Pretty Things’ ‘Once Upon A Time’ Event

Posted on March 2nd, 2010

On Saturday The Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project debuted the first beer in their Once Upon a Time series of beers brewed according to historic recipes. The Beeriety team was lucky enough to be there to try this fantastic new brew at one of Boston’s finest craft beer bars, Deep Ellum.

Pretty Things is a small craft brew project based in Boston, Massachusetts that has already made a strong name for itself among craft beer drinkers in the area since its founding less than two years ago. They are known for bold, unusual brews with equally off-kilter label art. It’s quickly become a favorite brewery of everyone at Beeriety, and we were thrilled to get the chanced to see what they were doing next.
London XXXX Mild Ale was the beer of the hour. It’s an historic re-creation of a beer first brewed on February 27th, 1832 at a Brick Lane London brewery. Using an historic manuscript given to them by beer historian Ron Pattinson, they  brewed the beer exactly as it had been over 150 years ago.

Beers of 19th century London were different than what we drink today in many ways, so although their version is called a ‘mild ale’ as it was originally, it’s anything but mild. It weighed in at 10.5%ABV and packs a super sweet taste. The beer has a rich copper color to it, and a light smell of caramel. The taste is bold and massively sweet, but its body is surprisingly light and smooth for such a heavy beer. The hops impart a bit of a peppery spice to them, different than the usual bitterness associate with hops. Overall the beer was unlike anything I’ve ever had before, and it was absolutely delicious.

In keeping with the theme of the day the beer was served from a wooden cask as would have been common in Victorian England. The brewers, Dann and Martha Paquette as well as the staff of Deep Ellum, all dressed in period inspired clothing with vests, top hats and bonnets. Dann and Martha even generously offered to buy a drink for anyone who came dressed in historical attire. The place was completely packed and by the time they tapped the first cask there was a line out the door just to get in. Clearly we aren’t the only ones who have been keeping a eye on this exciting new brewery.

It was a wonderful afternoon with a wonderful beer. Dann & Martha as well as everyone at Deep Ellum were gracious hosts and it was neat to get a glimpse of what’s next for Pretty Things. Martha was even nice enough to give us a special preview bottle of the stuff. (For a rough video of the cask’s tapping and an introductory speech by Dann, head over to the Pretty Things blog.) We can’t wait to see what’s next in the Once Upon a Time series. Whatever it is, it’s sure to be great.

  • I was there. I waited in line for 25 minutes to get in & just as I got to the front, the bouncer came out to announce they were out of the XXXX Mild. People were standing in the rain – some in costume – and never got to taste it. VERY disappointed.