The White Birch Brewing Apprentice Series is the culmination of months of hard work and fun.

Mabon, the Wiccan name for the autumnal equinox is a time when day and night are equal, and the harvest is winding down. It’s a time of reflection and balance. For his release, Andy brewed a Black Saison that is as dark in color as it is light in body.

As Andy moves on, we raise a toast and hope you enjoy this beer as much as we do.

Words from apprentice brewer Andrew Eppinger
To begin, I would like to extend a great “Thank You” to everyone at White Birch Brewing for giving me such a great opportunity. The apprentice program is a one of a kind experience that I shall never forget. It has been an enormous pleasure to be a part of such a hard working, focused and growing brewery.

When contimplating what beer I would conjure up for my graduation brew I tried to think of all the beers out there I really enjoy. Stouts were at the forefront of this list and remain there still. I began brewing up many test batches of Stout recipes both at home and at the brewery.

I made several attempts at a milk stout, a few failed overly bitter coffee stouts, and finally settled on a simple yet delicious chocolate stout recipe. Now that the grains were selected and hops defined and the “extras” removed from the equation, it was time to decide on the perfect yeast. The last test batch I did was split into three different carboys. Each carboy would get a different yeast strain.

I had selected an Irish Ale yeast, an English Ale yeast and the third was a Belgian Saison yeast that was left over from another brew day. With some persuation from Bill we pitched the Belgian Saison into the third carboy. Thus Mabon was born! A sensational brew with hints of chocolate and roast coffee. It’s a velvety smooth drink with a light body feel and a dry peppery finish.

Pairing notes from Andy:
Since the day Mabon was ready for consumption I have found it hard not to be drinking it whenever possible. In doing so I found Mabon goes well with many things. Some of these examples are:

  • Mabon with a Bacon Cheese Burger: Mabon stood its ground against the many flavors comprising the burger. I say the bacon flavors were more pronounced after each chocolaty sip and the pepper back notes of Mabon complimented the burger to a “T” (The only reason I attempted this was to get a really good bacon cheeseburger)
  • Mabon with a cat on your lap by a crackling fire: AHHH comfort a perfect paring.
  • Mabon with a Boston Creme Dounut: The chocolate feel and taste of Mabon really came through after the second or third bite of the sweet donut especially when I finally got to the elusive creme center. YUM!
  • Mabon after a trip to the grocery store: Relaxing and refreshing.
  • Mabon with friends around a campfire: Many bottles were needed. Results: Superb!

Apprentice Brewer

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