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Lindemans Framboise Lambic Beer in Toronto/GTA?

This might possibly be my most favorite fruity beer of all time, and I can't seem to find it in. Any help would be much appreciated!

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  1. Agreed, this is also my favourite fruit beer. Contact Peter Lopaty from Esprit Agency at 416-762-4133. They used to carry Lindemans and I imagine they still do. They also carry just about every great imported beer. The only catch is you have to buy a case of 24 at a time.

    1. On the LCBO site you can do a product search and locate all of the stores throughout the province that carries a particular product. This has saved me a lot of energy when I'm looking for a particular bottle of wine. If it's not on the site then you likely can't obtain it through on LCBO store.

      Not sure about restaurants that serve it...


      1. Bar Volo and/or Beer Bistro serve them. I recall it on one of their beer lists, if not on both of them.

        Beer Bistro
        18 King St. E, Toronto, ON M5C 1C4, CA

        1. Please report back on what you find. Lindemans Kriek is my personal favourite. Haven't tried the frambozen yet, but would love to get it here. So far, I've had to settle for Fruli (cursed LCBO!)

          1. If I'm not mistaken I seem to recall reading that Lindemans was discontinuing it :( Very sad. This was 3 years ago and managed to scoop some up at the time. One of my personal faves. Let's hope I'm wrong!!

            5 Replies
            1. re: phisherking

              Lindemans has not discontinued production, it's just not carried by the LCBO any more.
              It shows up in the VINTAGES releases about once a year.

              1. re: foodyDudey

                It most certainly does not show up in VINTAGES, since VINTAGES doesn't have a beer program.

                It might have shown up at some point in an LCBO seasonal release.

                1. re: detritus

                  You are right. I see that Vintages no longer has a beer release, but they did at one time and Framboise was in that release in the past.

                  1. re: foodyDudey

                    I think you have to go back at least 10 years to when VINTAGES carried beer. Maybe longer.

                    1. re: detritus

                      You have to go back to 2001. I still have a few bottles of that frambiose here and thought I bought them at Vintages, plus when I checked "bar towel, they mentioned it in a release from "March 4" but didn't mention a year. I had not reliase it was such a long time back.

            2. thanks everyone!!! i guess i'll just have to stock up and sneak some back when i go stateside (kidding of course) or overdo it at beer bistro (not kidding ;) ).

              3 Replies
              1. re: richlikecream

                Anyone have any updates on this? I've managed to find that Sarah's on Danforth (& Monarch Park) carries Lindemans Cassis (might like this one more than the Kriek!) and Pecheresse. Someone is importing them into town, just not the LCBO.

                1. re: currycue

                  224816 / Lindeman's Kriek / Lindemans / 6 / 355 / $5.95
                  224824 / Lindeman's Cuvee Rene (Gueuze) / Lindemans / 5 / 355 / $6.45

                  They're scheduled for release sometime this summer as a seasonal release. When exactly we don't know, late june is the approximation by lcbo. The thread on 2011 lcbo summer release on bartowel will be the best place to find out when it starts arriving.

              2. Haven't tried this brand, so I cannot comment on similarities (or lack thereof) but I picked up a bottle of Samuel Smiths Raspberry Organic Ale, and it was great - not what I expected, but very tasty.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Sadistick

                  Yes a very good beer that lcbo have brought in for a few seasonal releases. If you like it, stock up as it is again just a seasonal for the summer.

                  1. re: aser

                    Also note that the Mort Subite Kriek (also the Framboise) shows up regularly - it's a bit drier than the Lindeman's.
                    It's available right now: LCBO Product Code 69591 - wide availability as well.

                    1. re: estufarian

                      I find the mort subite kriek too sweet and syrupy/artificial, but I suggest you give the Lindeman's Gueuze a shot when it arrives. That's the real deal, something lcbo never gets.


                      VERY excited about this one.......

