Examples of Traditional Fruit Lambic

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Brugesman, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. Brugesman

    Brugesman Initiate (71) Apr 22, 2020 California
    Trader

    Hello Advocates,

    I’ve always loved Belgian beer, but until recently I haven’t paid enough attention to lambics. I’m interested in trying traditional Belgian fruit lambic, e.g. lambic produced when the fruit is added to the wort to ferment, and the extended fermentation consumes the sugars from the fruit, leaving behind only the fruit’s essential flavor and aroma. I am pretty sure St. Louis Kriek Fond Tradition is an example of this (Kriek, so made with sour cherries). Can anyone suggest other examples that might be available in the U.S?

    Side note on the St. Louis Kriek Fond Tradition. Bought a couple of bottles from Tavour 3-4 years ago. First time I had it I found it too tart and challenging. I’d like to think my palate has evolved somewhat since then, lol. I didn’t drink the second bottle until a year later, and man was I blown away! The accidental cellaring produced major changes and I loved it.

    https://belgium.beertourism.com/belgian-beers/st-louis-kriek-fond-tradition

    I refer to traditional fruit lambic to distinguish it from some modern versions. Some modern brewers add fruit or syrup after fermentation to appeal to a wider audience; others actually sweeten the beer. These have a more intense fruit-forward taste that most lambic brewers consider non-traditional. I believe that the widely available Lindeman’s fruit lambics are examples of this modern approach. Haven’t had any Lindeman’s fruit lambics in a long time (though I have had their Cuvee Rene gueuze, which is wonderful and a great value and widely available). I will try some Lindeman's soon and I assume I will enjoy them. But I’m more interested in getting to know traditional fruit lambic.

    Thanks for any thoughts or suggested traditional fruit lambics to look for. Lambic production is fascinating!
     
    officerbill likes this.
  2. WCKDVBZ

    WCKDVBZ Meyvn (1,048) May 9, 2014 South Carolina

    If you want some traditional fruited Lambics, look into Cantillon, 3 Fonteinen and Tilquin. All I know is those St. Louis lambics are the worst on the market. And they're definitely not authentic. Not sure if they use any artificial ingredients, but I'm almost 100% sure they use sugar and/or other sweeteners.
     
  3. Brugesman

    Brugesman Initiate (71) Apr 22, 2020 California
    Trader

    Yeah, big names in the lambic world. Tilquin is actually a blender, not a producer. Blending lambics is an art form in and of itself! I bought some of a gueuze they produce recently, and enjoyed it. Haven't seen any of their fruited lambics, or from the other brewers you cite, but will keep my eyes peeled. I'm so dissatisfied with the bottle shops I have near me.

    Not sure what you base your sugar claim on re the St. Louis? I've never seen anything that indicates that's true. Rated 90/Outstanding here on BA.
     
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  4. WCKDVBZ

    WCKDVBZ Meyvn (1,048) May 9, 2014 South Carolina

    It's actually rated 85/Very Good. But like I said, Kasteel's take on Lambics is the worst on the market. I'll let others chime in.

    EDIT: Here - - https://belgium.beertourism.com/belgian-beers/st-louis-kriek-lambic "Sugar and sweeteners are added."
     
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  5. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    The most common fruited lambic I see is the lindemanns kriek. I haven't tried it as the kriek tends to be more sour than I enjoy. But I see their kriek on the shelves semi regularly.
    Other than that I don't really see many traditional fruited sours from Belgium. I've seen the 3F kriek a time or two and I recently scored some Fou'Foune from cantillon. Other than that though I just count myself lucky if I can find some real geuze
     
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  6. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,361) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader

  7. WCKDVBZ

    WCKDVBZ Meyvn (1,048) May 9, 2014 South Carolina

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  8. Patrick_OKC

    Patrick_OKC Aspirant (213) Apr 26, 2017 Texas
    Society

    OP, have you considered Oude Geuze Boon a l'ancienne? It is a traditional lambic.i have picked up off and on at TW and Specs here in Texas.

    Or perhaps some North American takes on Lambic?

    Pat
     
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  9. Brugesman

    Brugesman Initiate (71) Apr 22, 2020 California
    Trader

    No, that is not the same product. That appears to be a modern version that I referred to. The traditional product, as the name Fond Tradition implies, is this:

    https://belgium.beertourism.com/belgian-beers/st-louis-kriek-fond-tradition

    This traditional version is rated 90 at BA:

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/212/160082/

    So this brewery makes both traditional and modern (sweetened, plus fruit maybe not fermented with the wort?) versions.
     
