08 Dec 2021 Introducing LRV
We are thrilled to announce the release of our newest beer series called LRV. This is our interpretation of traditional Belgian Lambic style beer, a type of spontaneously fermented beer which is aged in barrels for a number of years and then used for other sub-categories such as Gueuze, Kriek, Framboise, Peche, and more. You know the saying “great things take time” well when it comes to this style of beer that statement could not be more true. If you haven’t had the good fortune of sipping what some consider to be an excellent replacement for a glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve, you are most certainly missing out.
While in the broad category of sour beer, this style is known for its funky, fruity, sometimes barnyard-y flavors. It is the pinnacle of tasting; balanced and complex with soft, round acidity and beautiful citrus notes. You can try this one-of-a-kind beer by the glass at our resto-brewery, where we also have bottles to go. But hurry, this exclusive series is selling out fast!
LRV, short for Liquid Riot Vessel, is a custom built double-decker oceanside koelschip, which sits outside our brewery during the colder winter months where the wild yeast and bacteria naturally found in the ambient air inoculate our fresh brewed wort overnight. Following the steps of traditional Lambic production (using the internationally recognized Méthode Traditionelle), to make our 3yr Blend and all LRV beers, we blend beers that have been spontaneously fermented and aged in oak barrels for 1, 2 and 3 years, with some blends being further aged on whole fruits.
What Is Spontaneously Fermented Beer?
Rather than selecting a domesticated yeast strain to add to wort in a standard fermentation vessel, our brewers pump hot wort into the Liquid Riot Vessel and allow the wort to rest for many hours, open to the outside air on our oceanside back deck. What happens is the microbiota that float freely in the surrounding air—including wild yeasts and bacterias—naturally collect on the exposed wort. We like to think that the sea mist from the waterfront adds a special touch to the taste and makeup — creating a lovely synergy between our Maine roots and the traditional Belgian technique.
Back in the Liquid Riot Vessel, aka the LRV, the naturally occurring microbiota have inoculated the wort as it has cooled overnight. This wort is then pumped into awaiting ex-wine barrels where the wild yeast and bacteria will slowly transform the liquid over the course of one to three years. After all, good things take time.
What Inspired LRV?
While the style has deep roots and tradition in Belgium, it’s only within the last decade or so that this category of beer has started to emerge in the United States. Our Owner and Founder Eric Michaud has been visiting Belgium and learning about the many beer styles produced there for the last 20+ years. Through his travels he has connected with some of the best Lambic brewers and Gueuze blenders and learned to brew and blend from them. With his passion and creativity, he’s been able to take this knowledge back to our Portland Maine based brewery and produce some of the most authentic Belgian-inspired spontaneous beer this side of the Atlantic.