For Mike’s professional debut he choose to brew an Oak Aged Imperial Stout. Rich, full bodied, black as midnight. Rich roasted malts, smooth dark malts, oak tannins and a hint of alcohol warmth blend for a smooth balanced finish. Perfect for those dark nights of winter or a cigar any day.
In keeping with our first apprentice, Mike chose to say “До свидания” which is good bye in Russian on his label. So we wish Mike well in his brewing career and say Das Vedanya to Mike as he moves on. We hope you enjoy his beer as much as we do.
Words from apprentice brewer Mike Boulerice
This past winter, I came to the conclusion that I had learned everything I could from homebrewing. Since brewing schools are both extremely expensive and booked solid for the next two years, entering the arena of commercial brewing was the next logical step for me. I emailed every brewery within a hundred miles of Portsmouth and begged them to take me on in the lowest possibly capacity, but Bill was the only one to respond. Five minutes after meeting him and learning about the White Birch Apprentice Program, I knew it was an excellent opportunity for me to jump into commercial brewing head first. OK, it was also the only opportunity anyone would give me and “mama didn’t raise no fool”, so I signed a contract with Bill and began working in the brewery that same day.
Working with White Birch has been an amazingly well-rounded experience. From scrubbing heavily soiled fermenters to having total control in designing my own beer to burning myself on the brew system to laughing and enjoying beer samples during our lunch break, I’ve experienced it all; every high and low a brewery can offer. Bill didn’t stop at teaching me how to make great beer; he provided in-depth, hands-on instruction on how to own and run a nanobrewery, in a way that a traditional brewing school just can’t do. It’s now seven months later, and I’m finding that graduating from White Birch is a bittersweet experience. While I’m excited to move on and join the ranks of America’s craft brewers, I’m sad that I won’t be able to spend my Wednesdays with Bill, Ellen, Joel and Brian anymore. They are all great people and I’m going to miss them very much.
This has truly been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I hope all of you
enjoy Natasha as much as I enjoyed making it.
We recommend a rich cigar such as a churchill ring guage 7-20-4, a La Fleur Dominicana or Padron. If cigars are not your fancy then we recommend Robie Farm’s Piermont or Swaledale cheese with a nice multi grain cracker. A thick cut grilled steaks with twice baked potatoes or southern barbecue would be nice as well. If you really want to go wild, a panini made from thick hand cut country white bread, smoked toma cheese, roast beef and roasted poblano peppers is divine. Just taste the poblanos prior to making the sandwich as they are sometimes rather hot. Which is great if you like it, but not so much if you were looking for mild.