Belgian beer enthusiasts are fearing the worst regarding the future of lambic beers. According to a study conducted by researchers and Brasserie Cantillon, one of the world’s premier lambic producers, climate change may have a detrimental effect on the lauded beer style.
Lambic, a spontaneously fermented sour beer traditionally produced in the Pajottenland region of Belgium, depends on a specific temperature range to cool and inoculate (18 to 46 degres Fahrenheit) as well as to age (below 77 degrees Fahrenheit). This is done through ancient methods using a coolship and wooden barrels, without refrigeration.
According to the study, conducted by climate scientists Mark and Asa Stone, lambic researcher and Lambic.Info admin Adam Harbaugh, and Cantillon, temperatures have been rising in recent summers, putting lambic beer production at risk, the Guardian reports.
The brewing window at Cantillon has shortened to 140 days, compared to 165 days when the brewery began operating in 1900. The result of rising temperatures could mean less lambic produced each year, or alternatively, altering the traditional methods with which Cantillon has been famously made for the last century.
The only other option would be to move the brewery, which is also a gueuze museum, from its 118-year home.
Cantillon is a prized possession among beer lovers and connoisseurs. The study comes to light less than three weeks before Zwanze Day, a worldwide celebration of Cantillon’s beers.