Perhaps the most popular version of lambic stateside is a raspberry-based dessert iteration: Lindemans Framboise Lambic ($12). Fermented in a two-part process, this vibrant ruby-hued brew gets its start as a traditional lambic, with an initial ferment of a mash of malted barley, unmalted wheat, and wild yeast; later, raspberries are added for a secondary fermentation, all in all lasting more than two years. Background aside, what does it taste like?
Utilizing a unique process to remove the gluten from the libation post-brew, Omission scored below the threshold for gluten content set forth by Codex, but the test that most intrigued me was whether or not the two brews, a lager and an American pale ale, could stand up to their traditional counterparts. Find out how Omission performed where it counts most: flavor.
Since we couldn't make it to Oktoberfest this Fall, it seemed fitting to sip on a German-brewed beer in hopes of its transportative properties. With that in mind, we bring you a classic Teutonic tipple: Radeberger Pilsner ($8 for 6). Founded in 1872, Radeberger is purportedly the first German brewery (still in business) to produce pilsner exclusively and has earned an impressive assortment of fans since then, including King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony and Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.
From sip to swallow, the Tumbler transforms on the palate, keeping your taste buds engaged by the spectrum of flavor. The medium-bodied beer starts crisp and sweet, but the longer the brew hangs on the tongue, the more bitter and sharp the flavor becomes. Upon swallowing, the beverage has a leathery, drying finish and a sour flavor like grapefruit or San Francisco's famous sourdough bread. Enjoy this quintessential autumnal beer while tailgating outdoors with friends or sipped by the fireside while camping in the woods.
Like most lagers, Oktoberfestbiers are typically light on hops and have a stronger malt flavor. This russet-hued offering fit the bill with mild bitterness and a pronounced, yeasty finish that reminded us of sipping on a glass of liquid bread (in a good way!).
Less crisp and more warming, this beer is on the savory side — almost salty. And while this beer goes down smoothly and could easily be enjoyed without food, it would pair well with, naturally, Germanic cuisine, such as bratwurst and sauerkraut. We'd also play up its bread-like flavor by whipping up a batch of beer bread. What better pairing than a foamy lager with a slice of generously buttered bread?