Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pretty Things Lovely Saint Winefride

type: brown lager
origin: Westport, MA
price: $9/22oz
ABV: 7%
NSP: 5.1
website

Anyone who reads the blog regularly knows how much I enjoy Pretty Things, even if their NSP levels are generally dismal; although, prices for their beers have gone down in the last year.  And, they inspire me to find amazing GIFs, like this one.  So here's a "spoiler" alert: it's delicious!

This is a fairly rare beer style (brown lager) that, according to the bottle, is brewed using a decoction method to "mark the end of winter".  It's lagered over the winter, and served at the beginning of spring.

What's decoction?  I'm hoping the Crute-meister will weigh in here to correct my ignorance, but decoction is a primitive, time intensive way to ensure proper mash temperatures.  The idea is to boil a portion of the mash for a short period of time, and return it back to the full batch.  In the age before fancy electronics, this was really the only way to control temperature.  Got it?  Yeah, sure you do.

Who's St Winefride?  Lore has it that in Wales, around 600AD, she was beheaded and then returned miraculously.  I'm not sure what the connection is to the beer though.  Maybe it's supposed to represent the decoction method (beheading wort?), or the lagering, or the hibernation of the brew.  Who knows.

What does the beer taste like?  Here are my notes:
fuck me this is good
drink it slow... it tastes good all the way to the end (almost better at the end)
color is very deep amber (trust me, hold it up to the light) with a perfectly colored head (espresso crema)
tastes like a brown ale that you actually want to drink, but instead it's a lager.  absolutely perfect level of maltiness
Some brown sugar and a nice acidic finish with some bitterness really takes care of the 7% alcohol.
Would probably go damn well with some bbq
I can't say I fully appreciate what the decoction does to this.  It would make more sense for Pretty Things to do a non-decoction version, so we could taste them side-by-side.  Or, maybe they've figured out that a non-decoction brown lager isn't all that great.  Either way, Pretty Things is, yet again, Doin it Right...

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