As we slip back toward fall, beer imbibers start to change their choices in brews to purchase or order at restaurants and taverns. When temps start to drift to cooler zones, we think like the wild beasts preparing for winter. We tend to eat more hearty foods, enjoy seasonal traditions and partake of the weightier beers.
This week we look at White Birch Brewing, founded in 2009 by Bill Herlicka, a longtime homebrewer and entrepreneur. His hard work brewing craft beers for the public in 22 oz bottles and now kegs is and always will be his first goal. 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
Starting out as a growler-only offering from the brewery, “Double IPA” is a 9.2% ABV flavorful brew burst with malt goodness and late hop character in 22 oz bottles. A large white head greats you as you pour the first round. When you bring the glass to your mouth, you will smell wonderful rich malts, biscuit and sweetness 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 which lasts throughout the experience.
Gorgeous golden yellow is the color of perfection in this prize. Not cloudy by any measure, citrus and fruit embrace you with flavor and mystifying complexity.
Balance between maltiness and hops sees malt as the winner, but since this is an double IPA, that is to be expected in the character style. 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 averaged this beer 4.12 out of a score of 5 and they have officially rated it at 85 winning it a ‘Very Good’. 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