                      1. re: aser

                        Haven't had the Gueze, but refermented beers are among my favourites. But is the wiki item correct? (See last paragraph below).

                        Top of the list is Deus (anybody know the agent?) and the Infinium (available earlier this year but now out-of-stock) was worth a try as well.

                        AND I also prefer the Lindeman's - just providing an alternative - except I find the Mort Subite drier (not sweeter) on the palate.

                        As to Gueze - here's an extract from a (long ago) release at LCBO of a gueze:

                        "962282 GUEUZE $ 3.95
                        (Brouwerij F. Boon) (XD) 375 mL
                        In his Beer Companion, Michael Jackson refers to Frank Boon and his brewery as one of the most memorable of the authentic Lambic beer producers. He notes that, the Gueuze has a good, well-rounded earthy, ‘dry sherry’ character. Gueuze lambics are made exactly as the Kriek and Framboise are, except no fruit is added to the finished beer."

                        1. re: estufarian

                          Kriek Boon is good too, the Framboise was a bit sour for my liking though.

                          1. re: estufarian

                            just got back from Belgium. Boon's gueuze is very nice, but it is still slightly sweet.
                            the true legitimate gueuze and lambics are from Cantillon. ZERO sugar and sweetness added.

                  2. An update:
                    It just appeared on the LCBO listing ($5.95 for 355 ml) - showing zero inventory (but that's normal on a pre-release) so it should appear 'shortly'. The gueuze ($6.45 for 355 ml) was also added.
                    Neither were listed earlier this week.

                    1. hey everyone, the grid posted a recent article on my beloved raspberry beer and how it's 90 min away in buffalo: http://www.thegridto.com/life/food-dr...
                      thanks for your help...guess i'll just have to cross the border to stock up!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: richlikecream

                        BEWARE the import duties! Markup of 100% (roughly) - which, on reflection, probably won't make it any more expensive than here!!

                      2. UPDATE 4 JULY

                        The Queens Quay Store had some released on July 2 (both Kriek & Gueze) but it was already 75% sold out by morning of July 4 - by the time you read this, may all be gone (well under 100 botttles of each remaining).

                        HOWEVER The LCBO inventory is showing the 'main stock' still being held 'In Bond' in the Warehouse (which means theoretically not available). But upon discovering that some had leaked through to Queens Quay, my local store has now put in an order - so ask your local LCBO to do the same (cases are of 12 bottles).

                        23 Replies
                        1. re: estufarian

                          doesn't this beer have aspartame in it?

                          1. re: atomeyes

                            ABSOLUTELY NOT.
                            The Belgians would be horrified at the suggestion!

                            Water, Barley, Malt, Wheat, Hops, Yeast (and cherry juice for the Kriek).

                            1. re: estufarian

                              Got my case and a half last night at the Queen's Quay location. Scary that most stores that now carry it only have about 15-20 of them in stock. Oh well, it's certainly more than I could get into a suitcase from Brussels.

                              1. re: currycue

                                Yes. Both were delivered to many stores yesterday - but few have more than 2 cases of each.
                                My local stores scheduled for Wednesday delivery.

                              2. re: estufarian

                                I just spent a week in Belgium.
                                While I am no certified expert, I do know my Belgian beers quite well.
                                I can tell you that, other than Cantillon, all other lambic beers - especially the krieks - have some sort of sweetening agent added somewhere along the way. Beers like Boon's Oude Gueze are more manageable and you can barely notice the sweetness.
                                But the trend for the past few years has been the "Kool Aid-ing" of Belgian lambic beer. They've been making them sweeter so the sour gueze are more accessible to the public.

