Friday, April 30, 2010

Sour Beer Haul

So its been quite a while since my last post. I have been brewing, but Ive been horribly busy at work for the last couple weeks and I haven't had much time to post. Luckily that's coming to an end and I should have a bit more free time to cross some thing off of my to do list. I hope to have a recipe or two up by the end of the weekend, but in the meantime I thought Id share a pic of my sour beer order that I'm pretty excited to break into.

I have for a long time been very interested in using muscat grapes in a lambic. I really love the flavors of the grapes and I think they could work very well with the sour and funk of a lambic, I hadn't really every come across anyone using them in a beer, but I guess I wasn't really looking either. Turns out one of my favorite lambic brewers Cantillon produces two beers using grapes each year. They are just very limited in production. One, St Lamvinus, uses red wine grapes, and the other, the one I cant wait to try, Vigneronne, which just happens to be made with muscat grapes! I ended up getting a bottle of each (I am growing Merlot grapes) so I could see how either type of grape melds with a great lambic.

I also ordered a couple other bottles of lambic from Cantillon, including Grand Cru Bruocsella, which is an unblended lambic, so no real carbonation in this one. I cant say Ive ever tried an unblended lambic other than my own, so this should be interesting as well. I was looking at my "cellar" after this purchase and I was quite happy to realize that I have 2 of everything produced by Cantillon, except Fou'Foune which Ive never come across even on the Internet. Some I'm hesitant to drink until I can either brew up another lambic or get a hold of another bottle - Don't wanna ever be out!!

Along the way, I picked up a couple bottles of Rodenbach Vintage 2007. Which is an unblended red, from a single foudre. I was misguidedly hoping that it was unpasteurized like their last special release vin de cereale. Unfortunately my hopes were dashed and its devoid of any bugs. Another beer I found interesting was Abbaye de St Bon-Chien Grand Cru aged in Trouseau Oak Barrels, quite a mouthful there. I have to admit I have never heard of Brasserie de Franches-Montagnes before. I'm not 100% what style the beer is, as BeerAdvocate lists it as a biere de garde while rate beer says its a sour ale, close I guess, but while Ive had many funky biere de gardes, I cant say that any of them have been particularly sour. At any rate its rated pretty highly, and its bottle conditioned which is always a plus. And it doesn't hurt that its a one time brew, I usually like trying them out, I guess I'm particularly susceptible to that type of marketing.

The last thing I picked up was a traditional Basque cider. The style tends to be a bit funky, which is sold as a cellar quality, and they are bottled still. I'm hoping that there will be a bit of the yeast/brett left in the bottle when we open it up to culture as well. I couldn't find much about this particular cider, but if its good, and there is yeast, this is how my next cider batch will be fermented.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention where I bought all the beer. I came across two great sites for imported beers. Both had great customer service and extremely fast shipping, The first was The Wine and Cheese Place, and the other was Anconas Wine. The wine and cheese place has a huge selection, and a bit better sour selection than Anconas, but Anconas had a couple that the wine and cheese store didn't, in particular the Rodenbach. I would highly recommend either.


BMan1113VR said...

I've had all of those and they are all solid. The BFM TR5 is definitely more than funky, it is sour and very vinous. As for the cider has bugs in it...tart, phenolic brett character...a lot of barnyard.

Ryan said...

Yah, I had the cider last night, it displayed a lot of cellar qualities, aka funkiness, Im not sure if I like it though

I drank it with a pasta that had a fairly large amount of vinegar in it, so the cider really came off like a funky green olive, so I dumped the yeast

I am looking forward to the TR5...

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