Dann Paquette

Brewbound is pleased to announce that Dann Paquette and Martha Holley-Paquette, husband and wife co-founders of Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, will speak at the Brewbound Session on May 2 in Boston, Mass.

Founded in 2008, Pretty Things represents the cutting edge of the recent explosion of craft breweries in the Boston area. Pretty Things operates as a “gypsy brewer”: the Paquettes rent space from Buzzard’s Bay Brewing in Westport, Mass., and have become well-known and well-respected for their ability to create innovative and high quality beers, and, more importantly, to run a profitable business without actually owning any brewing space or equipment. Their model has inspired an array of new entrants into the local craft beer scene and introduced local retailers and consumers to a series of beer styles previously unseen among Boston-area brewers.

Martha Holley-Paquette

Despite the rapid and dynamic growth of craft in the region, however, Pretty Things is facing a number of challenges, ranging from a highly competitive shelf set to finicky consumers who have been trained to constantly seek new flavors, and also the physical and financial limitations of beer production — some of which is a requirement of their very own model. At the Brewbound Session, the Paquettes will speak about the growing issues affecting gypsy and contract breweries in an increasingly crowded marketplace, and their approach to staying ahead of the curve when it comes the foreboding “bubble” that many industry experts predict. The Paquettes will also offer their take on the importance of brewing experience for the craft beer market — something they believe is currently lacking — and explain why they believe brewery owners should not only have a well-thought out business model, but also an exit strategy in their plans.

About Dann Paquette and Martha Holley-Paquette

Dann Paquette began brewing shortly after he finished up journalism school in Boston. He felt driven to become a professional brewer and has dedicated his 20-plus year career to brewing both craft beer and real ale. After working at several (now closed) Boston-area breweries, he landed his first head brewer position at North East Brewing Company in Allston, Mass. Dann went on to become the head brewer of the Concord Brewing Company and launched Rapscallion, a brand of Belgian-style beers. Concord Brewing was eventually sold, and Dann moved on to The Tap brewpub in Haverhill, Mass. where he brewed an eclectic line up of beers for the brewpub for three years. During that time, he met Martha Holley. Together, they decided to move to Yorkshire, UK, where Dann brewed at Daleside brewery in Harrogate for three years and learned traditional real ale brewing. Most recently, Dann and Martha returned to the Boston area and started Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, which is based out of rented brewing space at Buzzards Bay Brewing in Westport, Mass. Dann is the head brewer and crafts each batch by hand, while the host brewery packages the beer. Dann spends the rest of his time at home in Somerville, Mass. working on beer formulation, label designs, and events.

Martha Holley-Paquette was educated at Cambridge University in the U.K. and has a Ph.D in microbiology. She moved to Boston in her twenties to pursue a research career and subsequently met Dann Paquette. Martha became yet another recruit to the brewing industry and started Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project with Dann in 2008. Martha has gradually moved away from science and became company director and assistant brewer in 2010. She divides her time between brewing with Dann and running the business operations of the brewery with the help of two full time Somerville-based employees.