Beer Haters, despair no more; you too can join the craft beer revolution with lambics. What makes this brew so different from others is the fermentation process, which gives it an effervescent quality. Instead of using brewer’s yeast like most beers served today, the fermentation process uses wild yeasts and bacteria, as was done centuries ago. To be truly authentic, the process must take place in the Senne River Valley of Belgium where the air is ideal for this archaic method. Another alteration is the use of brown, oxidized or aged hops instead of the more common green. This change eliminates the punchy, bitterness of a stout or ale. Many brewers throw in whole fruit during fermentation to give a sweet and sour taste.
Lindeman’s Pêche is a perfect first sip, sweetened with whole peach; it tastes like sparkling cider on a crisp fall day. If you prefer more tartness, Kriek may suit you, with its mouth- puckering, sour cherry. And if you neither fancy beer nor fruit, try gueuze, which is a mix of old and young fermented lambics. It is very dry, almost reminiscent of a fine Chardonnay.
Note: I recently took a class through the UCLA extension called Food Writing, which was very useful and interesting. It was taught by Patric Kuh, the restaurant reviewer for Los Angeles Magazine. This piece was what I worked on for most of the class. If it is any good, its due to the input and advice of Patric. I highly recommend the class if you are interested in food writing.