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Seeking a very beery apple beer

Most things labelled apple beer are too sweet for me to consider "beer". And while I love a good bottle of French apple cider, sometimes I want something with more beer flavor.

Lambic is closer than many, but still too sweet. I once had (at Cav, in San Francisco) an apple beer that tasted like a light beer with a very strong aftertaste of apples. Very pleasant, but the initial taste was definitely beer.

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  1. Look for Éphémère. It is brewed by Unibroue, a Canadian brewer whose products are widely distributed in the US.

    Éphémère comes in several flavors, but Apple is the most widely available.

    One of the best food/beer pairings I ever tasted matched this beer with a tarte tatin.

    1. if you go to your local beer brewing shop you can buy a liquid bittering hop (condensed)in a little dropper bottle.add 1 drop to your lambic and that should give you a better balance.

      1. I would suggest Hennepin by Ommegang. The last one I had some apple like sweetness to it. Also a bargain beer, at least in the boston area about $5 a bomber.

        1. I second the Unibroue Ephemere rec. Apple flavored, but with a dryish malt flavored body also.

          If you don't like sweet lambics, check out some more "authentic" versions that have not been sweetened with fruit juice and/or sugar syrups. Look for Cantillon, Hanssens, Oud Beersel, Drie Fonteinen, or Girardin. If these are too tart, acidic, and funky for you, then check out Boon which is in between.

          7 Replies
          1. re: LStaff

            I love Oud Beersel and Hanssens. I only recently sampled Marriage Parfait - I just thought it was alright. Oud Beersel is still my favorite gueuze.

            I tried the Lindemans Pomme. It was a little too sweet for my liking - it tasted like sour apple Jolly Ranchers had been dissolved in it.

            1. re: Josh

              Yes, the Lindeman's Pomme is what I had, and my boyfriend and I both thought it was to beer what Wild Vines is to wine.

              1. re: Pei

                Yeah - well there's a big divide in terms of what you find out there under the "lambic" name. Traditional lambics aren't sweet at all. They are fermented with wild yeast and other bacteria which give the beers some pretty intense aromas and a very sour flavor. The fruit added might add just a touch of sweetness, but the flavor will be basically sour.

                Then there's Lindemans, Mort Subite, and one I haven't seen around much anymore called Chapeau - these guys all make sweet lambics, flavored with fruit syrup, and they are not really to my liking. The raspberry Lindemans can be good as a dessert beverage, with something chocolate, for example, but your Wild Vines comparison is totally on the money.

                I haven't seen a traditional lambic made with apples, though. The only fruits I've seen are raspberry and cherry.

                  1. re: Josh

                    Hm - sounds good. The current Fantome release has strawberries and it is great.

                    1. re: Josh

                      Lindemans does have an apple lambic (never tried) and I am a big fan of their peach lambic--not too sweet--more refreshing.

                      1. re: Josh

                        Yeah - I had the Lindemans Pomme. Tasted like Green Apple Jolly Ranchers.

                        I actually find their peach rather too sweet. All their lambic is too sweet.