Baby tree is a "quadruple" brewed with a single strain of Belgian yeast. While a commonly used style name on the internet, "quadruple" isn't in fact a style name at all but a brand of beer produced by La Trappe in the Netherlands. Its found a common usage as a cover-all for the darkest and strongest beers produced by Trappist monks, mainly because they haven't named them themselves. Two Belgian brewers use the term "Abt", Flemish for "Abbot". Historically the best beer made in an abbey (by the Cistercians/Trappists at least) was referred to in Latin simply as "prima melior". This has also become a brand name in recent years.
Our "quadruple" 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, and should be in a store near you soon. Because it's a strong beer, we don't have so many kegs of it available, but it will be appearing at a few bars around MA.
"Baby Tree" is Pretty Things' first seasonal beer. And here is the story of how the Baby Tree came to be. This story begins in Yorkshire, in the hamlet of Sexhow. Sexhow consists of a few farms and cottages, strung out along a road that winds towards the heather-topped hills of the North York Moors.
Sexhow is small but not insignificant: much has happened there. In the Dark Ages, a mediaeval village existed in the valley between two of the six hills from which Sexhow takes its name. A hungry dragon slithered into the village on its belly, braying for milk. It seems that Yorkshire’s dragons hunger for milk, not maidens, and the frightened villagers supplied it with all they could find. But the more it drank, the more it desired, and the cows were eventually milked dry. In fear for their safety, the villagers were eventually rescued by a passing knight and his dog, who slaughtered the dragon. The skin of the frightful worm was hung from the rafters in the village church.
# A few years later, in the 1980's, another significant part of Sexhow’s colorful history began as a one-off musical tribute by Judy Kitching, a farmer from Sexhow, in honor of her husband, Jim. Friends gathered to celebrate her husband’s life, and everyone had so much fun they decided to do it again the next year. Now known around North Yorkshire simply as The CornShed
each summer Judy’s farm is transformed into a music and real ale festival. The ticket price supports the Great North Air Ambulance - a resource that's important in this rural and hilly region.
I know what you're thinking - how long is this yarn to be spun before babies-in-trees enter the picture? I'll cut to the chase. If you venture into Judy's back garden, in between the house and the cornshed (where wheat and barley are stored after harvest), you'll come upon a startling sight: a tree full of limp and bedraggled baby dolls. As they were growing up Judy's daughters would throw their well-worn but unwanted dolls into this tree. The sentiment is fantastic - the effect is creepy. But we love that tree none-the-less!
So our baby tree springs from a land of dragons, mediaeval villagers, knights, farms, misty heather, a shed full of barley, and creepy trees. This is a magical place in which ordinary things can grow into fairytales, and this beer is the result of just such a seed. Our baby tree is a happy tree that celebrates life at its silliest. A traveling tree full of babies that exists in a magical land.