White Birch Brewing has been making a variety of British, Belgian and American style ales out of their brewery in Hookset, NH since 2009. In addition to their flagship beers they offer a series of seasonal, small batch and barrel aged ales. One of the great things about supporting local breweries, aside from the delicious fresh beer, is their involvement in the community. White Birch is one of many breweries that is actively involved in charity work, aiding a number of New Hampshire based causes. White Birch also runs a unique apprenticeship program. In this program someone interested in learning about brewing and the craft beer industry can apprentice at White Birch, 1 day a week for 6 months. At the end each apprenticeship, the individual designs and brews their own beer, which the brewery bottles and sells. Due to the expansion of the brewery this apprenticeship program is currently on hiatus, but they hope to have it return in the summer of 2014. One of the beers to come out of the White Birch apprenticeship program is Nyx, an American Black Ale/Black IPA. Originally brewed by apprentice Adam in 2011, Nyx was so popular that it is now part of White Birch’s regular fall seasonal lineup. Nyx is named after the Greek goddess of night, and marries dark malts with bitter American hops.
White Birch Brewery Nyx pours a very dark brown with a small tan head. The malts come through strongly in the smell, with significant chocolate and coffee scents. This is followed by some light hop aromas which contribute some pine and earthy smells. The taste is initially malt forward too, espresso, dark chocolate, and some brown sugar. This maltiness is balanced by intense hop bitterness, with resin and citrus flavors that cut through the sweetness of the malts. The beer has a solidly bitter finish and medium body. It is easy to drink for a dark and bitter beer. Overall White Birch Nyx is a very solid take on the Black IPA style. I could have used a little more hoppiness on the nose, but there is great balance in flavor. I will definitely be checking out some of White Birch’s other offerings in the near future. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.