Lambic beer, that spontaneous treasure

by Marta Burgués


There are many beer families, prominent in different countries. Today we present the lambic beer, elaborated in Belgium, whose main characteristic is that its manufacturing process is through spontaneous fermentation.

This set them apart from other styles of beer, with no addition of yeast but elaborating them from yeast that come from nature and the environment in their region. Thus, in the same manner as in the case of wine, they are left to stand for some years in barrels and mixed with spices or fruits to obtain the desired aroma and taste.

All this process gives a somewhat dry taste, with aromas of wine and somewhat sour that gives it personality and makes it feasible to pair with all kinds of food. When it have less than 6 months of maturation is known as young lambic; if over 6 months, it’s called old lambic.

Types of lambic

Belongs to this family the classic and pure lambic beer, that isn’t usually mixed with anything, giving a somewhat sour taste that has remained during around three years of aging in its elaboration process.

For its part, the Gueuze is obtained mixing young lambic and old lambic, and must end its fermentation process several years into a bottle. They tend to be less sour than the others, have a lot of gas, more alcohol and, as we have specified, can be stored for years and improve their taste.

The fruit ones are a type of lambic beers to which are added fruits. Their taste is not sour but rather sweet, always depending on the type and amount of fruit added. They tend to be of lower quality than the classic and pure lambic, but they offer new flavors on the palate.

Very similar is the Faro, to which is added sugar, being much sweeter. They have very little alcohol and are served usually in barrel. They were quite popular in the nineteenth century, but their production is currently low.

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