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Craft Beer Times | Revolutionary Film Celebrates the Art of Lambic Brewing with The Coolship Has Landed

Revolutionary Film Celebrates the Art of Lambic Brewing with The Coolship Has Landed

Revolutionary Film Celebrates the Art of Lambic Brewing with The Coolship Has Landed


Craft beer has been an emerging trend in the world of beverages, and the wave of innovation is showing no sign of slowing down. One particular style of beer that has gained traction is lambic, which is brewed using a spontaneous fermentation process that involves leaving the wort exposed to the environment. Among the various methods for brewing lambic, the use of coolships is a classic technique that has been revived in recent years. And now, a new documentary film titled The Coolship Has Landed has brought this tradition to the forefront, taking viewers on a journey through the history and culture of lambic brewing.

What is a Coolship?

A coolship (or koelschip in Dutch) is a large, shallow vessel that is used for cooling the wort when brewing lambic. The concept dates back centuries, but has been largely forgotten over time. In modern breweries, commercial cooling systems have replaced the coolship, as they are more efficient at lowering the temperature of the wort. However, for lambic brewers, a coolship is an essential tool that allows the natural wild yeasts and bacteria in the environment to inoculate the wort.

Spontaneous Fermentation

The use of a coolship is necessary for spontaneous fermentation, a process that is unique to lambic brewing. Spontaneous fermentation involves allowing the wort to be inoculated by wild yeasts and bacteria that are present in the air and on surfaces in the brewery. Unlike other beers, which use specific strains of yeast, lambic relies on the microbial community that is present in the surrounding environment. This results in a unique blend of flavors and aromas that cannot be replicated.

The Film

The Coolship Has Landed is a feature-length documentary that explores the history and culture of lambic brewing. The film is directed by Dan Pucci and Bryan Roth, and features interviews with lambic brewers, experts, and enthusiasts from around the world. The documentary takes the viewer on a journey from Belgium to New York, showcasing the traditional methods used by lambic brewers and how they are adapting to modern times.

The Revival of Coolships

One of the main themes of the film is the revival of coolships in lambic brewing. Many younger brewers are taking up the tradition of using coolships, and the film highlights the passion and artistry that goes into this process. By embracing the wild yeasts and bacteria that are present in their local environment, these brewers are creating lambics that are truly unique and special.

The Future of Lambic

The Coolship Has Landed also addresses the challenges facing the lambic industry. With increasing demand for lambic, there is pressure on brewers to scale up production and use modern methods. However, many in the industry feel that this would compromise the character and quality of the beer. The film raises important questions about the future of lambic and whether it can continue to thrive in a changing world.


In conclusion, The Coolship Has Landed is a captivating documentary that sheds light on a traditional brewing method that is making a comeback in the craft beer scene. The use of coolships in lambic brewing is a testament to the artistry and innovation that goes into making this unique style of beer. The film is a must-watch for anyone interested in the history and culture of lambic brewing, and for those who want to learn more about the future of this remarkable beer.


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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