                                Take some reviews on Beeradvocate, for example:

                                "From notes. 12-18-10. Pours a deep muddy cherry in coly, with a slightly red diminishing head with minimal lacing. Smells like a sticky sweet jolly rancher., minimal tartness, light fruit. Flavor is not so bad: Some nice tart fruit, backed with an artificial sweetness. Overall, this beer suffers by being WAY too sweet, in a way that just covers up anything redeeming. "

                                "I feel like a freshman in college again. Pours a mostly cloudy dark ruby red color. A very pinkish red head that was a bit fizzy. Decent retention though did not last through the tasting and no lace to speak of.

                                The nose is sweet with an almost imitational raspberry smell to it. More along the lines of a wine cooler than anything else. The raspberries dominate any malt or yeast aroma. Some minor vinegar notes but very limited and one dimensional overall.

                                The taste is very wine cooler-esk as well. Very sweet up front that just lingers into the finish. A big under attenuation note for sure. The raspberries comes out but does blend with a imitational furity note. Some minor malty notes but limited and really cant pick out anything minus the fruit. Some sour notes more along the acidic side but limited. Looking for more for a lambic.

                                The body is sweet, way to sweet. Looking for a much drier body.

                                I understand that this is a very low gravity beer and emphasizes the fruit aspect, but overall this is note enjoyable at all. Way too sweet, fake fruit notes, and limited beer notes makes this a drain pour."

                                Fruit aren't nearly as sweet as what you find in most lambic beer.

                                I've also heard (not seen first hand) that, in some countries, Lindemans lists aspartame as an ingredient.

                                After a week of drinking lambics daily, trust me when I say that your statement about horrified Belgians couldn't be farther from the truth.

                                1. re: atomeyes

                                  Have to admit I haven't been to Belgium for almost 2 years now, so my deductions could be out-of-date.
                                  But I'm pretty sure that aspartame (along with all substitute sweeteners) is a chemical that is REQUIRED to be listed (in U.S. at least) - and the LCBO stock has been sourced through the US (US Distributor clearly identified on bottle).
                                  But agree - who am I to state what Belgians think?

                                  1. re: estufarian

                                    I am pretty certain that we had 1 bottle of Lindemans while in Belgium. It was basically a wine cooler.

                                    The only gueze that I'd touch would be Boon's or Cantillon. Both are unavailable here, but a little birdie told me that Cantillon's coming to Toronto in September for a 1-off brew with Bar Volo.
                                    For those who do not enjoy the sourness of gueze, Cantillon is not for them. Boon is a little sweeter, but not overly sweet. Once you get into the Lindemans territory, it really is like Kool Aid or a cooler. and I can tell you that its not a normal sweetness. Its not from the fruit. its a sugar or syrup added somewhere along the line....probably after fermentation.

                                  2. re: atomeyes

                                    Well, my SO is Belgian and he laughed out loud at the concept of adding aspartame to lambics. But yeah, don't think any one of us can speak to what Belgians really think, regardless of whether we spent a week or two there.

                                    Tried the Lindemans Kriek last night. Not to my taste, a little too sweet. And I'm very sensitive to artificial sweeteners so I would be extremely surprised if they "slipped" it in. My SO enjoyed it however, so I guess he's not a "true" Belgian!

                                    Some of the best lambic and geuze I've had this side of the Atlantic were from Breughel in Kamouraska, Quebec. The brewmaster is of Belgian origin. Amazing stuff with very good acidity and no cloying sweetness.

                                    1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                      And 10 years ago, Belgians would laugh at the thought of adding any sweeteners to lambics. But its clearly being done. just try any of them. fruit doesn't have that kind of sweetness unless its rotting.

                                      Saying all Belgians are beer experts is like saying all Canadians are hockey and bacon experts. It was interesting to witness the ferocious beer appetites in Belgium's specialty bars...only to find out that half of the bar was from Britain, Canada or the US. Belgians were frequently seen drinking Lipton Iced Tea (their drink of choice) and occasionally you would see some cute old ladies drinking Rochefort 10 in the middle of the day. Even in a beer mecca, the "true" lambics and trappist beer (which beer snobs covet) make up a fracton of the beer market. Most Belgians would still choose Jupiler or Palm over Westmalle, Chouffe, etc.