  10. Brugesman

    Brugesman Initiate (71) Apr 22, 2020 California
    Trader

    Would love to try that, but like so many of these world-class lambics, I don't have access to them. Also, while I have a newfound love for gueuze, my post is about fruit lambic. Gueuze does not have fruit.

    Would love to try Allagash coolship beer, including their Coolship Red. But alas, again no access.
     
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  11. Brugesman

    Brugesman Initiate (71) Apr 22, 2020 California
    Trader

    I presume the Lindeman's kriek is a modern take, i.e. sweetened and the fruit is not fermented with the wort. I haven't tried it in ages, so I can't say how sweet it is. Are you sure it's too sour for your taste? I bet sweeter than you presume.
     
  12. Leftofthedial

    Leftofthedial Devotee (403) Nov 17, 2011 California
    Trader

    Great question and it's awesome to hear you're looking to try more lambic. These are my favorite traditional fruit lambic that aren't overly difficult to find (depending on location of course):

    Lindemans Cuvee Rene Kriek
    Timmermans Oude Kriek Lambicus
    Drie Fonteinen Kriek (we are lucky to have great 3F distro in California)
    Hanssens Oude Schaerbeekse Kriek
    Drie Fonteinen Hommage (raspberry/cherry)

    Here are some ones that are really good, but are a bit harder, but not impossible to find:
    Tilquin Pinot Noir
    Tilquin Pinot Gris (not in on shelves in California but much more available in southern states and elsewhere)
    Cantillon Kriek
    Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus (Raspberry)
    Drie Fonteinen Intense Red Kriek
    Drie Fonteinen Framboos (Rasperry)

    Good luck!
     
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  13. Brugesman

    Brugesman Initiate (71) Apr 22, 2020 California
    Trader

    Thank you! Great list. I'll be on the lookout for these.
     
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  14. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I know that lindemans makes a number of the more modern, back sweetened lambics but the kriek (oude kriek cuvee Renee as @Leftofthedial pointed out) is a traditional cherry lambic. Their back sweetened stuff is too sweet for what I want from the style but their oide geueze is nice for the price and availability. I haven't actually tried their kriek in years just because I decided to stop spending good money on krieks when i kept finding them too tart for my liking. I'm pretty content to just grab 3F og or a&g, cuvee renee, and every bottle of cantillon oude geueze that my one store will sell me.
     
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  15. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,099) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    There are "modern" US fruit "lambics" that are absolutely fantastic, and 100% not sweetened, and I'd go as far to say they rival many Belgian blended lambics, short of the best of the best. Some examples are:

    Side Project - Coexpressionalism
    Any spontaneous blends from Black Project
    Any of the Coolship lineup from Allagash
    Any spontaneous blends from Oxbow
    Any spontaneous blends from de Garde
    Any of Jester King's SPON lineup

    These are the pinnacle of modern US breweries who are bottling their take on gueuze and lambic. Allagash Coolships can rival many actual Belgian fruit lambics out there. If you can get past the fact it isn't true Pajottenland lambic, I would start here.
     
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  16. HaciendaNapoles

    HaciendaNapoles Initiate (35) Sep 11, 2015 Reunion
    Trader

    Have you poked around the lambic.info database and site?
     
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  17. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    @Brugesman, and others responding in this thread...

    We have an on-line lambic tasting later this month, I think. Maybe pick up what you can and join us! It's a style I've never tried, so I looking forward to it.

    @FBarber?
     
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  18. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,099) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    Any info posted yet on this? I have several Cantillon and 3F bottles I've been looking for a good excuse to open. Even tracked down a lambic basket and everything. Consider me there!
     
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  19. Brugesman

    Brugesman Initiate (71) Apr 22, 2020 California
    Trader

    Great list. With the possible exception of JK SPON, however, none of those have ever been available to me. I have had a de Garde once or twice and enjoyed them. I really want to visit that brewery. Thanks for adding these to the thread.
     
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  20. Brugesman

    Brugesman Initiate (71) Apr 22, 2020 California
    Trader

    Great suggestion, thanks. Will try to particiapte.
     
  21. Brugesman

    Brugesman Initiate (71) Apr 22, 2020 California
    Trader

    What's that? Got a URL?
     
