Pretty Things Brewers.
I say 'Pretty Things Brewers' because they have no real 'brewery' of their own. Dann Paquette and his wife Martha have been brewing beers they like for a while now at other people's breweries, and they make it work very well by all accounts. If you want to know the full scoop on the couple and their brewing roots then you need to check out Leigh's posts on Pretty Things here. The bit I'm most pleased by is the part that the couple are very influenced by Yorkshire, and everything that is great about Yorkshire, and although the beers we have here aren't really classic Yorkshire styles - I get the feeling there is some influence in there! (cos you know.... Yorkshire rules!)
Jack D'Or is a Saison Americaine, and comes in at 6.4% It's made with 3 different grains and 3 different Belgian yeasts and is inspired by the Belgian farmhouse ales. It has a really appeasing golden yellow appearance when held up to the light, with only the slightest of hazes.
The aroma consists (to me) of a delicate floral dryness. Hints of lemon and a tiny bit of apple accompanying a Belgian yeast, and almost peppery, spiciness.
To taste: Yep, that's definitely a Saison for sure. However there is a little too much hops in the bitterness for my Saison tastes, which overpowers the Belgian dryness a little, but hey - it's an American Saison and big hops is to be expected. (and there's nothing wrong with that, it's just not to my taste - but that certainly doesn't mean I don't like it!) There's a lot of fruity flavour in the beer; bananas, apricots, lemon, apple skins and a touch of pear. It's quite bready, and has a good zingy carbonation. An excellent quality, and very fresh, interesting beer.
The second beer of the Duo is Field Mouse's Farewell: A rustic golden ale brewed with barley, oats, wheat and rye. Not as big of an explination about this one on the bottle, but it's a 7% Golden Ale and that's all you should really need to know. (apart from what it's like of course!)
The colour is darker than the Jack and it's pretty safe to say it looks great! It pours thick and hazy, with a rocky chalk white head which quickly crumbles away. Rustic Golden Ale says a lot for the aroma. There's big hints of marmalade and huge orange mixed in with some plum skins. There's also a tiny hint of a Belgian Brett. character coming through.
The beer starts sweet and very smooth. It's thick and full in the body (probably helped by the oats) with loads of fruity malts. There's a lot of banana flavour coming from the wheat, and the finish is long and spicy. It's a robust but balanced, and again, excellent quality beer. For me it feels a bit like Yorkshire meets Germany meets Belgium...
Two very nice beers. Only bottled in May as well - so very fresh, and big props for getting them over here this quickly! There's been a lot of say about the Americans making beers in the Belgium style recently. A few people like it, but more people aren't willing to pay the pumped up, extra shipping costs, that accompany these expensive beers from various breweries. And in some cases most people are just going for the 'real thing' - the actual Belgian beers which are half the price.
The Pretty Things beers however, are very fairly priced, and are the most interesting American/Belgian crossover beers I've had so far - so are definitely worth a punt. I've not even mentioned the awesome labels yet - which are drawn and designed by Dann and Martha themselves. Pretty Things beers: Come get some!