Belgian-Style Lambic

Ale - Belgium

Style Description

  • Alcohol by Volume: 6.2 - 8.1%
  • IBU: 11 - 23
  • Color:   6 -   13 SRM
  • Original Gravity: 1.047 - 1.056
  • Final Gravity: 1.000 - 1.010

Unblended, naturally and spontaneously fermented lambic is intensely estery, sour, and sometimes, but not necessarily, acetic flavored. Low in carbon dioxide, these hazy beers are brewed with unmalted wheat and malted barley. Sweet malt characters are not perceived. They are very low in hop bitterness. Cloudiness is acceptable. These beers are quite dry and light bodied. Characteristic horsey, goaty, leathery and phenolic character evolved from Brettanomyces yeast is often present at moderate levels. Versions of this beer made outside of the Brussels area of Belgium cannot be true lambics. These versions are said to be "lambic-style" and may be made to resemble many of the beers of true origin. Vanillin and other woody flavors should not be evident. Historically, traditional lambic is dry and completely attenuated, exhibiting no residual sweetness either from malt, sugar or artificial sweeteners. Sweet versions may be created through addition of sugars or artificial sweeteners. Competition organizers may choose to subcategorize this style into A) Traditional and B) Sweet. Artificial sweeteners are sometimes used in some brands.

The styles listed are based on the Brewers Association 2011 Style Guidelines published by Brewers Association with changes.