I was given two bottles of Kriek Boon lambic beer for Christmas. I had no idea what it was – so I did some research.
Lambic beer has been brewed in Belgium for over 500 years. A mix of unmalted wheat and barley malt, it relies on wild fermentation, picking up yeast and bacteria from the air to convert the grains to alcohol. It’s a fruity beer as the hops are added as a preservative rather than to give the beer a bitter taste.
Kriek Boon is a fruit lambic. In this case, cherries were steeped in the beer, which then undergoes a secondary fermentation. The secondary fermentation uses up the sugar in the fruit so you’re left with a dry beer with a strong fruit flavour - reminiscent of cider but with an aftertaste of beer.
Not all lambic beers are made in the traditional way. Some add fruit syrup rather than steeping actual fruit that undergoes a secondary fermentation. Others are pasteurized or use prepared yeasts.
But the Boon beer is made using traditional methods and is extremely tasty. According to Cava Secreta which distributes it in Saskatoon, it has been aged for two years in oak vats and contains a minimum of 200 grams of real cherries per litre. It also relies on spontaneous fermentation. I highly recommend it.
Note: photo of beer label is from Corey and Nate’s Beer Labels.