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Pretty Things Saint Botolph’s Town

By Andy Murphy
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The Massachusetts-based Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project pays tribute to towns on both sides of the sea with this “rustic dark ale”.

As explained on the Pretty Things website:

The name “Saint Botolph’s Town” is in tribute to our great home in America: Boston. The original Boston in Lincolnshire, England is an abbreviation of “Botolph’s Town” or “Botolph’s Stone”.

See, who says you can’t learn anything by drinking beer?

The artwork on the beer’s label seems to illustrate those chiming bells and noble towers evoked by New England poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Boston”:

St. Botolph’s Town! Hither across the plains
And fens of Lincolnshire, in garb austere,
There came a Saxon monk, and founded here
A Priory, pillaged by marauding Danes,
So that thereof no vestige now remains;
Only a name, that, spoken loud and clear,
And echoed in another hemisphere,
Survives the sculptured walls and painted panes.
St. Botolph’s Town! Far over leagues of land
And leagues of sea looks forth its noble tower,
And far around the chiming bells are heard;
So may that sacred name forever stand
A landmark, and a symbol of the power,
That lies concentred in a single word.

With such epic words to presage, nothing is left but to pour and taste this beer!

The beer poured a rich, dark brown with a thick, cream-colored head. Saint Botolph’s Town is a pretty brown ale; raspberry highlights glimmer around the edges when caught by the light. (I don’t think I’ve ever praised a brown ale as “pretty” before — but this beer lives up to the compliment.)

Soft, cherry-sweet fruitiness aches through a nutty, toasted malt aroma. The taste presents sweet toffee on the front, followed by chocolate and roasted malt at mid-palate and a tangy-sweet roasted finish. The mild, tart cherry taste grows as the beer warms, and toasted chocolate and bitter hops accumulate as you drink.

My bottle was from the first batch, brewed in February of this year. I have no doubt that subsequent batches have changed — but I’ll resist the urge to argue I can drink “Batch Two” without breaking my NO REPEATS clause. Instead, I’ll look forward to buying a bottle of Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project’s “Baby Tree” — the only Pretty Things beer in stores now that I haven’t yet tried.

By the way, Feast of St. Botolph’s is June 17th. I wish I had saved this bottle just a few more weeks to “feast” upon this beer in June. But why not buy a bottle and celebrate without me? Post your thoughts in the comments if you do!

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Categories : Beer a Day



Andy, Thanks for posting that Longfellow poem. I’d never seen that before. Interesting that the priory he speaks of in fact was built nowhere near Boston, Lincolnshire. Not sure when that was figured out, but after Longfellow I guess!




Dann, it seems fact checking was lax in the literary world long before James Frey cranked up the spotlight.

I’ve read your description of how Jack D’Or evolved. Have you made changes to subsequent batches of Saint Botolph’s Town?

Thanks for making such enjoyable beer, and for including rich background information on your website. Unlike the one or two line superlatives found on other brewery pages, the glimpse you provide into the beer’s inspiration and your process pleasantly complements the experience of enjoying your creations.

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