Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Apprentice brewer Victor Arocho fell in love with craft beer the day he came to the US. A friend brought Victor to a bar in Boston, where he had his first sip and was forever hooked.
For his release, Victor has chosen to brew a Belgian Style Tripel with a twist. His interpretation is made using not only barley, but also wheat, oats and rye.
Tres pa’ Cuatro means three to four in Spanish, a Tripel made with four malts. Salud!
Words from apprentice brewer Victor Arocho
Craft beer lovers,
I would like to start by giving thanks to everybody that was part of this “dream come true”. My apprenticeship with White Birch Brewing has been one of the most important steps in my venture into the beer industry. Thanks to the White Birch crew for giving me the opportunity to be part of this amazing experience as an apprentice brewer. Thanks to all my family and friends who have always supported me since I started my journey to become the owner of a brewery/brew pub. You’re always willing to take my advice as your “beer evangelist” knowing I could never accept the idea of a person not liking beer. You just haven’t tried the one that will “convert” you. Also thanks to Joshua Bernstein and his “home brew tours” in Brooklyn NY. That is what gave me the spark to begin making beer.
The apprenticeship all started with an interview that included some interesting questions like, “what are your three favorite bands?” and “what is your favorite beer?”. My first day working at the brewery consisted of emptying and rinsing bottles of old beer, which I did not mind because that’s where I met Beth, the first female brewer I’ve known. We chatted for about two hours while working our way thru a whole pallet of beer boxes at a great and efficient pace. I felt like a policeman dumping beer during the prohibition era.
Going through the apprentice program has given me a good idea of what it takes to run a craft brewery. Every day was different and I learned and enjoyed each and every one of them. From cleaning, sanitizing and filling kegs, to bottling and labeling the beer, I got a very good and complete “hands-on” experience. Every part of the operation was covered. But my favorite days were brew days. The aroma while mashing the grains followed by the enchanting fragrance of hops during the boil filled the brew house and inspired me more and more to follow my dream. Other than that I helped delivering some beer to distributors along with Ben, who is the brewery’s first apprentice to become a full time employee at White Birch. I also worked at tastings, events and festivals representing the brewery by pouring samples and talking beer with people.
For my graduation beer I decided to brew a Belgian style Tripel, which is one of my favorite among the Belgian styles of beer. This beer is great because it can be enjoyed during a cold day in New Hampshire or a tropical day in Puerto Rico. It’s a big beer that will help you keep warm during the snow while still being refreshing on a hot day. I love hoppy and bitter beers, which seem to be the trend now days, but the Belgians have a very special place in my heart and palate. I hope you enjoy this awesome beer as much as I enjoyed brewing it and developing the recipe with the great help from former head brewer Chris Shea.
As you drink and share Tres pa’ Cuatro with family and friends, I will be continuing to gain all the experience I need to fully prepare myself for my “master plan”. When I open my brewery/brew pub in Puerto Rico someday, I’ll be able to enjoy the best lifestyle in the world which is the “Caribbean island way” all while doing something I’m passionate about.
Again thank you: Bill, Brian, Ellen, Ben, Andy, Keenan, Geoff, Beth, Paul and everyone that has passion for great craft beer like me and all the great customers of White Birch Brewing.
Victor J. Arocho-Meaux
Food Pairing Guide:
Tres pa’ Cuatro pairs well with…
- Basil and pesto dishes such as shrimp fettuccine, margherita pizza or spicy Thai basil chicken
- Seafood dishes such as crab cakes, shellfish or paella
- Herbed roasted poultry
- Honey glazed or cured hams like prosciutto
- Grilled or roasted vegetables like asparagus and brussels sprouts
- Spicy cajun dishes
- Soft cheeses such as Triple-creme brie
It is also a great dessert beer that pairs well with…
- Fruit cobblers or tarts
- Pecan pie