I have purchased a case so far. I wish they would exclude the Boston Lager
and Light for more of the Porter or Winter Ale. I am not a big SA drinker
but I love porters and for an American porter I like SA next to the Sierra
"mpomario" wrote in
Eh, SA porter wasn't bad. Pretty good stuff, but not enough of a reason
to buy the sampler for me as there's lots of other porters that I
wouldn't have to deal with a light beer or ubiquitous lager for.
Not to mention the hideous Cranberry Lambic. Yuck. Of course the lambic
name is all marketing, although this year during my customary "give it
a try" from the holiday 12 pack I thought maybe, just maybe there was
some kind of faint horsey-brett background in there somewhere. Then
that nasty fake maple taste - like a stale long john donut that has
been shat upon - washed over my palate dragging the screaming essence
of shat upon cranberry with it. Every year it's about the only beer I
actually really, truly, pour down the drain.
I really like the Fezziwig though, and I thought the Porter was nice -
but why take up space with useless light beer and ubiquitous Boston
Lager? Who knows...? They used to package Fezziwig in these cool curved
22 oz bottles (I think, may have been bigger though) - they should
bring those back.
I dunno about that one. Here is an email from Ken Andrews the resident
microbioligist at tiny Bristol Brewing in Colorado Springs on their
experiments with spontaenous fermentation and lambic styles. I tried
the sour wheat and it was amazing and complex, very very true to style.
He's been isolating wild yeast from Cheyenne canyon raspberries.
Glad to be able to share the excitement of what we have been doing in
our S & B series of beers. We have eight such beers including 1) Oud
Bruin, 2) Aged Pale, 3) Flander's Red, 4) Strong Dark, 5) Grand
Cru', 6) Sour Wheat, 7) Aged IPA & 8) Cuvee' Special. All hand
crafted in individual oak barrels, aged at least six months (some two
to three years), gravity fed, hand packaged, keg Krausened during a
secondary fermentation (lactic acid bacteria) and naturally carbonated.
A few have been transferred to bottles, but most are still in the oak
barrels they were created in.
To produce these beers, I took the microbes isolated from the Cheyenne
Canyon fruit and created a cocktail of wild yeast (4 - 6 strains) and
lactic acid bacteria (6 - 8 strains) with which we inoculated the oak
barrels. Once a boil of these microbes had formed on the inside barrel
surface, we added various mixtures of uncorroborated beers (brewing
yeast fermented) to these barrels and let the wild yeast and lactic do
their thing! Honey is added at regular intervals to stimulate
Peddiococcus growth. With this style, long aging times result in
important taste changes, so storing bottles for long times and tasting
at a later date can be fun.
As to tasting any of these beers. We have one tap dedicated to S & B
and we do very limited (one or two days) releases of each type. There
is a legion of beer geeks who consume these beers ardently and none of
the beers lasts too long. Nothing is on tap currently. However, I can
think of two possible strategies 1) follow the events at Bristol
brewing on our web site and any S & B releases will be detailed and
make sure you are in the tasting room when the beer is released or 2)
working with the brew house staff we can schedule a day/time when you
will be at the brewery and we can arrange a tour and a special tasting
independent of what's on tap. I'll double check this with our
brewers, but I think it would be ok
You only hear of New Belgium because they market the heck out of their
products on a national scale and we aren't near that stage of
development yet, We will be some day I believe.
Let me know if you want to visit BBC-
"Randal" schreef in bericht
It's a question of time. Lambic-brewing needs a stable endemic microbial
population that is STABLE. And that cannot be rushed, it takes years to
stabilise. But it will come in the future. However, SA Cranberry Lambic is
as Belgian as mussels with ketchup and Freedom fries...
What makes lambic lambic, Joris? The mashbill? The airborne microbes? The
fact that they ARE airborne? Where it's brewed? The microbes in the barrels
the beer is aged in? The finished character? It's a broad question, but why
not take a swing: what makes lambic lambic?
Author of "New York Breweries" and "Pennsylvania Breweries," 2nd ed., both
The Hotmail address on this post is for newsgroups only: I don't check it,
or respond to it. Spam away.
"Lew Bryson" schreef in bericht
Ah, Lew. That's a good one.
First - there's a difference IMO between lambic and spontaneously fermented
beer, and to be honest, in the above message, 't was me that was guilty of
"Lambic" ought indeed to be reserved for the beers of spontaneous
fermentation in the Payottenland area, in the same vein really that
Champagne is a name reserved for the sparkling wines, made following certain
principles in the area around Vezelay, Epernay, Reims, etc.
