Belgium’s Cantillon Brewery, beloved for its world-renowned lambics, announced it would be expanding to a new space and dubbeling (LOL) its production. Today, the Cantillon folks posted on Facebook, saying that they were spraying (or “washing”) the insides of their new location with beer, exterminator-style.
No, the Cantillon brewers are not taking cues from Willy Wonka and making the walls wild beer-flavored, as one might suspect. The brewers are attempting to recreate the “Cantillon micro-climate” in the new location by spraying the walls with lambic.
To understand what’s going on here, we should talk a little bit about spontaneous fermentation, a practice used in the brewing of Belgium lambics. This age-old practice takes place when ales are fermented with wild yeasts—from an open window, for instance, or already residing in a barrel, (or in this case, on the walls)—rather than cultivated ones such as Saccharomyces (brewers yeast). Julia Herz of craftbeer.com explains, “[Spontaneous fermentation] puts Mother Nature at the helm of brewing magic.”
Who is the “Lambic brewer” Cantillon is referring to in its Facebook post? One Facebook commenter says that Cantillon could be referring to the brewer from brasserie De Neve.
Side note: We are currently spraying the walls of our office with lambic, not because we’re brewing any wild ales at the moment, but because we’re going to lick them later. High five!