White Birch Belgian Style Pale Ale - White Birch Brewing

Not Rated.
White Birch Belgian Style Pale AleWhite Birch Belgian Style Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

181 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 181
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 18.08%
Wants: 9
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
White Birch Brewing visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: barleywinebrewer on 08-13-2009

This straw colored beer greets with an aroma of noble hops, pears and Belgian esters. The flavor follows nicely with a moderately spicy hop and Belgian yeast effect buoyed by a soft malt body. The finish is crisp and dry. We enjoy this beer with spicy foods, grilled steaks, grilled chicken and mandarin salad. Where you take it is only limited by your imagination. For those interested in styles, the name of this beer comes from the color over trying to meet any particular style.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 181 | Reviews: 94
Reviews by puboflyons:
Photo of puboflyons
4.35/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 1 pint 6 fl. oz bottle. Brewed on July 21, 2009 from Batch One...bottle 8 of 70. Sampled on September 12, 2009. The pour has this odd pale yellow-clear look and almost has the appearance of being white. It is cloudy, which is appropriate for a good Belgian Pale. The foamy white head begins about two fingers thick then simmers down and remains during the tasting. The aroma is of wheat, pears and other fruits with a kind of hoppy chaser to top it off. The mouthfeel is medium to chewy. The tasting experience starts out wheaty, follows with something tart and spicy, and ends warm like a high quality hot sauce without the burning. This is a beer worth trying and one that I found to be pleasantly unpredictable because the different aroma and flavor sensations tickled my tongue back to back. Congratulations on the new brewery.

More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A light amber with a light haze. The persistant cream, white head leaves lacing on the glass.

S: moderate clove and pear aromas with some floral hops. There is a slight bit of malt sweetness, faint caramel and pils malt aroma. The alcohol aroma is light, soft and floral.

T: The flavors is mostly moderate pepper, clove, orange peel, spicy hops and light pear. The moderate hops bitterness brings the balance to the bitter side against a light malt sweetness. The finish is dry and the aftertaste is of a hops bitterness and orange peel.

M: Light bodied with a moderately-high carbonation and a slightly cream mouth feel. There is a slight astringency on the front of the tongue.

O: A very nice BPA with just a touch to much clove.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.37/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer from a new brewery was excellent. I wasn't too wild about the appearance, sort of a hazy chartreuse color with a tiny white head. Things quickly improved. Nice sweet, spicy aroma. Pear taste, some other fruit I couldn't identify, and some late warmth from the spice. Nicely carbonated, very smooth. Just a great beer to drink.

Photo of Billolick
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft with a few others from White Birch at the Birdsall House, Peekskill, NY.

Poured super cloudy, yellowy in color. Departing and loose white head.

Loaded with lemony citrus notes in the nose.

More then ample lemon, and assorted citric notes, also wheaty malts, Belgian yeasty notes. Hoppy late.

I tend to enjoy this type of creation and this one was no different. Yummy. Well crafted and likely quite enjoyable for lovers of Belgian style fruity, citric and hoppy ales.

Photo of chinchill
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Feb. 2014 dated 22 ounce bottle. My first beer from this brewery.

Appearance: Copper with a very durable, creamy bone-colored head. A large amount of visible carbonation. Sheets of lacing coat the glass.

Aroma: A faint “soapy” character; earthy hops; bready malts; mildly funky Belgian yeast.

Taste: Aged apples; wood chips; light bitterness; herbal and earthy.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium+ soft carbonation.

Overall: decent

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

White Birch- Belgian Style Pale Ale

Thanks to johnnnniee for this 1. Won in his LIF.

A- Hazy/ cloudy light bright yellow with a huge chunky frothy white head. Filmy lacing.
S- Yeasty with a sweet lemony aroma. Sugary, spicy (white pepper), and a mild light toasted malt.
T- Sweet sugary lemon and yeast with bread crust/ lightly roasted light malt, peppery spice, and a dry hay/ straw hop presence.
M- Sweet and sugary to start with a spicy dry twang and a thick malty, slight boozy, finish.

Overall- Lighter than expected but easily drinkable. A good 1st try for me from White Birch.

