Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quick Sips: Timmerman's Kriek

A Kriek is a Belgian lambic beer fermented with sour cherries, making for a fruity, slightly sour, slightly sweet concoction that will make you wonder if you should call it "beer" at all. Rest assured, it is beer ... but it's probably the sort of brew the average beer drinker in America has never imagined existed, much less tasted and enjoyed.

But don't let the word "sour" fool you. Timmerman's is far from sour. It's just tart enough to counteract the sweetness of the cherries, but it fails to even slightly pucker the mouth. The beer pours a rich red color (click the image for a larger view and noticed how red it is at the edge) with a hazy pink head. The visual cues suggest this will be fruity, and it is.

Arguably too fruity. Fruit-laden variations on lambics such as krieks and the framboise style can be delicious without making you feel like you're drinking candy. They remain a beer, albeit a beer that challenges your preconceptions of what a beer is. Thanks to the light body and active carbonation, though, this one drinks more like a heavy cherry soda. The cherry sweetness is candylike. Very little in the way of malt or bready aromas or yeast. This is pure distilled cherry sweetness disguised as a beer.

It's tasty in its own way, but I'm not sure I'd ever want to have more than one.

Timmerman's is fairly easy to find and fairly affordable, so if you're interested in trying out this style it'll be a snap to locate. You won't be tasting the best of them, but it'll get you started.

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