To talk about Lambic in a city where there is almost no supply is a bit strange.
Yes, there is close to zero supply in the market for Lambic beer in KL(except a bit of SPONTAN beers from the likes of mikkeller/to ol/nogne and some others), and very likely Bangkok too, as far as South East Asia is concern, we can only find a certain amount of LAMBIC in S'pore.
But--as they say--things gotta start somewhere--so this week's column is a little bit of very basic chit chat with a fellow blogger friend of mine---who is a fan of Lambic for no less than a decade..
"Well, maybe it was quite early on. My first beer love was Belgium and it’s still my favourite country for beers. As a naturally curious person with a copy of the best book on Belgian beer available (Tim Webb’s ‘Good Beer Guide Belgium’) it was only a matter of time before I got started on the lambics"
anything to do with taste for food?
"Actually, not at all. I am not particularly an advocate of food and beer pairing, possibly because I’m a vegetarian so I don’t have the luxury of being able to try whatever people suggest goes well with particular beers."
what so good about lambic?
"Definitely the refreshing aspect is important. I can’t think of many other kinds of beer that would work so well for this purpose. I think for me however, it’s neither the refreshing part or the sourness that is the main draw, but the funkiness. Lots of people call it ‘horseblanket’ although I don’t know how many of them have sucked on an actual horse blanket"
".It does definitely create the right impression though. It’s always a bit of a lottery describing tastes as everyone experiences them differently, but it’s the dry, slightly dusty and cheesy elements that do it for me most. The other elements are merely a very welcome bonus!"
a basic guide for newbie?
"For someone who has never drank Lambic before, you can’t go wrong with the regular Cantillon beers, the Gueuze and Kriek. Cantillon deserves the excellent reputation it has."
any to do/not to do?
"I definitely wouldn’t start with any of the difficult to find ones, as you might be spending a lot of money on something that you don’t really like. There is definitely a learning curve with Lambic. "
"The more you drink, the more you appreciate what makes each one special. And of course, given the natural processes used in making this kind of beer, these special elements can vary from batch to batch and bottle to bottle."
your personal favourites?( "extended version" answer than what appeared in newspaper column)
" Cantillon make a lot of different beers throughout the year. Vigneronne and Saint Lamvinus involve grapes and wine barrels, Fou Foune has apricots, Iris is made with a different malt and uses fresh hops. All should be fairly readily available if you are willing to pay a bit extra. The Lou Pepe series are basically the regular beers but extra nice versions, leaning towards the old Lambic taste a little, so drier, sourer and harder."
"Drie Fonteinen have done some specials in the Armand Series named after the four seasons. I have a bottle of one but haven’t drunk it yet, but they’re supposed to be very good (and they certainly are very expensive)."
"Tilquin annually (I think) make Quetsche with plums which was delicious when I had it."
NEXT WEEL--part 2/2 of chit chat with NEIL( please note that it will be uploaded only after 28th Oct as the writer will be away for Three Floyds tap take over in Bangkok--partly to celebrate CRAFT IS ART craftbeerblog's 1st year anniversary this month)