A small cadre of Belgian iconoclasts go on quietly stirring the imagination of brewers around the world, showcasing deliciously dry, hop-forward beers, rustic farmhouse offerings, bold and complexly balanced strong ales, and all manner of tart and funky brews, including the unparalleled sensory experience that is authentic lambic. Gueuzerie Tilquin is one of those iconoclasts. Pierre Tilquin founded the small family brewery based in Bierghes, Brussels, in 2009. He exclusively blends lambic beers, such as the ones in today’s Peaks and Pints beer flight, Craft Beer Crosscut 1.31.20: Flight of Tilquin. Tilquin purchases worts from Boon, Lindemans, Cantillon and Girardin, then ferments them in their own oak barrels. This allows for the blending — typically 50 percent one-year old lambic, 30 percent two-year old lambic and 20 percent three-year old lambic. Yes, today is Peaks and Pints’ annual Tartuary Sour Beer Fest with many amazing sour beer from around the world on tap. But, consider spending some quality time with this equally amazing flight.
Craft Beer Crosscut 1.31.20: Flight of Tilquin
Dark meets sour, meets blackberry as seven-eights of Rulles Brune (Stout de Gaume) and an eighth of a blend of one-year-old lambics, which has matured for 8 months on oak barrels, are blended. La Rulle’s sour brown ale and Tiquin’s young Lambic blend provides an intertwine of tastes that’s quite the melange a trois for the tastebuds. Sour plum, black cherry, blackberry and red grape carry faint balsamic, berry, cider and lime acidity through the nose and then resonating with taste. Even with the subtle candied sweetness and dry toast undertow, it is no matched for the fruit and sour balance. With such juicy dryness spreading across the middle, its berry and stone fruit are rife with crabapple, dry cider, citrus and red wine — just shy of vinegar, yet carrying a piquant sourness that’s front and center thereafter. Weaving in the musky wine rot, damp burlap and sod, the beer’s rich balance toward fruity acidity comes on strong in finish and aftertaste.
Tilquin Oude Myrtille Sauvage Tilquin à l’ancienne
Myrtille Sauvage Tilquin à l’ancienne is a spontaneous fermentation beer obtained from the fermentation of frozen wild blueberries in young lambics, blended with 1, 2 and 3 years lambic to reach a final concentration of fruits of 200 grams of fruit per liter. This is a different version from the Experimental Draft Versions 1 and 2, as no Meerts lambic was used to lower the ABV of the blend. The nose is soft and supple with bright blueberries, jammy with mild skin tannins, a light plum note, a little vanilla and a touch of cinnamon. The palate opens fruity and tart with a ton of blueberry character, with mild cinnamon and clove, leather, dust, earth, lemon peel and lime.
Tilquin Gueuzérable Tilquin
Released late last year, Gueuzérable Tilquin is a 10 percent ABV lambic-style beer made up of a blend of one-, two- and three-years-old lambics aged in oak barrels and fermented with organic maple syrup. The nose is wild yeast, barnyard, green apples, rust, and must. It’s very sour — gooseberry, apple and grape — plus a bit lemony with earthy mustiness in the background pointing at the maple syrup. Expect a lively sparkling carbonation. It’s not for the fainthearted.