                                      now if you're going to talk about true lambic beer, one would, in theory, be restricting it to beer brewed only in the Pajottenland region of Belgium. By definition, that's what lambic is - and it spontaneously ferments due to the conditions in that area. so i'd be interested to see how lambic is made this side of the Atlantic (and no, i don't subscribe to the old school concept of spontaneous fermentation, but i do wonder how a lambic can be made if yeast and sugar is not added to the initial brewing process).

                                      1. re: atomeyes

                                        I'll pass along your thoughts on Belgian beer culture to my SO, and another immediate family member, who travels to Brussels a minimum of 4 times a year. It should be interesting what they have to say...

                                        And perhaps I'm confused but where above did I state that all Belgians were beer experts?

                                        In any case, it would be great to see the LCBO carry a wider selection of Belgian beers, lambics and geuze. I'm no Belgian beer and culture "expert" as you seem to be, all I know is what I like, and what I don't like.

                                        1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                          I hear you. Personally I love Lindemans, but definitely wouldn't confuse it with a real beer. That said, I'd drink it over wine coolers any day. Boons Kriek was pleasantly sweet but not too. Their Framboise was quite sour and not to my taste. That makes me think that they're telling the truth about no sugar being added to the fruit.

                                          Looking on the Lindemans' website, it states that traditionally they would use sour Schaerbeekse Cherries, but because of their current scarcity, they use a pure cherry juice instead. Doesn't say much about sweetners. I love them, but can't drink more than one bottle due to their acidity anyway.

                                          1. re: currycue

                                            I also love Lindemans. I hope the comparison to coolers is not turning some people off. In my mind the only thing it shares with coolers is that its fruity and based on beer. The coolers I have unfortunately tried taste like chemicals and lack balance. More importantly, I get the sense coolers are created by an accountant trying to meet a specific market. I like the sweetness in Lindemans and imagine it would work beautifully with cheesecake. I don't know if they add sweetners to their product but I was under the impression Belgiums add rock sugar to some of their high alcohol beers.

                                          2. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                            If they go to Brussels 4 times a year, do both me and yourself a favour:

                                            Ask them to go to the Cantillon brewery. Its only a 15 minute walk from the Grote Markt. If they've never been there, convince them to do the self-guided tour for 6 Euros. It comes with free tastings and is worth it (and i hate tours).

                                            If they've done the tour, then ask them to bring back the following:
                                            gueze 100% Bio Lambic
                                            Lou Pepe (made with more cherry juice than the kriek)

                                            I will promise you this: if you don't like any of what you've tried, I will GLADLY take the beer of your hands and reward you handsomely.

                                            I'd encourage this family member to also find a high end beer store (not a supermarket) and look for De Dolle's Oubier Grand Reserva. Get them to bring back at least 2 bottles - one for you, one for me. I will drive out to wherever you live, pay you for the beer and even bring over some snacks for you and your family.

                                            We'll have a tasting. 1 bottle of Lindemans Framboise, one bottle of whichever Cantillon is brought back, and 1 bottle of the Grand Reserva. I would be very interested to see what you think of each, especially if we ended the drinking with the Lindemans. And I'm incredibly serious about this offer (and I'd encourage your family member to purchase copious amounts of the beer i've mentioned, since you cannot find these anywhere in Toronto except, occasionally, at Bar Volo)

                                            1. re: atomeyes

                                              I've had Cantillon's gueze, Smokeless Joe's used to serve it. I had it with mussels. No doubt its a great product.

                                              Smokeless Joe
                                              Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA

                                2. re: estufarian

                                  Bought a few at Queen & Brock today, I'll be a good boy and wait until Friday to try them out.

                                  Lindeman's has good distro in the US so even if it does sell out LCBO shouldn't have problems re-ordering due to their supply chain.

