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Craft Beer Times | Exploring the Traditional Art of Lambic Brewing Through Film

Exploring the Traditional Art of Lambic Brewing Through Film

The Art of Lambic Brewing

Lambic is a beer style that has been around for centuries. It originated in the valley of the Senne River in Belgium, where it is still brewed today. What makes lambic unique is that it is a spontaneously fermented beer. Unlike most beers, which are fermented using commercially produced yeast, lambic is fermented using wild yeast and bacteria that are present in the air.

A New Take on Lambic Brewing

Recently, a new film has been released that aims to elevate the art of lambic brewing. Titled “The Coolship Has Landed,” the documentary follows the brewers at Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, Maine, as they attempt to reproduce traditional lambic brewing techniques. This involves using a large, open pan called a coolship to cool the wort before fermentation.

The Importance of the Coolship

The coolship is a critical component of lambic brewing. The wort, which is the liquid extracted from the malted grains, is transferred to the coolship while still hot. The coolship is left open to the air, allowing the wild yeast and bacteria to settle on the surface of the wort. The wort is left to cool overnight, during which time the yeast and bacteria begin to ferment the sugars in the wort.

A Labor-Intensive Process

Lambic brewing is a labor-intensive process that requires a great deal of patience and skill. The coolship, for example, needs to be carefully cleaned and prepared before use. The brewer must also monitor the fermentation process closely, as the wild yeast and bacteria can be unpredictable. This is an art that has been passed down through generations of Belgian brewers.

A Passion for Beer

“The Coolship Has Landed” is a celebration of the passion that goes into lambic brewing. The film highlights the dedication and care that the brewers at Allagash put into their craft, as well as the respect they have for tradition. It also sheds light on the history and culture of lambic brewing, which is an important part of Belgian heritage.

The Future of Lambic Brewing

“The Coolship Has Landed” is more than just a film about beer. It is a love letter to an art form that has been passed down through generations of brewers. It is also a glimpse into the future of lambic brewing. As craft beer continues to grow in popularity, more and more breweries are experimenting with traditional techniques. This film shows that there is a real demand for these types of beers, and that there is room in the market for high-quality, artisanal brewing.


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.

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