Monday, 7 January 2013

Beer of the Week: Cantillon Cuvée Saint-Gilloise

It goes without saying that one quality that's vital in a brewer is a passion for beer. And the beers brewed by the most passionate brewers seem to have an extra spark and burst of flavour. Combine this love of beer with a celebration of your local football team's league promotion and isn't the result is bound to be something special?

When Cantillon brewer Jean Van Roy's local team, Royale Union St Gilloise, won the Division 3 title in 2004, he celebrated by brewing this phenomenal dry-hopped, bottle conditioned lambic. It was so good that he has released a version of it every year since.

Cuvee Saint-Gilloise proudly wearing its team colours.

Unlike a gueuze which is a blend of three years worth of lambic, this is a pure two year old lambic which has fresh styrian goldings added to the cask for its last few weeks before bottling.

Just like a gueuze the lemon sourness shoots up your nose and surprises your tongue as you take that first sip. I loved the woody flavours from its barrel ageing but I was expecting the hops to come through more strongly. But wait a bit longer and the bitterness sneaks up on you from behind the wall of sourness making this not only refreshing but also a very satisfying beer.

Cantillon are one of our favourite Belgian breweries because of their playful experimentation with these classic styles. However we've tasted a couple of less than perfect beers from them recently. I'm very pleased to be so impressed with this excellent variation on the lambic theme.

If you hurry you might still be able to buy this beer from It really is worth it.

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