Poem from the back label…
It’s cold out there, but it’s warm in here:
The pretty things are full of cheer.
A year has gone, but there’s another to come,
It’s kept for us, and it’s foolish & fun.
So tuck yourself up, and hang on tight,
There’s a warm dark hold to sleep in tonight,
And way at the bottom are grain, hops & yeast,
Kept safe in this bottle from late summer’s feast.
From Pretty Things to you this winter season: "Our Finest Regards". Two years into our project and we’re grateful and amazed that so many people love and support great beer these days. The fact that we’re still here is a credit to you all.
But for the question of primary importance: What is the beer? Well, it’s our Pretty Things barleywine. Inspired by malted barley, a tribute to the barleycorn. Yes, it’s simple, but that’s what barleywines are all about. Ever since brewing in England, Dann has dreamed of making a barley-focused beer using the malts of Yorkshire (and never hesitates to plug his favorite: Thomas Fawcett & Sons).
Give barley a chance and this mysterious little grain can do grand things!
To get the density of sugars needed for this sort of beer, we employed "double mashing". The brewhouse that we work on can only get to maybe 18 plato for a single running of wort: but we wanted 27 plato! So we combined two brews by running wort into the kettle and then using it to mash in the second batch. We don’t take credit for this idea. We’re certain it has been done many, many times before. But it wasn’t until Will Meyers (the great Cantabridgian Cervecero) brought this method to our attention that we realized we could brew a barleywine of proper gravity... (he never told us that he hadn’t actually performed this sort of brewing before!). Anyway, it works!!
We fermented with a blend of English and Belgian yeast strains that seemed to work quite well together fermenting down to 4 plato in short order (that’s 13.5% abv if you’re counting). Expect an aroma of juicy sultanas, malted milk balls, and alcohol deliciousness. It’s got a medium body and is a little more spritsy than we’re sure the Brits would like. Serve over 50 degrees fahrenheit in a stemmed glass.
Very suitable to drink this year or next, or even the winter after that!
Brewer: Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project
Style: Barley Wine
Alcohol Content: 13.5%