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Jul 26, 2006 10:56 PM

Lambic--is it really that hard to find?

On my way to visit a friend, I stopped by Trader Joe's in Napa to pick up a bottle of Lambic (that's where he usually gets it). But alas they were out of stock. I asked where else I might be able to find a bottle, and the manager I spoke to got a little dramatic and said the next nearest Trader Joe's was "quite a drive" from their store. I asked if there was another area store where I might find it, and his reply was that it's not that common for stores to stock it. I found this difficult to believe. I don't drink much of it (usually only when I'm with my friend) and am wondering, is Lambic really that rare in the Bay Area, or was the clerk simply misinformed/promoting his store (said they'd have it in stock in a few days)?

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  1. Is that big Cost Plus still in SF? They'd definitely have a good selection. Even the small Cost Pluses in suburban LA stock the lambics.

    Beverages and More has it. Most large wine/beer merchants should have it, but I don't normally see it in regular liquor stores or markets.

    1. I believe a decent selection of fruity Belgium lambic is readily available at Beverages & More if you have one nearby. Interestingly, now that I have relocated to the East Coast, I am finding a wider selection of all kinds of Belgium beers/ales. Maybe it's the proximity to Europe or perhaps just better distribution penetration than stores in the West Coast. That TJ store manager might be somewhat correct that lambic is uncommon in CA stores. They certainly have the best prices I have found.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pkallan

        This makes sense to me, as I recently moved to CA from NY where you really can get everything from everywhere! I'll check out other posters suggestions, though. Thanks, all!

      2. Cost Plus in Corte Madera.

        1. No. Bevmo has a good selection. BelgiaN lambic (what's with all this "belgium" stuff? My friend, from Belgium, who is BelgiaN, thinks it's silly. He says it should be "Belgian food, and Belgian beer".) may also be found a some of the more fabulous taphouses and pubs in the area. there are tons of great places there, from 21st amendment on.

          I'm jealous, in fact.

          1. It depends on what kind of Lambic you're looking for. The fruity Lindemans brand is normally available at Beverages and More, as well as Whole Foods market. Really, lots of places now carry that stuff.

            If you're looking for authentic Lambic, then you're going to have a much more difficult time tracking that down. I'm assuming though that since you usually get it at Trader Joe's you mean the fruity stuff.