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.
pFriem Frambozen began, well over a year ago, as fruited Lambics have for centuries. The malt bill consisted of 60% malted barley and 40% wheat. Aged hops were added to the boil. Rather than sending the wort to a coolship, we used a modern heat exchanger to chill before deliberately inoculating with the same magical mixed culture that’s wafted through Belgian windows for centuries. Next the beer matured in French oak barrels for nine months. Finally, our good friends at Hoffman Farms harvested 2200lbs. of decadent fresh raspberries. We then added them to our established Lambic at a whopping 3.2 lbs. per gallon. The fruit and the Lambic were then left alone to mingle for 2 more months before bottle conditioning. They are now one.
Deep fuchsia red topped with cotton candy pink foam. Huge perfumy aromas of fresh raspberries, kiwi, and rose petals. Floral flavors of ripe berries, lavender, and fresh jam. Finishes tart, tantalizing, and prickly.
Duck, goose, and venison. Pan fried chicken wing or breast in a Frambozen cream sauce. Mexican Mole sauce-based foods. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate-based desserts, cheesecake, panna cotta. Pairs beautifully with cheeses such as mascarpone, teleme, stracchino, and sharp fresh goat cheese.