3 Fonteinen Oude Kriekenlambik

This month I was able to get my hands on something pretty special. Finding a traditional Belgian lambic within the beer club budget, especially from the renowned Drie Fonteinen, was a nice surprise. The second trick was convincing my vender to sell me enough to get you all a bottle of this small batch Belgian import. Success! 

3 Fonteinen was founded in 1887 and helped bring this style, first birthed in the 1400’s, into the “modern” age. Their Oude Kriekenlambik is produced via the slow and all natural maceration of whole sour cherries on traditional lambic. It is unfiltered & unpasteurized & spontaneously fermented. 

Spontaneously fermenting a beer is a bit like drawing an outline on a canvas and inviting mother nature to paint within the lines. Rather than selecting a domesticated yeast strain to add to wort in a standard fermentation vessel, the brewer will pump hot wort into a large open pan—referred to as a coolship—and allow the wort to rest for many hours, open to the outside air. Only practiced when the weather is just right (typically in late fall), microbiota that floats freely in the surrounding air—including wild yeast and bacteria—naturally collect on the exposed wort. For parallels outside of brewing, think of this process as similar to the creation of sourdough bread or natural wine. 

Back in the coolship, the naturally occurring microbiota then begin to ferment the sugars present in the wort. After that beer is put into barrels, the wild yeast and bacteria will transform the liquid over the course of one to three years. This transformation not only creates alcohol, but also a myriad of unique flavors and aromas.

What makes a spontaneously fermented beer a lambic is that it is fermented through exposure to wild yeasts and bacteria native to the Zenne valley. Every area in the world will have its own particular native wild yeasts in the air, and the ecosystem of the Zenne river in Belgium which flows right through Brussels and the surrounding valley is necessary to produce what is needed for a true Belgian Lambic. Please take your time and enjoy this complex, funky bottle of sour cherry Lambic.     

Beer Buyer PlumpJack Wine & Spirits

Kriekenlambik 20/21

Origin: Beersel Belgium

Spring has Sprung and it’s time to pop a cork in your backyard, deck, porch or nearby park. This beer is perfect for a picnic type setting in the sun with friends and lovers, and will pair well with Charcuterie, washed rind cheeses and anything else that will really open up the senses. High acid, very tart with the fruit of the cherry giving it almost a juice/beer hybrid. This beer will open up like a natural wine as you drink its funky goodness.  

Anyone that runs a cellar can also store this beer to maximize it’s funkiness and bring down the acid a bit.  Bottled January 2021 and best before 2041, it has a long shelf life!

            Here’s what the people over at 3 Foneinen have to say about the process on this particular bottle: This is not “any” Oude Kriek, this is Zeer Oude Kriekenlambik. Instead of using one and two year old lambik for maceration and blending, this time we used 36% three year old lambik (yes, like as in more than thirty-six months) and 58% two-year old lambik. The lambikken comes from twelve different barrels and eleven different brews. This blend consists of 60% 3 Fonteinen lambik. The final fruit is at 340 grams of sour cherries per liter of this Oude Kriek. 

Beer style: Kriek lambic. This is a style of Belgian beer, made by fermenting lambic with sour Morello cherries. Traditionally "Schaarbeekse krieken" (a rare Belgian Morello variety) from the area around Brussels are used. 

6.6% abv, Serve 50°F

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