In order to understand the history of fruited Lambics, one must first understand the long, rich history of Lambic itself. A beer that we would likely recognize as Lambic was being lovingly produced in Belgium as early as the 12th century. In order to do so, the brewer, who was often also a farmer, built a mash consisting of 60% malted barley and 40% wheat. A minimum volume of aged hops was added to the boil solely for their preservative properties. Next, the wort was transferred to a coolship, a long, wide and shallow vessel, designed, as the name implies, to cool the wort. In through the open windows, along with the chilly Belgian breeze, came magic. Soon, the wort began to bubble and foam, the result (we now know) of a mixed culture fermentation beginning. Finally, the slowly fermenting elixir was moved to oak barrels for maturation.
Adding fruit to traditionally produced Lambic is a significantly more recent development in brewing history, and likely began as a cottage industry. In fact, the first explicit mention we find of a cherry addition lies in the 1878 manuscript of a tenant farmer named Josse De Pauw from Schepdaal, Belgium. The fact that this tradition blossomed around the village of Schaarbeek outside Brussels is no accident as the cherries of the same name were once abundant in the area. And while cherries were likely the first fruit to be combined with Lambic, they were certainly not the last. The resultant beers have traditionally been named simply for the fruit included.
Fraise is created by blending our Lambic-inspired base beer, which has aged in Neutral French oak barrels for between one and two years, with 1200lbs. of extraordinarily fresh, juicy and decadent Hood Strawberries. This equates to about 3.5lbs of strawberries for every gallon of beer! The fruit and the Lambic are then left alone to mingle for more than eight months. They are now one.
Alluring colors of crimson red illuminate like a wild fire sunset topped with bright white foam. Tangy aromas of strawberry, rose, melon, raspberries, and lemonade. Tart flavors of berries, kiwi, Sweet Tarts, and strawberry shortcake. Finishes bright, light, and dry, with a refreshing zing.
Duck, goose, and venison. Pan-fried chicken wing/ breast in a Fraise cream sauce. Mexican Mole sauce based foods. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate based desserts, cheesecake, pannacotta. A wide range of cheeses-mascarpone, teleme, stracchino, and sharp fresh goat cheese.