Epic Kriek Tasting & Dinner

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    • #491

      Hello All!

      I am posting this for the sour beer fans as well as those who are interested in really learning some of the nuances of the kriek style. This May I will be hosting a delicious and educational beer and food tasting night focused entirely on the kriek variety of lambic beers.

      I will be serving around 20 different krieks in a series of 4 guided flights with each flight focusing on a different character of the style. In all, the night will feature krieks from nearly every traditional Belgian lambic brewery as well as a few examples blended domestically as well. In between the flights we will have food tastings designed to pair with the style as well as a main course to be offered at the end of the night. Additionally there will be at least 2 homebrewed krieks as well as any homebrewed sour beers you would like to bring along to the event.

      For those of you unfamiliar with the style, a kriek is a fruit lambic featuring cherries. I have included the BJCP description for fruit lambics below. Some of the most excellent representations of the style come from brewers and blenders such as Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, and Hanssen’s Artisanaal, and we will be featuring multiple varieties of kriek from each of these iconic producers as well as samplings from:
      • Lindeman’s
      • Girardin
      • Mort Subite
      • Deranke
      • Oude Beersel
      • Mikkellar
      • Cisco Brewers
      • Vanberg & Dewulf

      I am extremely excited for this event because while I have tried the majority of these beers before, I have never been able to sample so many of them together to draw strong comparisons. I believe this will be extremely educational to those wishing to develop or refine your palettes in regard to the sour fruit lambic style.

      Due to the high cost and very limited availability of the beers featured this event will be limited to 8 total people including myself. This will allow us to provide 3 oz. samples of around 20 different krieks to each person in attendance. There are currently 4 spots open for the event and the cost will be $50 to attend. Please email me at: match717@gmail.com and I will reserve spots for those interested on a first come first serve basis. Once everyone has been confirmed we will select a date in May that will work for all those involved.


      17F. Fruit Lambic

      Aroma: The fruit which has been added to the beer should be the dominant aroma. A low to moderately sour/acidic character blends with aromas described as barnyard, earthy, goaty, hay, horsey, and horse blanket (and thus should be recognizable as a lambic). The fruit aroma commonly blends with the other aromas. An enteric, smoky, cigar-like, or cheesy aroma is unfavorable. No hop aroma. No diacetyl.

      Appearance: The variety of fruit generally determines the color though lighter-colored fruit may have little effect on the color. The color intensity may fade with age. Clarity is often good, although some fruit will not drop bright. A thick rocky, mousse-like head, sometimes a shade of fruit, is generally long-lasting. Always effervescent.

      Flavor: The fruit added to the beer should be evident. A low to moderate sour and more commonly (sometimes high) acidic character is present. The classic barnyard characteristics may be low to high. When young, the beer will present its full fruity taste. As it ages, the lambic taste will become dominant at the expense of the fruit character – thus fruit lambics are not intended for long aging. A low, complementary sweetness may be present, but higher levels are uncharacteristic. A mild vanilla and/or oak flavor is occasionally noticeable. An enteric, smoky or cigar-like character is undesirable. Hop bitterness is generally absent. No hop flavor. No diacetyl.

      Mouthfeel: Light to medium-light body. In spite of the low finishing gravity, the many mouth-filling flavors prevent the beer from tasting like water. Has a low to high tart, puckering quality without being sharply astringent. Some versions have a low warming character. Highly carbonated.

      Overall Impression: Complex, fruity, pleasantly sour/acidic, balanced, pale, wheat-based ale fermented by a variety of Belgian microbiota. A lambic with fruit, not just a fruit beer.

      Comments: Fruit-based lambics are often produced like gueuze by mixing one, two, and three-year old lambic. “Young” lambic contains fermentable sugars while old lambic has the characteristic “wild” taste of the Senne River valley. Fruit is commonly added halfway through aging and the yeast and bacteria will ferment all sugars from the fruit. Fruit may also be added to unblended lambic. The most traditional styles of fruit lambics include kriek (cherries), framboise (raspberries) and druivenlambik (muscat grapes). ENTRANT MUST SPECIFY THE TYPE OF FRUIT(S) USED IN MAKING THE LAMBIC. Any overly sweet lambics (e.g., Lindemans or Belle Vue clones) would do better entered in the 16E Belgian Specialty category since this category does not describe beers with that character. IBUs are approximate since aged hops are used; Belgians use hops for anti-bacterial properties more than bittering in lambics.

      History: Spontaneously fermented sour ales from the area in and around Brussels (the Senne Valley) stem from a farmhouse brewing tradition several centuries old. Their numbers are constantly dwindling and some are untraditionally sweetening their products (post-fermentation) with sugar or sweet fruit to make them more palatable to a wider audience. Fruit was traditionally added to lambic or gueuze, either by the blender or publican, to increase the variety of beers available in local cafes.

      Ingredients: Unmalted wheat (30-40%), Pilsner malt and aged (surannes) hops (3 years) are used. The aged hops are used more for preservative effects than bitterness, and makes actual bitterness levels difficult to estimate. Traditional products use 10-30% fruit (25%, if cherry). Fruits traditionally used include tart cherries (with pits), raspberries or Muscat grapes. More recent examples include peaches, apricots or merlot grapes. Tart or acidic fruit is traditionally used as its purpose is not to sweeten the beer but to add a new dimension. Traditionally these beers are spontaneously fermented with naturally-occurring yeast and bacteria in predominately oaken barrels. Home-brewed and craft-brewed versions are more typically made with pure cultures of yeast commonly including Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, Pediococcus and Lactobacillus in an attempt to recreate the effects of the dominant microbiota of Brussels and the surrounding countryside of the Senne River valley. Cultures taken from bottles are sometimes used but there is no simple way of knowing what organisms are still viable.

      Vital Statistics:
      OG: 1.040 – 1.060
      1.000 – 1.010
      IBUs: 0 – 10
      SRM: 3 – 7 (varies w/ fruit)
      ABV: 5 – 7%

      Commercial Examples: Boon Framboise Marriage Parfait, Boon Kriek Mariage Parfait, Boon Oude Kriek, Cantillon Fou’ Foune (apricot), Cantillon Kriek, Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek, Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise, Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus, Cantillon St. Lamvinus (merlot grape), Cantillon Vigneronne (Muscat grape), De Cam Oude Kriek, Drie Fonteinen Kriek, Girardin Kriek, Hanssens Oude Kriek, Oud Beersel Kriek, Mort Subite Kriek

    • #574

      Woah!!! Count me in I’ll bring my 2009 Cantillion Lou Pepe Kriek !

    • #568

      Definitely in! I didn’t see a date in your post though. Let me know!



    • #572

      Hi All!

      So far in addition to Brad, who was counted in the original 4 out of 8, I’ve got a spot saved for Brian K. and Jake K. This leaves two open spots left for anyone interested! E-mail me or post your interest here. Once we have 8 people we can vote on a date in May that will work for everyone coming.


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