Page 130 - Montecito Journal Glossy Edition Winter Spring 2014/15

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ears ago, Belgian brewers took inspiration from their
neighbors to the southwest and began applying the
méthode traditionnelle
to beer production. This
, or
méthode traditionnelle
for sparkling wines
produced outside of the Champagne region, is the most
common production technique for high-quality champagnes.
After primary fermentation the blended wine is bottled
with yeast and the
liqueur de tirage
, a small dose of sugar
that begins a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The
champagne is aged for a minimum of 15 months to
several years, depending on the harvest and if the
champagne is to be a vintage. After the champagne
has been appropriately aged, the yeast is no longer
needed and must be removed from the liquid.
Yeast removal is achieved through riddling,
, a process which places the bottles at
a downward angle in racks called
. The
bottles are lifted, turned, and then placed back
down at an increasing angle, finishing at a vertical
downright position with the yeast concentrated
in the neck of the bottle. After riddling, the
champagne is disgorged, or
, wherein
the cap and yeast are removed in one swift
movement. Before final corking, the bottle is
topped off and finishing sugar,
liqueur d’expédition
is then added to bring the champagne to its intended
sweetness. The
méthode traditionnelle
results in a brilliantly
clear liquid that possesses an intricate flavor that can only be
achieved through secondary fermentation.
hen Belgian brewers began to use this production
technique on beer, they created a new style known
as bière brut. These high-alcohol brews are refined and
effervescent with elaborate flavors from the Belgian yeast
and secondary fermentation. The time, space, and
expense of producing a beer in this manner limits
the number of examples available. Currently, there
are only about 30 bière bruts listed on the popular
rating website, Beer Advocate, making it one of the
rarer beer styles in the world.
Of the bière bruts, Brouwerij De Landtsheer
has the most extensive range, offering four different
versions including a minerally Malheur Extra Brut
and a chocolate-cherry-themed Malheur Brut Noir.
DeuS from Brouwerij Bosteels is by far the most
popular of this unique style and is considered the
benchmark for others in this category. The beer
pours a sparkling golden color with a pearly white,
fluffy head. Coriander, ginger, and white pepper
ll too often, beer is seen as a commodity. Even craft beer gets generalized as being a bunch of offensively bitter IPAs. Not many people
realize the majority of beers they can name are really just an offshoot of a single beer style, pilsner. When one begins to look closer at beer,
they will encounter more than a hundred different styles containing flavors that they never even knew could exist. Many of these beers
remain undiscovered by the masses and are not exactly found on the shelves of your standard liquor store. Once you begin to venture
into the world of beer, you will unearth rare styles whose flavors can rival the finest wines and champagnes.
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