Pretty Things Baby TreeBy
“Clamber aboard the baby tree! / Soak it in, there’s much to see. / What’s inside those babies’ heads? / Heaven knows, and we shan’t guess.”
– Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project
To the pile of news stories describing how “a beer a day” can improve your cholesterol, reduce kidney stones, and give you cancer, let’s add one more astounding property — it seems a beer a day can get you pregnant!
A few months ago, I paused my regular blog contributions to take a much needed breather and to focus more attention on my wife. My beer gut has been growing steadily all year, but it seems my wife’s belly has recently begun to give mine a run for its money.
Yes indeed — my wife and I will be having a baby next year! In several months, my life is certain to change dramatically. I’ll go from nursing bottles to, well, bottles and nursing. (Hmmm — guess it won’t be such a stretch afterall.)
So you can understand my shift in focus. I’ve only had two or three hours each evening to share with my wife, and spending a good portion of that time behind a computer writing about beer just seemed ridiculous — these are the final months with “just the two of us” for company. I’ve continued to photograph my beer, take notes, and “tweet” about each beer on Twitter. And despite my shift in focus, I do plan to write more about beer here on BeerADay.net as I push through and finish up my “one a day all year” project.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll join in my excitement by raising your glass high! Let’s have three cheers: Sláinte! L’Chaim! Prost!
Have you noticed the title of this post? Do you think it’s a coincidence that on the day of my big announcement, I’m drinking “Baby Tree” from Pretty Things Beer And Ale Project?
Baby Tree is a quadruple brewed “with dried plums” (prunes). I’ve enjoyed Pretty Things’ Jack D’Or, St. Botolph’s Town, and Confounded Mister Sisyphus so far this year. But I had not been able to find Baby Tree, fearing that I had missed my chance at this seasonal brew.
Fate, it seems, is a funny thing. After deciding to announce the pregnancy this weekend, I stumbled across a bottle of Baby Tree (Batch Two, July 2009).
I poured the slightly chilled bottle into a Chimay glass, lingering over the rich aroma barely a minute before temptation pulled the ale to my lips. Baby Tree is a dark, reddish brown ale. The pour whipped up a moderate, off-white head and an aroma redolent with sweet malt and dark fruit. The scent was punctuated by the smell of rum as alcohol fumes pushed through. It’s a soothing, warming scent.
According to the Pretty Things website, Baby Tree:
. . . benefits from the addition of 40lbs of dried California plums in the kettle – hopefully contributing to the overall dark-fruit character of the beer. Like Jack D’Or, no spices are added to this beer. It’s a dark, 8.6% beer . . .
The ale is somewhat light in body but heavy on taste. Baby Tree tastes of bubblegum, prunes, and dark spice. There’s the essence of pumpernickel bread in the malt, enough to form a base for this ale’s candy sugar and prune sweetness which, in turn, is held in check by the anise, pepper, and elusive spices from the yeast. Spicy yeast rumbles through the finish, warming tongue, throat, and belly with a delicious, peppery bitterness. That spice creates a wonderful friction that manages to lengthen the otherwise sweet and boozy finish.
As for the name of the beer? You can see the real “Baby Tree” in the video below, and the full story is available on the Pretty Things Beer And Ale Project website.
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