On Monday, June 24th 2013 I spent the evening at Nocturnem Draft Haus in downtown Bangor, Maine celebrating the release of the newest beers distributed in Maine, Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project. During the VIP tasting event I was able to sit down with Dann and Martha Paquette, the husband and wife team that make up the brewing side of the business.
Pretty Things isn’t your conventional brewery, they don’t actually have a brewery to call their own, they call themselves “Tennant Brewers”, as opposed to “Contract Brewers” who send off their recipes to be brewed by another brewer. As “Tennant’s” they rent their brewery space, formulate the recipes, put in the labor to brew it, monitor fermentation and any dry hopping that needs to be done then the “House” packaging crew from the brewery they rent space from completes the bottling process. They rent space from the Buzzard Bay Brewery in Westport, MA. Buzzard Bay is a large brewery that has cut back in production, making it possible for Pretty Things to come in and conduct their brewing on their equipment. By renting space at the brewery it helps keep Buzzard Bay’s fermenters full and their employees busy.
I asked Dann and Martha if they had plans of building their own brewery or if they were happy with their current situation. Martha told me that they were currently in such a good situation that they didn’t have plans to pursue building their own brewery and that to keep up capacity would require a significant investment. In their current arrangement they remain debt free and can continue to brew on their own schedule, although Martha did tell me that they would “Always dream it” so maybe there will be a brewery to tour in the future. Dann informed me that last year they brewed about 4,000 barrels and they expect to surpass that this year, which is pretty impressive considering they don’t have their own brewing system.
Pretty Things currently distributes their beer in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and limited distribution in New York and now Maine, I had to know why Maine?
“Because we already come here and because we really like it here” –Dann Paquette
“Because there are good beer drinkers here” –Martha Paquette
They just like the state and the Maine beer scene so they decided to send their beer north.
The last question I had for them was about the label art on their bottles, specifically who does their design work? Come to find out, the designs on their labels are done by them and the Pretty Things crew, they all do some drawings and then as a group decide what they do an don’t like until they’ve come up with a new beer label. The Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project is only made up of four people, it’s nice to hear that they truly do work as a team, right down to the labels on the bottles.
At this point I’ve tried quite a few of Pretty Things beers but have not done any reviews, I will be doing some in the near future but can tell you I’ve never been disappointed by any of their product and would encourage you to visit your local bottle shop and check them out.
Welcome to Maine, Pretty Things!