Updated: Oct 30, 2018
For White Birch Brewing owner Dave Herlicka, one of the most important aspects of “local beer” meant choosing Nashua as the location to expand his business. The 30-barrel brewery and taproom, which had operated out of Hooksett, New Hampshire since 2009, moved to an 11,000-square-foot facility on Nashua’s busiest commercial strip in February 2018.
Herlicka says that Nashua is the right place for White Birch due to its “demographics, the proximity to the state border, and its great location on 101A [Nashua’s largest and most diverse business district].”
Flying the local banner also takes the form of the brewery’s partnering with such area organizations as the Nashua Police athletic league, the Nashua Soup Kitchen, local military charities, and shared-workspace startup Coworking House of Milford. White Birch—not surprisingly, given its location in politics-savvy New Hampshire—has also hosted political forums.
As White Birch reaches out beyond its local sphere to the wider world, Herlicka says that once the brewery became very active on social media, things really started rolling: “We get 120K to 150K hits per month on social media, between all of our platforms.”
In terms of what locals and visitors enjoy drinking, he says that it runs the gamut: They poured different flavors of Berliner Weisse—a lighter, cloudy, sour beer—all summer; even in the hotter months, though, they also served huge amounts of White Birch’s dark beer offerings.
White Birch always has several core brews on tap—a session IPA, a double IPA, and three sours. One current favorite, Herlicka notes, is the blueberry pineapple Berliner Weisse. During this past summer, the brewery’s taproom poured 68 specialty beers, and the owner says they drained every last keg. Visitors to the tasting room get a close-up view of the back-room ops through full-length windows of the bright beer tanks (tanks containing beer after fermentation and filtration) and kegging operation.
Herlicka says that these uniquely flavored, lighter beers often may make a beer drinker out of a non-beer drinker. He’ll ask them, he says, if they like wine. If they do, then he’ll ask: red or white? Often when a person is a fan of white wine, they will segue neatly beer-wise into a lighter Berliner Weisse brew, crafted and lightly flavored with crowd favorites like raspberry, pomegranate, cranberry, or pear.
Herlicka admits that there are some flavor combos that just don’t work. “One beer we tried flavoring with beets and strawberries. That one didn’t taste good.” Any unusual brew inclusions that worked a little better? “Our smoked brown Tavern Ale, aged with some caramelized bacon. That was amazing. Went really fast.”
Lovers of innovative flavors and local color can find White Birch Brewing at www.whitebirchbrewing.com.
And please tell us: What's your local?