Beer Review: Pretty Things Jack D'Or
A lot of buzz surrounds the world of “gypsy brewing” — beer makers who don't have a home brewery and instead contract recipes out to other breweries, who then execute the unique offerings. A slightly different form of vagabond brewing is known as tenant brewing, where brewers perform all the work on brewday, leaving only the packaging to their renters. One such brewery is Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project, run by Dann Paquette and Martha Holley-Paquette, a husband and wife duo from Somerville, MA who focus on making carefully crafted beers that tell the story of their lives together. Jack D’Or, a “saison Americain,” is the Pretty Things flagship beer, brewed, like all Pretty Things labels, at Buzzards Bay Brewing in Westport, MA.
Poured aggressively from a colorfully-decorated 22-oz. bottle, Jack D’Or is a golden hazy color with an attractive white head. The nose is what one would expect from an Americanized saison, with traditionally bready malts and barnyard yeast scents coupled with crisp lemony hops. The taste has clean citrus notes and nicely-rounded hop flavors.
This beer is full of spicy and citrusy notes without the actual use of any obvious ingredients to impart those tastes. As with many saisons, Jack D’Or is light bodied and very refreshing, a beer perfect for food pairings. At 6.5% ABV, this beer falls in the higher alcohol range of the style, yet is never overpowered or strained by the strong content.
Pretty Things Ale Project is doing interesting, counter-intuitive things with tried-and-true styles of beer. For example, St. Botolph’s Town is a “rustic dark ale,” Babayaga is called an “export stout” and ¡Magnifico! is known as a “rustic session pale ale.” The brews are currently found in select bars and bottle shops in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. Along with the unique flavors, hand-drawn artwork makes these bottles a fun get, and worth seeking out.
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