Any appeal in apple beers?

IN MY GLASS

October 15, 2008|By Rob Kasper | Rob Kasper,rob.kasper@baltsun.com

The Belgians seem to believe that they can make beer out of almost any ingredient. Moreover, they try to. So it was with some trepidation that I sampled Belgian-style beers made with apples. I am fond of apples and of most Belgian beers, but I wasn't sure it would be a good idea to get the two together.

Despite my skepticism, I ended up embracing the Lindemans Pomme Lambic, one of the four apple beers I sampled. I was relatively fond of another, the Floris. But the other two, the Corsendonk and the Ephemere, had too much spice and too little beer in them.

Most of these apple beers would go well with cheese and pork, the stuff of autumn.

Best sip

Lindemans Pomme Lambic,

Vlezenbeek, Belgium

$10 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Local distributor: Reliable Churchill.

Easily the apple beer of my eye. This is a golden brew that has a pleasing green-apple aroma, smooth body and refreshingly tart finish. There are apples here; the label tells us they create the brew's secondary fermentation. Barley, wheat and wild yeast also make their flavors known. Sip it in a tulip glass.

Best bargain

Floris Belgian Apple, Melle, Belgium

$4.49 for an 11.2-ounce bottle.

Local distributor: Dops Inc.

This golden brew has an inviting apple fragrance, malty sweetness and slight spiciness. For less than $5, you can take a rewarding dip into the apple-beer experience.

Also tasted

Corsendonk Apple White, Turnhout, Belgium

$10 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Local distributor: Legends.

There's a heavy dose of spice - coriander, orange zest and licorice - in this fragrant, straw-colored, naturally cloudy beer. If you like licorice (I don't), this could be the apple beer for you.

Ephemere, Chambly, Canada

$6.49 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Local distributor: Legends.

This is one of the Belgian-style offerings of Unibroue, a Quebec brewery that leaves the yeast residues in the bottle to continue fermentation. It's an apple beer with a yeasty aroma, tangy flavors and an overlay of spices. The coriander and curacao in this beer seemed to overwhelm the apple.

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