About a month ago, Andrea and I were visiting my family. I’d been about a year since we made the trek west, and we hadn’t seen them in a while. I have a beer cellar—in this case a big fridge full of beer—at my parents’ house in Indiana. I have, perhaps, 200 bottles of beer in there. It contains anything from new cellar beers to twelve year-old brews. Anyway, I have some very enjoyable stuff in there, including a few lambics and brett heavy beers.
One night we were playing cards at the Reinhardt household, and I decided to crack some cellar beers. A few beers stick out, but one in particular is at the front of my mind as I write this: a Kiwi lambic from Upland. This beer was terrific. I personally noted one slight off-tone to the brew, but it didn’t really detract from the beer as a whole. But I’m not here to write a review or get you to buy that particular beer. Actually, I want to share something that I found particularly surprising.
My brother has been pretty into beer for a couple of years now, and he is particularly fond of lambics. He loved the Upland offering. But that’s not really the surprise. My sister is normally pretty game to try any beer that’s put in front of her. She always approaches a beer with an open mind. To my surprise and delight, she really enjoyed the beer and was talking about getting some sours when I came to town next. She’s not a beer fanatic by any means, but she absolutely fell in love with this lambic. Interestingly, the lambic is not of the sweet Lindeman’s variety. No, this is a truly sour version of the style.
This set me to thinking about how approachable and refreshing lambic is as a style. If the drinker doesn’t like sour or vinegar flavors from the start, it’s hard to make the case. Otherwise, I’m relearning some lessons. Different people have very different taste, so it’s not a forgone conclusion that you move them from Bud to Sam Adams Boston Lager or whatever else. Sometimes, it’s gauging an open mind and going from a Bud to a sour lambic…now there’s an interesting thought.