2 May 2011 - 2:37:33 PM
Hey, it's a Belgium brewery post! Cantillon was mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide, and I'd read about it in a little Belgian beer-centric travel article. So I was looking forward to the visit. They were closed because of Easter when I went by on Monday, but it was business as usual on Tuesday. Cantillon Brewery has been mixing up the lambic since 1900, and still using a bunch of the same equipment since day one. From the informational handout, it looks like they do nine different brews (all based on lambic), but I only sampled three of them. Quite nice, I thought.
- Gueuze - A mixture of one-, two-, and three-year old lambic. Really sour! Taste is intense, but hard to describe. Kind of malty. Fascinating.
- Kriek - Cherries in lambic. Cherry aroma not too strong, but flavor a good complement to the lambic.
- Rosé de Gambrinus - Raspberries in lambic. Very strong raspberry aroma, but flavor's not too strong -- seems to mix well.
Outside the Cantillon Brewery -- Brussels, Belgium
Antique mash tun that they still use -- Brussels, Belgium
I'd never seen a cooling tun before. This is where the magic (i.e. the spontaneous fermentation) happens. -- Brussels, Belgium
The lambic ferments in these barrels in the attic of the brewery for three years -- Brussels, Belgium
Steam cleaning an aging barrel. The shiny chain hanging from the post is another part of the cleaning process. -- Brussels, Belgium
Bottled Gueuze aging to perfection -- Brussels, Belgium
Don't want to know what sort of beer this will be... (this was actually an old barrel being used as a table in the tasting room that the brewery cat seemed to like) -- Brussels, Belgium
They also had various logo glasses for sale. This was frustrating -- I didn't want to carry around glassware with me for six weeks, but I could've had a lovely Cantillon tulip glass! Mon Dieu!
My Cantillon taster with a selection of their bottles for sale -- Brussels, Belgium