THE VAS BLOG – INSIGHTS ON THE ART OF DRINKING
Every week I sit down, and every week I am faced with a challenge that I find both fun and exciting. What will I cover in my weekly blog post? Since my aim, and our aim here at Vas Foremost, is to provide maximum value and a superior experience in finding the beverage of your choice, I try to translate the best aspects of the experience you’ll have in our store to something interesting in text format. Am I doing a good job? This is for you to decide. I always solicit comments and feedback, and I look forward to reading what you have to say, or hearing from you. That being said, this week I sat down, and thought about what I wanted to write. A few weeks ago I began to pull at the threads on the sweater that is flavored beer, and so I figured I’d yank really hard and start to unravel the world of lambics…
As we have discussed before, and as we show in the vast selection on our shelves, there is massive diversity in the world of beer. Lambic is an extremely distinctive type of beer – brewed only in the Senne Valley Region of Belgium.
It is rare to find a pure lambic outside of Belgium. An example of “pure” lambic includes Cantillon, which is quite hard to find. This year, in particular, their supply has been limited considerably by the unseasonable warmth experienced during 2011 in Belgium. Most lambics that you’ll find distributed outside of Belgium are actually Gueze. Gueze is made by blending young (1 year old) and old (2 year or older) lambics together. These are then re-fermented. The first thing that you’ll notice when drinking Gueze is that it is quite sour and dry in taste. A good example of this is Lindeman’s Cuvee Rene (750ml, $10.99)
Another variation of lambic that is seen quite commonly is fruit-flavored lambic. There are several varieties, including Framboise (raspberry), Kriek (sour cherry), Pecheresse (peach), Cassis (black currant), and Pomme (apple). We carry all of these in the 750ml size for $10.99. While still sour, the fruit makes the lambic less dry than its plain counterpart.
One of the things that I find so interesting about lambic is the complexity of the taste. When drinking an unflavored Gueze, there is definitely a learning curve involved. I still recall my first sip – my initial instinct was that I was drinking vinegar. Once I got my tongue around the taste, I started to enjoy the taste for how massively different it was from any other beer I’d ever consumed. The fruit varieties (Kriek is my personal favorite) are much easier to get into, so I’d suggest starting with these if you instinctively are adverse to sour tastes, and work your way up.
That’s where I’ll cut things off tonight. There’s plenty more I could say, but I’ll keep something in reserve for the next round. I hope that everyone has a great weekend! As always, if you have any questions about anything I’ve written, or even general questions about anything else, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us: @vasforemost, or give us a call at (773) 278-9420.
Thanks again! See you all next week!