Fruit lambics are lambics (spontaneously fermented beers native to the Senne Valley and Pajottenland regions of Belgium) to which fruit has been added. Some producers make very sweet candy-like fruit lambics, but the traditional products are dry and acidic just like lambics. This article will deal with the more traditional products.
See also Soured Fruit Beer
For fruit lambic production, whole fresh or frozen fruits are typically used, though sometimes wine must is also used. Fruit lambic is made in both stainless steel tanks and in wooden barrels. The amount of contact time varies by producer and fruit, but generally it is on the order of months. After the lambic is removed from fruit, un-fruited is generally blended in before bottling the final product. The fruit amounts (g/l) listed on fruit lambics take into account this blending to achieve a lower final fruit to beer ratio. Note that these ratios (around 20-30% by weight, sometimes more) are fairly high. Some fruit lambic is available as products that aren't blended with unfruited beers, and these may or may not be carbonated. Blended fruit lambics are generally carbonated.
Generally fruit lambics are single-fruit producs, but sometimes blends of different fruits are used for flavor or color. Most notably, Rose de Gambrinus (a framboise from Cantillon) used to use cherries in addition to raspberries to achieve appropriate color. Other lambics involving a mix of fruits include De Cam's Lambiek Special (sour cherries, gooseberries and blackberries) and 3 Fonteinen's Hommage (sour cherries and raspberries). Some producers also used spices at times in addition to fruit in their fruit lambics (Cantillon's Framboise used to contain a small amount of vanilla.
Types of Fruit
The most common fruits used to produce fruit lambics are sour cherries (kriek) and raspberries (framboise). Some products are also made with other fruits such as wine grapes or wine must, apricots, plums, blackberries and strawberries (among other fruits). For guidelines about using specific fruits, see Soured Fruit Beer. For information about specific products from fruit lambic producers, see the producer pages on this wiki or on lambic.info.
Additional Articles on MTF Wiki
- "A Recipe for Kriek from 1907," by Dave Janssen.
- EU protections for Kreik (HORAL website via Google Translate to English).
- European TSG regulation for "kriek", "framboise", etc.