North East Brewing Co.
Available: only in Boston
This Belgian-style beer was fermented out completely without fruit in a unitank, then transferred to a French-oak cask. Two pounds of sour red cherries were added per gallon, and a slurry of Brettanomyces yeasts, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus bacteria. The beer spent 8 months on fruit, then aged in the bottle for an additional several months.
ABW: 7 before fruit
Color: 8.3 before fruit
Original gravity: 1062 before fruit
Although I dislike the description "Belgian Kriek Lambic Style," the comparison with spontaneously fermented Belgian beer is obvious. Bottled in a sparkling wine bottle with both a cork and a crown, the aroma that escapes when the cork is removed is astoundingly authentic and lambic like. So is the color⎯rose with strong amber overtones. The slight head disappears immediately, unfortunately too often a characteristic of these distinctive brews. The taste is pleasantly acidic, like a dry wine, with just enough cherry flavor to provide balance. The traditional "barnyard character" is evident in the finish. Serve in flutes as an aperitif with hors d'oeuvres.
A stunning achievement for an American brewery! Indeed, it has many of the complex characteristics associated with lambic-style beers. But I suppose there’s always a twist, and here a hybridized character emerges with hops lending bitterness not usually associated with Belgian-brewed lambics. Dry, well balanced acidity offers some refreshing experiences, particularly with fish, poultry and other white meats.
It's labeled "Belgian Kriek Lambic Style" but there's no other information. Is it fermented with wild yeast or with a lambic culture from a laboratory? Gorgeous, gushing pink in the glass with a sour aroma and a hint of "horse blanket." Tart and sour in the mouth, followed by a long, quenching finish that becomes dry. There's not a lot of cherry aroma or flavor and it lacks the stunning sourness of a true Belgian kriek, but it's highly quaffable.