Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic – Belgian Origin Ale Styles

Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic Style

  • Color: Often influenced by the color of added fruit
  • Clarity: Cloudiness is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt sweetness should be absent, but sweetness of fruit may be low to high.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is not present. Cheesy hop character should not be present.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Characteristic horsey, goaty, leathery and phenolic aromas and flavors derived from Brettanomyces yeast are often present at moderate levels. Fermented sourness is an important part of the flavor profile, though sweetness may compromise the intensity. Fruit sourness may also be an important part of the profile. These flavored Lambic beers may be very dry or mildly sweet. Vanillin and other woody flavors should not be present.
  • Body: Dry to full
  • Additional notes: These beers, also known by the names Framboise, Kriek, Peche, Cassis, etc., are characterized by fruit aromas and flavors. Fruit Lambics, whose origin is the Brussels area of Belgium, are often simply called Fruit Lambic. Versions of this beer style made outside of the Brussels area are said to be “Belgian-Style Fruit Lambics.” The Belgian-style versions are made to resemble many of the beers of true origin. Historically, traditional Lambics are dry and completely attenuated, exhibiting no residual sweetness either from malt, sugar, fruit or other sweeteners. Some versions often have a degree of sweetness contributed by fruit sugars, other sugars or other sweeteners. See also Belgian-Style Lambic for additional background information. Such beers exhibiting wood-derived attributes should be categorized in other Wood-Aged categories.
    Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on color, fruit, or other ingredients. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying lambic beer upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as fruit ingredients or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.

Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic Vital Statistics

  • Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.040-1.072 (10-17.5 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.008-1.016 (2.1-4.1 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 4.0%-7.0% (5.0%-8.9%)
  • Bitterness (IBU) 15-21
  • Color SRM (EBC) Color takes on hue of fruit(Color takes on hue of fruit EBC)

2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines used with permission of Brewers Association.

Credit: 2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines – Ale Styles – Belgian Origin Ale Styles – Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic