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Issue Date: November 2005 Issue


Counterpint

To duplicate most beers in the world, all you need is a recipe. Brewmasters can obtain every ingredient such as Saaz hops, wheat malt and filtered water and simply follow the steps. Lambic beers, on the other hand, must come from one place and one place only: an area in Belgium southwest of Brussels. With Lindemans Lambic Dessert Beer, we're talking pure terroir and toast-worthy ale for celebrating.

 

Lambic fruit beers are made by boiling malted barley, unmalted wheat and aged hops together. Aged hops give the beer preservative qualities without the bitterness of regular hops. When the brewer is finished boiling this wort, it's transferred into a large copper vessel that exposes the hot wort to cool, ambient air and wild yeast.

 

This is where terroir comes into play. Each barn is home to its own native yeast. The fermenting rooms are dark and filled with cobwebs, and yet the brewers dare not clean them for risk of losing the individuality that has developed over the years.

 

After fermentation, the beer is transferred into casks to undergo a two-year aging process. A secondary fermentation takes place inside the oak, giving the base Lambic a complexity not ordinarily seen in beer. Next, Lindemans adds fresh fruit to the casks. Fresh cherries make their Kriek, fresh raspberries create the Framboise, and fresh peaches give rise to the P'che.

 

The fruit and their sugars prompt the third and final fermentation that imparts a Champagne-like fizz to the final beer. Just as true Champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, authentic Lambic beer is only made in this tiny area southwest of Brussels.

 

Lindemans Kriek Pours deep red with a slightly pink head. Black cherries are dominant. Tart from beginning to end with just a hint of sugar.

 

Lindemans Framboise Color of a darker Rose with a deep raspberry aroma, fresh raspberry flavor with a refreshing acidity.

 

Lindemans Peche Pours golden with a nose of fresh peaches; tart and crisp. Tim Mills, Heinen's beer and wine consultant


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