Wild Ale

Allagash lambic experiment with wild Maine yeasts

The beer blog Beervana published some interesting details on Portland, Maine, brewery Allagash and their quest to brew a lambic-style beer. What is truly fascinating is that Allagash does not just inoculate the wort with wild yeasts from the Zenne Valley in Belgium, but is experimenting with real local spontaneous fermentation:

There’s nothing sacrosanct about the Zenne Valley–wild yeasts should ferment beer anywhere, theoretically..But would Maine wild yeasts produce a tasty lambic? They did some research and discovered that except for the hottest months in the summer and the coldest months in the winter, it turns out that Portland, Maine’s weather matches up quite closely with Brussels’.

The brewer even made a substantial investment to build and install a real cool ship (“koelschip”) and consulted the traditional Brussels lambic brewery Cantillon. This seems to be shaping up to become the closest an American brewer has ever gotten to traditional lambic brewing.

Read the complete report on Beervana.