  22. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,099) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    Trading, for me at least, has been a godsend when it comes to trying beer that would otherwise be nearly impossible for me to get my hands on. If you ever want to try a proper Allagash Coolship bottle, feel free to shoot me a message some time, and I'll be more than happy to send one your way! Cheers!
     
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  23. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I cannot vouch for the quality of these brews but if you're looking for US brewed options I have heard love for Homage and I believe Casa Agria has been dipping their toe into making blended lambic style beers. You should be able to find them (heck casa is free shipping in CA on orders over $45)
     
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  24. Brugesman

    Brugesman Initiate (71) Apr 22, 2020 California
    Trader

    Thank you very much and I may take you up on that. I've been trade-curious, lol, for a while now. But hesitant because I find the process utterly unexplained on BA. Also in these COVID times, I'm not anxious to do extra errands in the form of post office runs. But perhaps in a brighter future, I'll dip my toe into Trade Lake. :grin:
     
  25. Brugesman

    Brugesman Initiate (71) Apr 22, 2020 California
    Trader

    Thanks, will check them out. I've heard of Casa Agria, I think. But are their online sales for members only? I don't see any indication on their website that I could order beer online to be shipped.
     
  26. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    https://www.casaagria.com/collections/beer

    I'm not sure if they have special beers for members but everything on that page you or I can purchase and have shipped for free (assuming we spend $45).

    To be clear, I don't think they make anything that is really up to the process standards you laid out in your OP but I do think that they have released 1 or 2 blended spontaneous beers and believe they are building up their program. They make very nice mixed ferm stuff though and in my limited experience have a deft hand with fruit additions
     
  27. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,286) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Boon Oude Kriek Mariage Parfait is very nice, and probably the second most available behind Lindemann's Cuvee Rene Kriek.
     
  28. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,555) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Outside of Lindemann's, I really love New Glarus beers, Cran-Bic was the first beer I had from them. Their fruited beers imo are ridiculously outstanding. If I could wish for any brewery to be local they would be far and away number one.
     
  29. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (226) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Allagash Coolship Resurgam is distributed to California, they started distributing it in 2018: https://www.allagash.com/blog/coolship-leaves-home/

    I don't believe their fruited versions have hit distribution, perhaps some limited distribution if any. Should be easy to trade for some, they aren't hard to acquire in New England.
     
  30. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,927) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    That is correct. End of this month - a spooktacular lambic tasting! I'll be posting the thread this weekend.
     
  31. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,830) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Maybe if we just came up with a list of the backsweetened ones things would be easier? So, aside from the standard St. Louis, Lindemann and Timmerman bottlings are there any others?
     
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  32. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,099) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    I'll forgive that.

    It'll be a night of witches and ghoulships, krieky noises, delicious sphauntaneously fermented wails, and surely some appearances from black cat-tillon and Drie Fhaunteinen, blends of 1, 2, and 3 fear-old lambics, and I might even break out a Boo' Foune! Maybe share our favourite food pairings that we like to goblin up with our lambics - nothing to heavy as to bury the flavour though. I'm sure not everyone will join, but there may be some spectre-tators. Excited for someone to ghost such an awesome event! Be there or be scare!
     
  33. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    Ugh!

    :grin:
     
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  34. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Meyvn (1,171) Apr 21, 2014 Canada
    Trader

    Ooh! My hobby during the pandemic has been collecting lambic. Sounds like a good opportunity to open a fancy one!!
     
  35. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,927) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    *sigh* :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
    Damn thats an expensive hobby :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
     
  36. HaciendaNapoles

    HaciendaNapoles Initiate (35) Sep 11, 2015 Reunion
    Trader

    It’s a research project and database for all things lambic that started up around 2015 or so. History, culture, definitions, pictures, bottle dates, complete catalogs of each brewery’s products etc. You can spend days going down that rabbit hole. www.lambic.info
     
  37. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,555) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I must have messed up posting here, but I’d easily vote up a beer like New Glarus Cran-Bic. Imo their fruited lambics and sours are always first rate. The only downside is a tiny footprint, but they make great beers.
     
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  38. officerbill

    officerbill Zealot (572) Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    Sadly “distributed to” and “available anywhere near where you live” are often two different things.
     
  39. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Especially in California, i drove 1400 miles over the last week and never came within 130 miles of any state border
     
  40. MikeWard

    MikeWard Poo-Bah (2,140) Sep 14, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Had Dogfish Head's 2019 Festina Lente over the weekend, brewed with Peaches. Thought that was pretty decent.