Imperial Red IPA by White Birch Brewing

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New Hampshire is enjoying a booming business: craft brewing of fine beers around the entire state. As mentioned before in this column, NH leads the country in beer sales. That’s quite an accomplishment for a state the size that we are. Also, we can boast that we are one of the fastest growing number-of-breweries in one state as well. For example, NH had 15 requests for brewing licenses in 2014 alone. We have gone from 36 breweries to 42 since this time last year. All of this points to one thing; we like our beer!WhiteBirchBrewing_Imperial Red
This week we look at White Birch Brewing, founded in 2009 by Bill Herlicka, a longtime homebrewer and entrepreneur. In a Youtube video made in 2012, Bill explains his road to success through perseverance and hard work bringing the craft of brewing fine recipes to the public in 22 oz bottles and now kegs. White Birch provides year round brews as well as seasonals and ‘small batch series’ editions so being a seven barrel brewery means that if you see one you want, get it quick!
You can find out more about their offerings at their website www.whitebirchbrewing.com
“Imperial Red IPA” is as the name says; it’s 8.8% ABV, it’s certainly on the hazy red side and it’s hoppy. A large white head greats you as you pour the first round. When you bring the glass to your mouth, you will sense caramel, apricot, grapefruit, and biscuit even before you take your first taste. With a generous and malty mouthfeel, you will taste all of the previous flavors but also tartness from bittering hops lasts throughout the experience. Balance between maltiness and hops sees bittering as the winner, but since this is an IPA, that is to be expected. Overall, this beer serves as a reminder of what more courageous beer drinkers long for… flavor and lots of it. Chase this beer down and enjoy it. You will begin to understand what real craft brewing is about right here!
With the many other offerings from White Birch, this is a brewery to become friends with. You can find it at Case-n-Keg, as well as other fine beer stores. Most on BeerAdvocate.com have rated this beer from 3.75+ to 4.2 out of a score of 5. Enjoy this beer while you can get it, but remember, if it’s out of stock or past the season, you will want to look for it next year, most likely in the spring. In the meantime, select another great White Birch beer to try!

Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to wickedbrews@weirs.com.