                                  1. re: aser

                                    Had both on the weekend. The kriek is decent, and a bit sweet, has the cough syrup fruitiness to it. Although at that price point, I think the Samuel Smith raspbeerry seasonal is a better buy.

                                    The gueuze is out of this world, great stuff, mmmmm flavour country. Not for the meek. The nose is, how can I put this delicately? Smells like a rotting corpse.

                                    1. re: aser

                                      you inspired me to go get some of the gueuze tonight. will report back.

                                      1. re: atomeyes

                                        Keep in mind it's very young, but it has great aging potential, yet it's still enjoyable to me right now. I think I'll store a few of these away for at least 2-3 yrs.

                                        1. re: aser

                                          I bought two (my wife wouldn't let me buy more at $6 a bottle!). I may have one this week and age the other.
                                          i assume that it has a cork and should be aged lying down.

                                          I wasn't sure if gueuze beer can be aged (unlike the browns and darks, which become more mellow with time)

                                          1. re: atomeyes

                                            I bought 3, drank one. Tempted to stockpile a few more but as you say, tis a pricey brew.

                                            Yes, it's corked.

                                            I'm sure you're in the same boat. My beer cabinet is getting a bit out of hand, there is always a next release to stockpile.

                                            1. re: aser

                                              let's just say that its a nice problem to have, and that last night's Westvleteren Blonde with dinner was a welcome treat. :)

                                              and FWIW, there are 14 bottles of Lindy's Gueuze and around the same amount of the kriek available at the LCBO at Don Mills and Lawrence. otherwise, inventory's been depleted across Toronto. yet LCBO doesn't get the hint and (properly) expand their Belgian beer line-up....

                                              1. re: atomeyes

                                                I was at Summerhill last night and they had a ton. If you check the LCBO website there are hundreds of bottles spread across Toronto. But, generally, I agree the LCBO could expand their line-up.

                                              2. re: aser

                                                Cracked mine open last night. Poured half for me, half for the wife.
                                                She gave me her half within 5 minutes.

                                                Its bouquet is incredibly off, and it can either be endearing or horrible. Its the stinky tofu of beer. Not really like Cantillon (my golden standard for gueuze). I found the flavour to be fine, but not amazing. It was a light drink and didn't have much ooomph to it, aside from the sourness.

                                                Its a good beer but not an amazing beer. Its worth the $6 if you want to try a gueuze but i wouldn't spend the money on a large quantity of them. Will keep my 2nd bottle until next summer and see if it matures. I kind of doubt it

                                  2. Sipping on some Lindemans Kriek at this very moment. Yum. Picked some up at the Queen/Coxwell LCBO. They've brought a bunch of Belgian products in. Yahoo! I'll be back tomorrow and empty my bank account.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Jed Clampet

                                      Going through Kriek withdrawal. I see the LCBO has decided NOT to bring it back this year :( so I'm looking at contacting Peter @ Esprit for some more.

                                      So far, I've emailed but no response, so I'll call. Treated myself to one at Biermarkt, but at $9 for a 250mL bottle, it won't be very often!

                                      Read an interesting article online saying that traditionally, a sour Kriek like Cantillon was served with a muddler and sugar cubes in Belgian bars, so I feel a little better about my pre-sweetened Kriek now.

                                      1. re: currycue

                                        I used to enjoy the Mort Subite Framboise. I noticed that you can't get it pretty much anywhere and that it was delisted, from what I heard from the LCBO personnel. What makes me laugh is that as the largest purchaser of alcohol in the world and monopoly overpaid for by us, you'd think they'd be able to give you a better reason thatn 'it was delisted'. Say something like glass or $hit in the bottle, so I feel like they were looking out for me as opposed to some other reason.

                                        Meanwhile, they're blowing out cases of coors, molson's, blue, bud...coors iced tea. Like do we need the LCBO to replicate the Beer Store? Or to provide a different outlet of choice for us subservient sheep?