The Belmont Station had a ‘Meet the Brewer’ night, spotlighting the Six Rivers Brewery. The new store is bigger, and now has a cafe attached to it, so meetups like this actually work without being insanely crowded. I was able to sample Six Rivers’ pale ale, IPA, and stout, and I had favorable impressions of them all but when I found out the raspberry lambic was on tap in the bar, off I went.
I just had a glass but it was a treat I’d been looking forward to for almost a month, having missed my chance to try it at Bailey’s Taproom. The barkeep had his near business persona on, a touch of surly in him-I’m certain that if Iwas there on a day when it wasn’t crowded that he’d sit and chat with you, but his need to work ferociously meant he was not going to do more than pour my beer well and move along.
I took a long sip, and it was basically like drinking raspberries. Oh, I could fancy it up, tell you about a nose I could barely inhale (but had the ghost of raspberry in it) and use special words to explain how tart it was, but it comes down to this:
It was like drinking ripe raspberries. Sweet, then sour, with the effervescence acting like a new sphere on the berry exploding in your mouth. If you like raspberries, you’ll like this, and if you hate raspberries, you’ll hate it. I loved it.
Having the chance to talk to the brewer I asked him about the lambic specifically, and he told me that they used 448 pounds of raspberries in each batch-something like 60 pounds of raspberries per barrel! Also he used a belgain yeast instead of a lambic one (brett is the shortened name for a commonly used lambic yeast) and apparently it’s reacting in such a way that it’s giving him lambic qualities (sourness, really) but at a slower pace. Because brit is so difficult to clean, most brewers either don’t use it, or have to use it in a closed system-so using this yeast solved that problem for him.
At the brewery, he told me they make red and blacks: a stout they have on nitro topped with the raspberry lambic, which is like drinking a chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce.
Time to visit California again.