Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project – Field Mouse’s Farewell Info
Welcome to our Field Mouse’s Farewell. It’s our late spring seasonal beer. Mostly inspired by Nord Pas de Calais “biere de garde” and Wallonian saison styles, this rustic ale of 7% alcohol is chock full of different grains: Rye, Oats, Wheat and Barley. We wanted to brew a beer made of what a mouse would eat. Anyone who’s spent time in a brewery knows that keeping the mice away is a battle! Although the mouse who inspired this beer was a tiny fieldmouse who found himself in our house in Yorkshire one day.
This year (2011) we raised the rye-malt profile this beer, as well as the colour. Much of the aroma and intense maltiness of the flavour is due to an interplay between the rye, fermentation characteristics and fabulous old-school hopping.
The hops are Strisselspalt from Alsace and Bramling Cross from England. We combined Belgian and English yeast strains (inspired by the proximity of Calais and Kent?). Oldy woldy worldy.
Strisselspalt is THE great hop grown in Alsace. Here’s a link to the association of hop growers that grew the very hops in this beer: http://www.cophoudal.fr/Sitegb.html. For the past two years we’ve traveled as a company to the Craft Brewers Conferences in Chicago and San Francisco. Both times we’ve had the pleasure to see Francis Heitz of Cophoudal of Alsace, our hop grower for Strisselspalt. We’ve even hand-carried his hops home in our luggage from Chicago (after taking them out on the town for a night). We are very pleased to have his hops represented in Fieldmouse’s Farewell.
The second hop used in FMF is an old Pretty Things B&AP standby: Bramling Cross. Here’s a link to info on this hop: http://www.hopsfromengland.com/Varieties/BramlingCross.htm. We totally disagree with the character being described as “American”. We think it’s more like a thorny berry shrub… the sort of obviously-a-plant bitterness that we love so much.
At the end of the day Field Mouse’s Farewell is a fantastic beer to put on your table this time of year. There’s a distinct maltiness and yeast quality, with the almost noble Strisselspalts lingering shortly after each sip. It’s slightly sweeter and less bitter than our first love, Jack D’Or, and no less drinkable.
Bye Bye mouse.