Hoppy Holidays: Hanssens Artisanaal Lambics

This past week we received a limited shipment of lambics from Hanssens Artisanaal.   Hanssens are a traditional Belgian lambic blendery.   They procure freshly brewed and spontaneously inoculated lambic wort from Lindemanns, Boon and Girardin and ferment it in oak barrels in their facility.  After particular amounts of time (1, 2 and 3 years), different ages of lambic are blended to create “gueuze”. Other various blends are created and then put back into barrels with fruit (ex: Cherries for Kriek). Hanssens have operated in their current location in Dworp (Tourneppe), Belgium since 1896, with familial ties reaching back even farther at another location.  Hanssens have the distinction of being the first lambic producer to use the protected name of “Oude Gueuze” and “Oude Kriek” on a label.   They also produce the only authentic strawberry lambic in Belgium, “Oudbeitje,” which we received in this delivery!

The bottles we received were as follows (while supplies last):

Oude Kriek – 375ml/$11.99, 750ml/$20.99

Oude Gueuze – 375ml/$9.99,  750ml/$18.99

Experimental Raspberry – 375ml only/$14.99

Oudbeitje (Strawberry Lambic) – 375ml only/$11.99

Scarenbecca Kriek – 375ml only/$24.99*

*Made with Belgian Schaerbeek sour cherries

These lambics are authentic and delicious.  While they are currently ready to drink, these are perfect candidates for long term cellaring.   Lambics tend to age quite well when cellared properly. The gueuze is a great choice for this. And while many argue to drink fruited lambics fresh (the fruit flavor fades over time), there are those that swear by aging them and allowing the lambic to develop and bring more funk to the fore and let the fruit take a backseat.
This is a time of year ripe with opportunities to open a nice bottle. Hanssens lambics are perfect, high quality lambics available at all three Mike’s locations while supplies last!