suppose is innocent (and there is other spring images such as baby chicks, lambs and tulips) but I’ll admit that purple infants were a little creepy. Described as a “quadrupel with dried plums” I was still intrigued.
After letting the dark amber brew warm a little in the glass, I took a whiff. Like any good quad, it’s got some of those “dark fruit” smells going on – a fig, plum or prune smell – with a little bit of sweetness. The taste, too is very deep, with some very nice undertones of that Belgian candied sugar and a definite note of raisins and plums. This is very nice, and it might sneak onto my list of beers you should have with thanksgiving dinner- this would rock with a Pecan pie or even a sweet-potato dish. I have to admit that I like this about as much as I liked the Jack D’Or.
As far as I know, this is not available outside of Mass, but I’m just glad to see that even a small brewery with limited distribution can make a really nice Belgian style brew. Keep it up, Pretty Things. Just de-creepify the label for the next few releases, and I think you’ll do quite well.