Photo of augustgarage
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Immense thanks to ShogoKawada for sharing the White Birch! Batch Eight, Bottle #25 of 103; clocking in at 7.5%. Bottled October 20th, 2009. Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Troubadour tulip.

Two rocky fingers of merengue crown a hazy pale icterine body that reminds me of a witbier. The ghost white soft peaks recede by slightly less than half and then remain for good. Even heavy lacing and clear tears glide down the lip of the glass.

Very strange aroma - noble hops and ripe pears according to the label - this is true, but I also get overripe pears, and a faint but distinctive durian note. Durian! I'd take a taleggio note over the fruity vomit aroma of durian...

Sweet, rustic palate, with light wheat notes and a bit of spice in the finish. Esters are there, but the smell overwhelms my ability to appreciate them...there is a pleasant grassiness as well.

Medium-bodied, smooth, not overly carbonated, and (behind the foul scent) refreshing - slightly warming.

Probably the highest ratio of anticipation to disappointment I've had thus far with a beer - and, no, these are not "off" notes (two other people who tried it liked it just fine).

Photo of tkelley
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in may 2011, batch seven bottle 1320. 22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Really powerful foamy head. Kind of a dark goldenrod colored body that is quite hazy.

Smells yeasty with a little bit of cloves and lemon.

Tastes of cloves and yeast. Lemon and malt on the finish.

Pretty tasty beer. I appreciate the localness and the subdued flavor. I would drink this again for the right price.


Photo of Gmann
3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jan '11 Batch One 8.2%ABV

Pours a slightly hazy pale straw color with some golden hightlights. There was a pure white head, that was dense and settled into a chunky ring.

The aroma has floral and perfumey sweetness. There is some light clove and a hint of coriander. Overripe apple pops through towards the end. The aroma isn't very strong.

The taste is quite apple-y. Again, some overripen apples. Some floral sweetness and honey. In the end you get a dry grassy hay like flavor from what I imagine is the hops. It doesn't really add much bitterness but drys out the beer quite rapidly.

The feel is light with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate but then finishes quite dry.

This BSPA was a let down for me after trying their Hooksett Ale. The flavor was quite fruity but the yeast didn't really bring in any of the authentic belgian flavors. The beer is also very dry which seems to suck up all the flavor from the beer.

Photo of Kinsman
3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz into a chalice. Batch #1 bottled on February 3, 2010

Pours a pale yellow color with a hazy body and capped with a white fluffy head with ample retention. Leaves behind a patchy lace around the walls of the glass.

Aroma is spicy, suggesting hint of white pepper or coriander. Hops add a bit of a grassy note but this is covered up by a strong lemony note.

The first taste was quite surprising, and really nothing that I expected. Had a decent bitter flavor, seeming to be a combination of hops and spice notes. Sweet malt notes try to come through but are hidden behind the lemony and other citrus flavors.

Quite a noticeable feel from the carbonation, and overall a medium feel from the body.

Not a bad beer, but it seemed to lack a real Belgian character. Definitely worth a try, but not the best from White Birch.

Photo of akorsak
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9, bottle 2 of 103. Thanks to barleywinebrewer for the bottle.

A: The ale has the pale, hazy complexion of a witbier with a thick white head taht slowly recedes. Same color as batch 5.

S: The nose lacks the wildness that Batch 5 had. In its place, bready aromas and fruit make appearances.

T: The pale malt body supports a light breadiness that includes a decent amount of fruit. Lemon peel and soft-skinned fruits, think pears and apples, take over until a grainy wall brings things to a halt. The end of the sip offers up a bit of a funky taste, not wild but unusual.

M&D: Much better than batch 5, redeeming my faith in WBB. Thanks to barleywinebrewer for sharing this new batch.


Batch 5, bottle 141 of 198. According to Bill Herlicka of White Birch, Batch 5 was innoculated on wild yeast, giving it an unusual color and nose. I was worried so I checked before I reviewed (didn't want to review a skunked bottle).

A: The ale looks like lemonade, or a radler at least. To call it a witbier doesn't quite do the hazy color justice. That made me question the batch, leading to the information in the preceding paragraph. A decent head, nearly a finger, receded quickly.

