Lovely Saint Winefride
Lovely Saint Winefride is a “brown” lager, created by Dann using a complicated and extremely-rare decoction mash. You’re correct, “Brown Lager” isn’t actually a style, but we wanted to make the most deliciously malty lager imaginable. At the same time we wanted this to taste like a lager you’d actually find in Germany, bursting with authentic character and suitable for the most discerning old-timer.
Besides the decoction mash, we fermented Saint Winefride at 52 degrees and lagered her over a period of 9 weeks in the deep of winter. They just don’t make lagers like this here in New England. The beer is malty, containing a blend of German malts and roasted German malts. There’s even the wisp of smoke near the end.
St Winefride lived in post-Roman Wales from 600 to 660 A.D. She was charming and intelligent, and decided to become a nun. Unfortunately, this news went down poorly with her suitor, Caradoc, who hacked off her head. Luckily, her Uncle Beuno was able to perform the miracle of reattaching it and she recovered fully. (Hooray!). She became an Abbess and governed Gwytherin Abbey in Wales until her death on November 3rd, 660 A.D.
The lager, yes lager, started out as an idea to create a very rustic beer with a roasted character and a brown disposition. We imagined a pre-Great War sort of beer that might have been on its last legs of popularity. The kind of beer young folks of the time would laugh about as being “an old man’s lagerbier”. Well Pretty Things is the old-man’s-dream-beer-brewer, so we decided to give it a whirl. We started with malted barley and hops from the German tradition and employed a single decoction mash. Decoction is a slightly complicated, time intensive and little used technique (on this continent anyway) that insured temperature accuracy in the age before real temperature control. Got it? Okay, that was a boring explanation. How is this: we took a portion of the mash and boiled it at 212 degrees F for 15 minutes. Trust us, boiling a mash is rare. Dann has only done this a handful of times in his twenty year career (on purpose anyway). Ahem. We continue by saying this brown lager is also quite delicious and nice to drink. If you choose to not think about boiling mashes and old men we assure you this beer will still very much please your palate.
Tasting notes: deep brown red colour, tannish head, fine carbonation, deep dark malt character with quite a lot of yeast presence in the flavour, refined Hallertau hoppiness. 7% ABV
Quite a lady! We hope you enjoy this beer! Keep an eye on this page as we will add more beery-details in the days to come.