Given the timing of their announcement, Brains Craft Brewery’s latest beer is either an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke, or their most ambitious experimental beer to date. A fairly common base of malted barley, unmalted wheat, and Fuggles and Goldings hops is matured for twelve months in open barrels, allowing wild yeasts to gradually ferment it to produce a lambic style beer. The lambic style is typically cloudy and sour, and usually associated with Belgium. Due to the complexity and time taken to produce beer under the whims of nature, not many breweries attempt it. The sour notes produced are also a little alien to the British palate; we tend to equate beer sourness with being spoiled.
If you’re thinking Lamb-ic is a starting to sound like a clever Welsh pun on the beer style, get this – Brains also threw a load of Welsh lamb chops in the barrels for good measure. April Fool’s, right? Maybe. There are some North American breweries that make beer with bacon, such as Rogue Ale’s Voodoo Maple Bacon Ale and HogsBack’s Aporkalypse Now, and these meat pioneers inspired the Brains’ team to make Lamb-ic unsuitable for vegetarians.
For that final touch, when the barman pours your pint he’ll add sprinkles of mint on top to give it a bit of zing. Ok, Brains, we’re done here; you’re pulling our leg! It’s definitely very interesting if true, and probably unlike any other beer on the British scene right now. We’ll know for sure by April 5th, when the beer is due to be launched in a select range of Brains’ pubs.