S: The nose has been taken over by the wild yeast, resulting in a funky, nearly unpleasant nose that features ethyl alcohol and a medicinal note.

T: The first sip isn't as unsettling as the nose. That being said, small sips were the best way for me to get through the ale. The Belgian body is mild; what follows it is where things derail. The yeast has imparted a powdery, lactic taste that lingers like penicillin. The sourness is far different from the flavors imparted by most wild yeasts, this one just doesn't work for me.

M: The mouthfeel leaves much to be desired, even when the ale is viewed as a progressive Belgian-style.

D: I'm torn. I normally wouldn't review a beer like this, except the brewer has confirmed that it was the intended result. I loved the Eerst; I don't love this batch of the Belgian Pale.

Batch 5: 2.5, 2.5, 2.0, 2.0, 1.5 = 2.15

Photo of philbe311
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch #7, Bottle 131/302...

A - A finger and a half worth of pure white slightly creamy slightly foamy slightly uneven head... Minimal retention gives way to a full creamy lacing... The color is a mix of pale straw yellow and honey... A small compact cyclone of carbonation rises in the center of the tulip glass...

S - Belgian yeasts and candied sugars dominate the nose... Modest notes of tart apples... Pear... Wet cut grass... A touch of funkiness... Faint lemon and sweet grapefruit notes...

T - Tart apples... A bit of honey... Loaded with grainy malts... Lemon zest... A bit of salt and a bit of funk... Not quite what I was expecting...

M - Medium bodied and rather sturdy... A bit creamy lushness to start than quickly turns quite dry and slightly astringent...

D - This one really is a tale of two beers... The appearance and and nose are quite enticing and pleasant, but the taste and mouthfeel leave a little something to be desired... In a style with many world class competitors, overall this is a slightly less than average brew...

Photo of SickGnar
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich & warm golden, bright and clear with a fair number of bubbles rising to the large head of bright white foam that turns rocky as it settles. Good retention and nice lace. A good looking beer.

S: Distinctly pear fruity esters with softly floral noble hops. Very candy sweet pils malt backbone. Spicy note from hops and/or perhaps from alcohol. Spicy note grows as it warms and takes on more of an alcohol nature. But overall it stays mostly fruity and sweet.

T: Noble hops – floral & herbal up front, quite firm spicy notes through the middle and end, and the finish is grassy, herbal, perfumey resin, and more spice. Lots of flavor and pretty firm bitterness. Some of the spice could well be from yeast and alcohol contributions. Also more Belgian yeast character than the nose – slightly earthy and some phenol hints. Fruit esters are softer – just dancing around the edges. Malt backbone is quite candy sweet pils up front with an underlying bready and doughy base.

M: Medium body, but it seems a tad bigger with softly, yet firmly, expansive carbonation and some chey dextrins & mildy sticky residual sugars. Still it was quite attenuated, and this along with the hops (and perhaps alcohol) push it drying. Barest hint of warming way in the back of the throat.

D: Nice mix of fruity, spicy, sweet, hoppy, and some yeast notes. A pleasant hing of alcohol. Clearly Belgian in style. Good strength at 7.3 % abv (at least on my bottle). Straddles the BPA & BGS styles. Loads of flavor and plenty drinkable.

Photo of DrewKid4
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle purchased from Burrito Me in Laconia, NH poured into a White Birch glass.

A: Pours a pale straw color with a quickly dissipating white head.

S: Hardly any hops, with some citrus and pear (as mentioned on the label).

T: Hints of pilsner hops but much more pear and citrusy flavors. Reminds me more of pineapple juice than any sort of beer.

M: Sour but not bad. Dries out the mouth and I wish it had some better and stronger flavors.

D: It is not bad by any means. But for $9 a bottle at Burrito Me and for being a Belgian Style Pale Ale, as most seem to concur fails its self-proclaimed style, its really not worth it unless they revamp the whole blueprint for this brew. I'd be excited to see what they can do.

Photo of fourstringer
3.71/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber or a 750 mL bottle (I can't remember) into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderate hand. Bottled April 2013.

A: Hazy, golden-orange body. 1 finger off-white head. Ok retention. Scant lacing.

