Last Friday with Mark

Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 in Beer Blog | 0 comments

Jack d’Or
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Medford, Massachusetts

Pretty Things starts with husband and wife team Dann and Martha Paquette. A few years back, Dann got the brewing bug and left for England to hone his craft. The British influence can be seen in many of PT’s products. Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project is a gypsy brewery that has quickly established a household name for itself with their quirky, tasty beers. They are gypsies in that they do not have a brewing home. Currently they are tenant brewers at Buzzard’s Bay Brewery in Westport. Tenant brewing differs sharply from “contract brewing”. A contract brewer’s product is brewed by and often formulated by the brewmaster at the host brewery. A tenant brewer is solely responsible for his/her/their product.

Style
Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Saisons are sturdy farmhouse ale that was traditionally brewed in the winter, to be consumed throughout the summer months. Not so long ago it was close to being an endangered style, but over recent years there’s been a massive revival; especially in the US.
This is a very complex style; many are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. Look for earthy yeast tones, mild to moderate tartness. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness. They tend to be semi-dry with many only having touch of sweetness.

Taste
True golden hue, very clear as the sediment was left in the bottle for this review. Spicy and peppery, malt dust and neutral yeast with a hint of orange zest in the nose. Smooth with a bitty moderate body. Dry malt character takes hold of the palate for the duration with a smidgen of dextrin upfront. Dry yeasty tone meets dusty malt and a mild herbal hop flavor. Bitterness is low which is fine here. Kiss of citric peel but relatively clean and the very dry finish.

 

Choklat Stout
Southern Tier
Lakewood, New York
Founders Phineas DeMink and Allen “Skip” Yahn started Southern Tier with the vision of reviving the practice of small batch brewing to a region rich in brewing tradition. In 2002, with equipment gained from the purchase of the Old Saddleback Brewing Co. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the Southern Tier Brewing Company began production in the Stoneman Business Park just outside of Lakewood, New York. By 2003, select varieties of small batch ales were locally distributed, and by 2005, sales covered the majority of New York State and Pennsylvania.
Steadily growing, throughout 2010 it became clear that more beer needed to be produced to satisfy a growing customer base. 800 barrels of fermentation vessels has been added to the production area and a 7500 square foot addition has been added for use as a conditioning room. The constantly running brewhaus has also been expanded and updated. In early 2011 the company replaced its bottling line with the most high-tech, state of the art bottling line of its size in North America. It fills, caps and labels an impressive 8,000 bottles per hour, with the ability to package 12,000 per hour at full speed.

Style
American Black Ale
Also referred to as a Black IPA (India Pale Ale) or Cascadian Dark Ale, ales of this style range from dark brown to pitch black and showcase malty and light to moderate roasty notes and are often quite hoppy generally with the use of American hops. Alcohol can range from average to high depending on if the brewery is going for a “double / imperial” version.

Taste
A heady start, with a shade of ruby clinging to the brown darkness. Spicy with candied fruit, minty hops and cake-like maltiness, as a powdery yeast awakens the nostrils. Smoothness burrows in for the duration. Malt jumps from bitter dark chocolate to brown sugar to biscuity to dried grass, with a yeast flavor that does not let go. Hints of exotic fruit, papaya, star fruit and unripe mangos come to mind. A bit of broth and yeast in the roasty semidry finish. Yeah, complex no doubt. A slow sipper … a sleeper brew

 

Cinder Bock
Sam Adams
Jamaica Plain, MA
In April 1985, when Samuel Adams Boston Lager made its debut in about 25 bars and restaurants in Boston, the company had no office, no computers, and no distributors. While this is no longer a craft brewery, they have reinvented themselves making small production beers like this from the limited series collection.

Style
American Strong Ale
The Rauchbier style is an old German beer style, its origins go back to the 1500’s and to the district of Franconia and the town of Bamberg. It’s typically of dark color and has similarities of the Oktoberfestbier. Green malts are literally dried over an open fire of beech wood, imparting a unique smokiness (“rauch” is German for smoke), the usage of which produces beers of an acquired taste. Imagine smokiness so robust, so assertive, that it tastes of spiced, smoked meat.

 

Descendant Dark Ale
Mystic Brewing Company
Chelsea, MA
Many people believe that the best known person or thing ever to come out of Chelsea was Horatio Alger (apologies to Howie Long and Albert DeSalvo). For me, it was, and maybe still is Chick Corea. Having tasted the beers of Mystic Brewing Company, Chick may have found some competition.
The company was founded by MIT trained fermentation scientists Dr. Bryan Greenhagen, Ph.D, his wife Emily Greenhagen and professional brewer James Nicholson. Their focus is specialty beers such as saisons and barrel aged beers made with regional and exotic fruits as well as finely crafted after-dinner “malt cordials.”

Style
English Stout
As mysterious as they look, stouts are typically dark brown to pitch black in color. A common profile amongst Stouts, but not in all cases, is the use of roasted barley (unmalted barley that is kilned to the point of being charred) which lends a dry character to the beer as well as a huge roasted flavor that can range from burnt to coffee to chocolate. A different balance of hops is up to the brewers preference, but the roasted character must be there.

Taste
Mystic Descendant is a beer descended from the cultural history of the Boston harbor area. A dry Irish stout meets an English porter and is then fermented in the fermentorium with our saison yeast with a touch of the ubiquitous ingredient from the area’s past: molasses. The result is a unique beer; it has more dark fruit than a porter and less roast than a traditional stout, while having a different ester profile than a Belgian stout. We thus dubbed our recipe a Suffolk Dark Ale, as an homage to our immigrant ancestors.

 

Long Strange Tripel
Boulevard
Kansas City, MO
Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest. Their mission is simple: to produce fresh, flavorful beers using the finest traditional ingredients and the best of both old and new brewing techniques. Boulevard beers are known for their full flavor, distinctive character, and unsurpassed quality. Their beers are currently available in 20 states.

Style
Tripel
The name Tripel comes from the brewing process where three times the malt is used as compared with traditional Trappist Ales. Be forewarned that Tripel are sneaky potent. The light of their feet feel belies the high alcohol, which can approach 12% (this one is about 9%).

Taste
“Pours with a quick-brimming off-white foam with a sufficient head retention as the lacing sticks to the glass quite well. Nearly crystal clear with a glowing pale golden color. Peppery alcohol, hint of tropical fruit, faint white chocolate and a little bit of medicinal phenol in the nose. Moderate crisp body is extremely fluffy with lots of rolling carbonation which is par for the style. Maltiness sets the tone with a strong foothold of light bready and doughy biscuit flavor, both the phenols and hop bitterness balance with herbal and sharp accents. The alcohol comes off a little spicy but only slightly warming, it’s a bit tame which is great, but deceiving. Dried fruitiness middle to end with apricot, pineapple, mango. The finish is close to bone dry.” ~ 100 points Beer Advocate

 

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