Style: Lambic Kriek (cherries)
Size: 250ml (bottle)
I booked my tickets well in advance as I was looking for a reason. And it was for a good cause after all. I left work and my colleague and I made our way to Peckham Rye station. From there it was a 10 minute walk through suburban south London.
In its short life, the award winning* Hop Burns & Black has forged a solid reputation in beer circles. Run by passionate Kiwi’s Jen and Glenn it brings together three of their passions; beer (Hop), hot sauce (Burns) and vinyl records (Black). There was a great profile write up in the Evening Standard over summer which is worth a read. The selection of beers was epic and the good part is that you can try what you buy right there in the shop or at the tables out the front – I opted for a can of Moor Beer’s Revival while we waited for the main event to start.
I was there for No More Heroes – a tutored tasting and music session with beer writer Matthew Curtis raising money for Mind UK. Matt is a great writer – he contributes to and edits his website Total Ales and is the UK storyteller for renowned beer website Good Beer Hunting (which I love) as well as a number of other beery publications- and is increasingly broadening his repertoire to include speaking and events. More importantly, he is a genuine guy that is passionate about his beer. And somehow he does all this in addition to do full time job!
He had chosen 6 beers and a song to accompany each. The one beer that stood out for me was a sour beer from Belgium, Boon (pronounced Bow-n) Kriek Mariage Parfait. An 8% ABV heavy lambic style beer – which relies on wild yeasts and bacteria from the Pajottenland region of Belgium to drive the fermentation with the addition of overripe cherries that spurs a secondary fermentation – Matt had unsurprisingly chose ‘Cherry Bomb’ from the Runaways as his music match. This beer was sour, sour, sour and not to my liking.
Matt spoke with such passion about the beer and the brewery I thought I would give them another go. This time I went for something lighter. At 4% ABV Kriek Boon is a blended lambic with added black cherries. The first thing you notice is the colour: the cherries turning the beer a stunning red – almost like creaming soda I used to have as a kid. The second thing is the smell – it is sour with a strong earthy scent of cherries. And finally, the taste. This one is smooth and crisp, not to arresting in its sourness. As an introduction to sour lambics, this is where I would start. In fact with this bottle only being 250ml, it leaves me wanting more.
*Won the best shop in Peckham in Timeout’s Love London Awards 2015
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