S: Bready malts. Floral hops. Grape. Apple. Honey. Candi sugar. Indistinct, yeasty spice.

T: Belgian yeast spiciness opens with a slight tanginess. Earthy, fruity malt presence dominates a gentle swell of bittering hops. Semi-dry finish. Light alcohol presence, consistent with 6.5% ABV. Lingering fruit and floral hop notes in the aftertaste.

M: Moderate carbonation with a light/medium body. A bit thinner on the palate than I expected.

O: Respectable. The hop and fruit notes are the strong point, but the overall delivery and impression feel a bit anemic.


Photo of CheckMate
1.06/5  rDev -70.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

22oz bomber from the third batch obtained at The Drinkery in Londonderry, NH split with BA member MrHurmateeowish. Pours a very very hazy light yellow with some beaded off white head. the scent to be honest reminds me of the smell of nacho doritos IMO. I was told that THAT would be the result of the yeast getting stressed out and dying. when I try another bottle that isn't stressed, I will re-review it on here.

Photo of MisterSH
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of rpstevens, I got bottle 64/94, batch 3, bottled on 7/31/09.

Pours a hazy straw/blonde, nice 1 finger head.
S: Grassy malt, some banana, a slight pepperyness.
T: Rather lemony, very smooth, hint of a slight banana-like note, with a crisp, refreshing finish. Flavorful but rather light in character, very easy going and dangerous with 9% Alc so well masked.
MF: Fizzy, very light and clean.
A nice brew, definitely light on the fruity/spiciness of darker belgian beers, a great summer beer that goes down real easy, perfect for a hot afternoon.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ditmier pulled out this one Friday night.. Batch #3... Bottle 74 of 94... Huge thanks Eric! I am pretty sure he got this from rpstevens... thanks to Ryan as well.

White bubbly head.. dies back quickly.. very hazy pale golden.

alot of yeasty byproducts in the nose.. mildy phenolic, but pretty fruity... reminds me of lite summer melons spiked with white peppercorns and lemongrass.

Flavor is pretty much the same but surprisingly dry.. more phenolic... I was hoping for more... it reminds me of a big ass dry witbier... that said.. this brew certainly needs to be moved up to the big boy... BSPA category.. there is plenty of stuff going on that warrants it... but to be a player in the BSPA, I would think a bit more body and some residual maltiness would go a long way to adding/bridging the different elements.

Thanks again to Eric and Ryan.... Ryan.. I will be contacting you soon.... If I don't, hit me back.

Photo of berkey
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a recent trade. Thanks Garth Taargus. Batch 3. Bottled 07/31/09. 86 of 94. From yesterdays notes.

Body is a very light and hazy blonde color almost like a witbier. Forms a very nice bright white head with decent retention. Leaves some nice sticky lacing as it starts to finally settle.

Aroma brings on some fruity citrus, earthy yeast, grassy hops and a good amount of spice.

Much drier than I expected. I was anticipating a sweeter character considering this is a 9% abv Belgian style ale but I'm not getting that at all. There are some citrus and over ripe yellow apples in the backgroud along with a leafy hop bite. Also a good amount of earthy, almost woody, flavor in the aftertaste. Nothing bad here, but I'm looking for a little more pop. This is an extremely mellow tasting beer for the style.

Mouthfeel is good. Just the right amount of carbonation and a good dry feel work just fine. Eminently drinkable, I would never have guessed it was 9% as the alcohol is hidden masterfully.

Overall a well made beer but I look for a little more flavor in this style. I'll still have to respect the brewer for doing something different and I'm curious to try some of the other beers if I come across them in the future.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.51/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch #3 Bottle #57 Bottled on 07/31/2009

So where to begin. We will set the mood for this one. I come home after a long day and sit down for a nice pasta dinner and reach in the fridge for a solid beer to have with dinner, and this is staring right up at me how could I possibly say no. It is no secret I have been enjoying Bill's creations for years and every chance I get to try one is a good day for me, but now that he is a commercial success it adds just that one more bit of fun to it all. So, I decided to go ahead and open this one up. 9%, with dinner? Whew going to be a long night indeed. Served at around 50 degrees initially and then allowed to warm, this one was consumed on 10/15/2009.