Just as it is possible to make excellent sparkling wines elsewhere, I'm sure
that it is possible to make a decent - or even excellent - beer of
spontaneous fermentation anywhere else, including the New World.
More so, as I have serious qualms about the "airborne" thing of that
microbiological flora for the Payottenland. Rural as it might be in places,
the original area includes the whole of Brussels, and the air quality in
that part of the world has not exactly be of the best in the last century...
It's there that, again, the word "endemic" comes in. In a lambic brewery,
everything (woody) is simply soaked with the "right" kinds of beasties. That
lambic is such a variable thing, exactly relates to that, depending on a lot
of momentaneous data, which will give the genus X a more pronounced
character in the lambicpipes of the far corner in brewery Y - if you catch
my drift. The excellence of the gueuze blender, exist in overcoming that
variability to blend all those lambics into one, that will give the best
What makes lambic lambic, then? Exactly that, IMO: the, always
overattenuated (that's the term they use themselves), bone-dry quality, that
is immediately thirst-quenching, sourish and infinitely complex character
that is exactly the result of a layered fermenting of dozens of yeast and
bacterial strains, that have co-operated to make the brew. If you realise
how complex a beer can be, that has been fermented by just the one
cultivated strain (ever had P.U. or Budvar straight from the lagertank?),
than you start appreciating what this "teamwork" (though that's the wrong
expression, it's all about competition) of bacterial strains can do.
And the gueuze is that lambic squared.
To catch it in words is our goal, but it remains elusive, and tasting as
many lambics and gueuzes from the real source, is always most educative or
enlightening (that is a cliché, I know, but it isn't any less the truth for
To come back to our first beer, the cranberry lambic from SA, fulfills none
of the above requirements. I would eat my hat, BTW, if it is really
spontaneously fermented. A scoop: the American importer of Cantillon is
currently having cranberries fermented in pipes at Cantillon brewery. Once
that's ready, compare for yourself.
Sorry for the verbosity, but that question of yours is enough to fill a
: No one is questioning the non-lambicness of SA cranberry lambic.
: What about my other post of the work being done at Bristol? Should it
: be "Methode Lambic" ?
No -- keep it simple and use something like "spontaneously fermented beer"
or "lambic style beer"
There is no such thing as "Methode Lambic" whereas "Methode Champenoise"
describes a specific set of techniques that can be used in the making of
Champagne or sparkling wine or even beer.
I like that distinction, even though in some ways I'm not a huge fan of the
appelation controlée. To me, a pilsner is a style, not a mark of origin.
Then again, I refuse to purchase any cheese labeled "parmsean" that isn't
But for lambic, for some reason, it fits. If, for no other reason, than to
not set expectations that other spontaneously fermented beers can't match.
I don't know. I'm not aware of many examples currently. Most of the attempts
that I'm aware of have been, as far as I know, what I would somewhat
facetiously label semi-spontaneously fermented. They've dumped a wide
variety of yeasts and bacteria into the mix and let it go crazy, but they
didn't necessarily just leave it open to pick up whatever's in the air.
Although, arguably, lambic has less to do with that than other factors
And I'd venture to guess that *that* is what makes lambic, lambic. As I
understand, the exposure to air is relatively short, but the fermentation
and aging vessels are full of accumulated microflora that have a very strong
effect on the beer. I'd be willing to be that if an American brewer got hold
of some of those vessels and then made a beer in the States following
general lambic recipes, overattenuation and aging, and did so in those
vessels, they'd get something very close to what a Belgian lambic brewer
And that may be why some of the non-Belgian examples aren't quite up to
snuff: there's that lack of years worth of unique yeast and bacteria
colonies going to work on the beer.
"Steve Jackson" schreef in bericht
Ah, but that's where my time-factor comes in. Given time enough (for the
sacrosanct stabilisation of the flora), I'm convinced it must be possible.
Well - I do not know about that!! Reason is that that is exactly the way the
West-Flemish "lambic"brewers have proceeded. Where Bockor (Jacobins) have
bought the vessels from Heyvaert, Van Honsebrouck (St. Louis) had done so
already with the Van Haelen inventory. But seen the results of both, I have
serious doubts about such a transatlantique venture. Remark that Peter
Bouckaert took over the Rodenbach yeasts, but had Frank Boon bring over
readily-made kriekbeer for his Transatlantique.
Samuel Smiths have been doing the same in their experimental All Saints
brewery: they sprayed the whole place full of De Troch lambic, at least
that's what Michael Jackson tells! I shudder to think about sanitary
They have to try, and remember that 100 years is NOT a long time...