Cherry 2000, Kriek-Style AleJuly 1, 2010 Boston, MA
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.
- Charles Finkel
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.
- Charlie Papazian
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.
- Roger Protz
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
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