So here I am typing this review from my copious notes while listing to the 12/3/97 Funk throw down and you can tell where I am at. The pour was brilliant, sparkling golden in color with a nice bright look to it the rich and cloudy nature of it immediately catches the eye. Hard to make out anything through such thick haze, but that is just half the fun as the towering head of white foam just keeps growing! Incredible to look at and really just the picture of what I would want a Belgian pale to look like. Bright, cloudy, and fully of energy and life! I could not wait to dive further in to see what else this could indeed hold for me.

First chance to try and get a hold of the aroma yields a wonderful vibrant blend of aromas. Fresh grassy notes and a nice tart lemon smell start coming up right away. Very interesting and not what I expected at first, but very, very pleasant. Warming brings on almost a grape skin like note to it, just a touch of funk that blends in very well with the bright lemon that I am still picking up. Each sip now becomes more and more and exploratory effort into what can be done when you shed the constraints of a style and brew good beer, period. Smooth, subtle and building on the palate with each sip this lovely balance of light earthy hops, some notes of citrus, and light sour all blending as one. Nothing dominating here at all, just working together towards a common goal. It seems as if each sip is something more unique, more perplexing the one before. Prickly carbonation nips at the tongue, keeping the feel lively and fresh and allowing light flavors to penetrate every inch of the mouth. Desperately trying to slow down as I know this is 9% but I cannot seem to detect it I find myself taking bigger and bigger sips as the dry finish makes me seek out more and more, and before I know it, just like Keyser Söze it is gone. No more for me with only wispy white foam drenching the glass and an empty bottle staring back at me.

What else can I really say here? This beer defies style. If you are looking for a Belgian Pale this will meet your expectations on color alone, but if you are looking for a truly unique take on a Belgian inspired ale, you have reached your mark. Superb craftsmanship here.

Photo of Blanco
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a golden/orange color with huge white head and lots of apparent carbonation. lace leaves a cobweb mess on the sides of the glass as you drink the beer. smell is clean and slightly fruity. taste has strong pale malt notes and is slightly sweet. also has a bit of apple and citrus. medium bodied. overall, very solid BPA. Enjoyed the lightness and smoothness of the flavor.

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is very hazy deep golden yellow in color. It poured with a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and left some lacing running down the sides.
S: There are faint aromas of floral hops in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of grainy malts along with some sweetness of candi sugars. There are hints of bitterness towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is relatively easy to drink and is a good representation of the style.

Photo of rlee1390
3.49/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Cloudy yellow, two finger head, some carbonation and some lacing is left behind.

S-Grass, lemon, slightly skunked

T-Some lemon, manly grassy notes, no bitterness with some spice.

M-Light in body, well carbonated.

O-A boring beer not much is brought to the table with this one.

Photo of errantnight
2.28/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to joepais from the veterans BIF for covering this want.

Sadly, it's not a particularly good interpretation of the style.

Pours a very pale straw, almost wit-like in appearance, not nearly golden enough for the style. Head is reasonably voluminous to start with, but neither lacing nor retention impress.

On the nose this is husky and lemony with a bit of apple.

The palate is a bit nicer, but the incredible dryness works against the beer, with little to no mid palate roundness and whatever yeast character there is coming through as stressed and thin the hops leave this (in combination with the high level of carbonation) overly bitter in the finish.

It's not awful, but it seems like a bad homebrewed, oh, saison. It really lacks in esters, in body, in mid-palate sweetness. Overall this seems like something in desperate need of a complete overhaul, even if it's drinkable. I want my homebrews to meet that bare requirement, not individually numbered artisanal craft beer.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: December 30, 2009
Batch: 11
Bottle: 49 of 58
ABV: 7.8%

Pours a surprisingly light opaque straw color with a thin head, small bits of lacing on the glass as I drink it.

Smell is mostly sweet malt with hints of pear and citrus, not picking up much of a yeast presence that usually accompanies a Belgian style beer.

Taste is light and crisp, sweet malt dominates with a fruity pear tinge, a weird and off-putting grassy aftertaste occurs and makes my mouth feel musty, not sure where that came from, follows up with a very dry finish.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
White Birch Belgian Style Pale Ale from White Birch Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.