Today I will review a beer from a style that is probably the farthest from the “established” beer image. When most people think of beer they think of a sudsy, golden beverage that is light and refreshing. Well this will be anything but. Keep your minds open on this one folks.
Timmermans is a brewery out of Itterbeek, Belgium, and they specialize in a style of beer called Lambic. A lambic starts off as a wheat beer but often times can be altered with fresh fruit and wild yeast. This can provide for sweet flavors and/or a sour tartness. Traditionally lambics are only made from a small region surrounding Brussels but a few outside breweries have tried their hand at it from time to time. It takes over 2 years from start to finish to make one, therefore you have a large investment over a long period of time before you would see monetary returns. This is why few people attempt this style.
The beer I am reviewing today is obviously made with strawberries so that gives me a pretty good idea as what to expect in regards to color, aroma and flavor. This is a fruit based lambic, of which you might see raspberry based (framboise), peach (peche), apple (pomme), cherry (kriek) and black currant (cassis). There are non-fruit based lambics that often times maintain a sour flavor due to wild yeast fermentation and little sweetness to mask it. The fruit lambics are often times described as “tart”.
The appearance right off the bat is interesting to note. It has a very murky appearance, that has a ruddy orange color with a small hint of red blush. Foamy beige head.
Aroma is STRAWBERRIES!! I can’t say for certain only fresh fruit, because while it does have a fresh strawberry aroma it also has kind of a pseudo-sweet gummy snack aroma. Interesting mix for sure but this is loaded with fruit. Sweet notes with a slight tartness.
Flavor is sharply fruity that tingles the tongue and puckers the lips. So sweet yet tart at the same time. Lots of red fruit; strawberry and almost some cherry hints as well. Fruit flavor lingers into the finish. Reminds me of strawberry flavored bubble gum.
While this is about as far from the typical “beer” image as you can get, it is still BEER. You have to be a big fan of fruit flavors to really get into the fruit side of lambics however. Next time you take a girl out to a beer bar that doesn’t much like beer yet, order her a lambic. She’ll be impressed by your choice and knowledge of different beer styles.