Cantillon is one of our all time favorite breweries. It is the last remaining Lambic brewery in Brussels and they are making beers much the same way now as a hundred years ago.
The freshly brewed wort is left over night in a cool ship in the attic where it is “infected” with wild yeast.
The beer then ferments and matures for up to three years in wooden barrels before it’s bottled or put into kegs.
The beer is divided into three categories
Unblended and in it’s natural form. A beer that is actually the most difficult to find.
The carbon dioxide escapes through the wood so it’s pretty much a still drink.
Think of a wine made from grains that has been fermenting for a long time and is slightly oxidized. It is very complex, dry and unique.
Lambic of different ages is blended. 1, 2 and 3- year old is most common.
The old Lambic has the complexity of the aging process and the young still have fermentable sugars. Therefore the Gueuze re-ferments in the bottle (or kegs in some cases) and is a very good beer for ageing.
Bottles can last and develop for more than 20 years.
The result should be extremely dry, heavily carbonated and slightly acidic.
It has a very complex nose that is usually described in words like: hay, leather, gunpowder and cedar wood.
Some people consider this to be the finest drink of all in the amazing world of beer.
This is what they call the Champagne of beers!