Wednesday, January 4, 2012

White Birch Brewing

 Over the holiday week, we visited WHITE BIRCH BREWING in Hooksett, N.H., just a few miles down the road from where Bob grew up!
Apprentice brewer Andy, sales manger Brian and head brewer Chris.
 We had tried a few different White Birch beers on different visits to N.H. over the past few years, and noticed their recent arrival on the shelves of some of the finer beer purveyors in NYC. Brewery owner Bill made an appearance at the Brewers' Choice event during the last Craft Beer Week New York, and we got to sample some very interesting barrel aged brews that he brought.
Test batches.
 Our first impressions of the brewery's products were mixed. While there seemed to be some interesting concepts behind the beers, we found them to be a bit inconsistent, in the way that homebrew can sometimes be.
Birch wood barrel.
 But after tasting the very interesting beers that Bill brought to the Brewers' Choice, we felt that we had to keep tabs on what White Birch was up to -- there was a lot of promise to what they were aiming to do. Clearly, they had some vision and imagination.
The 7-barrel system.
 The beers that we sampled at the brewery's "show room" were all quality beers, including their Hooksett Ale, begrudgingly called a Belgian I.P.A. We were impressed enough to bring home six bottles of different beers offered for sale at the brewery, including the Coopers Dilemma Ale, a Belgian style ale aged in a birch wood barrel, which was custom made by the cooper of Strawberry Banke, a 1630s historical reenactment museum in Portsmouth, N.H.  Hear the whole story on this week's podcast!
Barrel aged.

The glamour of working in a craft brewery.

Chris the head brewer.

The original .645 barrel system.

At the "showroom" tasting bar.

Bottles to go.

And yet more!

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