Pretty Things beer, based in Somerville, MA, will be the featured beer tomorrow (6/16) at our Thursday Night Oysters event. We recently caught up with Jim Barnes, the go to guy in NYC for all things pretty, but especially for Pretty Things Beer!
What’s the first (great) beer you remember drinking and where were you at the time?
Though not necessarily a “great” beer, I’d have to say it was Ballentin’s. I was 8 when my dad would pour a little of his beer into my Snoopy mug at dinner. This is where I feel I developed a pallet for beer and learned to enjoy the taste rather than the usual route that people take (in other words, the God-awful high school keg party).
Pretty Things describes itself as a “Gypsy Brewery” in that you don’t have your own brewhouse. While some of your beer is made at Buzzard’s Bay Brewery in Westport, MA, e xplain how a gypsy brewery operates.
We rent space in other breweries, and (owners) Dann and Martha sometimes camp out in their car and brew for 24 to more than 48 hours at a time. We’ve mainly been at Buzzard’s Bay, though we started our company brewing at Paper City Brewing Company in Western Massachusetts.
You have a pretty solid foothold in NYC. Where was the first bar that served Pretty Things beer and when?
Believe it or not, I remember the first place I had Jack D’Or was at Jimmy’s No. 43. It was the first place where our beer was featured at an event, the Hungry Filmmaker’s post-party back in December 2009. The place was packed out with over 100 people, and there was Jimmy bringing me all around the room introducing me and the beer to as many people as he could. It was such a memorable, great time!
How did you get involved with Pretty Things?
I got to know Dann and Martha not long after they met, as part of a core group of friends on BeerAdvocate.com back in Boston. They became the subject of a documentary I was making at the time. After being in NY sometime later after the company started, they asked me to be their rep here when they started distributing through Union. In a word, fate! Fate is what made me the Pretty Thing I am today.
Anything else you’d like us to know about Pretty Things (that can’t be found on the website)?
We’re funky, oddball brewers that don’t want to take the 21st Century too seriously. We dare people to send letters using pen and paper… or better yet, a mechanical typewriter! Dare to find a bad-ass roadhouse Hell’s Angel biker bar and put Jim Nabors on the juke box! (Note from Editor: Jimmy’s No. 43 is NOT responsible if you actually dare to do this!) Plant a Baby Tree! Grow bushy mutton chops! Ditch the lawnmower this summer! But most of all… always remember, Pretty Things Loves You!