Got room in your wine cellar? Time to think about putting some beer in there.
Lambics are brewed in tanks exposed to wild strains of yeast, resulting in a dry and sour beer. After a year or two, chemistry will break down the acetic acid present in this brew by Denmark’s Mikkeller into sugars that can smell like nuts, figs, and flowers.
Sometimes called Brussels Champagne, gueuze is a blend of young and old lambics that undergo a second fermentation in the bottle. Tart and complex, Cantillon is the classic option — renowned for developing beautifully over a decade.
Guinness isn’t strong enough to age, but the alcohol in Russian, Imperial, or Baltic stouts and porters will subside in time to reveal more nuanced chocolate and coffee aromas. Cellar Dieu du Ciel’s strong stout to enjoy on some future winter’s night.
Spicy and sour saisons and bières de garde were first brewed for farmhands in 19th-century Belgium and France. Oast House’s version offers sweet malt and wintry spice flavours that peak at two years old.
TRAPPIST AND ABBEY ALES
These brawny Belgian beers are renowned for their potent complexity. The subtle fruity aromas of Konigshoeven’s La Trappe — an extrastrong “quadrupel” beer — will continue to improve throughout its 25-year shelf life.