Style: American Berliner Weisse
From: Hooksett, New Hampshire
Bottled On: August 2012
Brewer’s Note: “Napoleon’s troops referred to Berliner Weisse as the “Champagne of the North” due to its lively and elegant character. Today this style is described by some as the most refreshing beer in the world./Our approach was to brew this beer with Lactobacilius for a refreshing and authentic interpretation of a classic summer refresher.”
The White Birch Label is fairly streamlined and uniform, no matter the beer, which (as I mentioned in my Jack’s Abby reviews) is not always my favorite thing. I’m going to use the same review for all of them. If you read one of my White Birch reviews already then don’t bother reading my label review and just skip down to the beer review… I like how the background of the label looks like light birch bark, and I like the White Birch logo as well, but the rest of the beer is really cluttered with simple font text, and the change of color in text to highlight what the beer is just doesn’t seem to mesh nicely visually, which is too bad. I do give the brewery major credit for clearly posting right on the front of the beer when the beer was bottled on in big clear letters. Every brewery should do this. Cheers to White Birch for doing it. That being said, I’m really not in love with the White Birch label. It just feels to cluttered and dull. I would say it’s probably not worth scrapbooking, nor shelving, though the bottle’s clear “bottled on” date makes the beers themselves ideal for cellaring (when the beer style is appropriate for cellaring…).
The beer pours a very pale and murky yellow, its body is completely opaque, though it does allow light to come through, and a slight run of carbonation bubbles can be seen running to the top of the glass. The beer pours with a very soapy looking head made of big loose bubbles, but this quickly fades away to nothing. On the nose, this beer smells gross, like rubbing alcohol and cleaning products with a strong touch of pine sol. I feel like the Lacto may have been given too much time to run free in this beer… Gross fruity alcohol is really the only character I get on the nose. On the tongue, the beer tastes much better than the smell, with very metallic sour notes and not a lot else. The beer begins with clear and brutal lactic sour with a touch of chalk. This brutal sour opens into slight lemon and the faintest whisper of wheat bread make it into the finish and aftertaste, but for the most part there is just clear lactic sour running through this beer, which is much more pleasing than the smell, but still a little too sour. On the mouth, the beer feels prickly and puckering, yet with a medium light body. The mouth is left pouring with saliva from the sour and a chalky film covering the rest of the mouth. Overall, I’m not quite sure how I feel about this beer. I appreciate the lactic flavors, and they have clearly grown strong since the beer was bottled in August, but they are little too brutal on the tongue, and there really isn’t anything else going on in the taste. I want more of the faint bread on the taste, and perhaps there is more when this beer is fresh. In conclusion, I wouldn’t try and age this beer for longer than 3 months, but I would be interested to try it fresh.