Whether you are into craft beer, home brew, commercial brew, or even strange brew, the fact remains that we live in exciting times in regard to beer! With so many varieties and versions popping up seemingly daily, it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out a new beer to try.
So if you’re looking to take a break from the Lagers, Pilsners, Wheat beers, and IPA’s that are being marketed at you, try giving some of the less commercially pushed varieties a chance!
I’ve been wanting to try pairings with a few of these beers, and decided to dive in with a bottle of Kriek (pronounced kreek). A brand recommended to me by my local bottle shop was the 4.1% ABV de Boomgaard Kriek.
Kriek is a cherry flavored Belgian Lambic beer. Kriek is traditionally made by adding un-pitted, whole sour Morello cherries to young Lambic after it has been aging in the barrel. The sugars from the added fruit cause the beer to re-ferment which results in a beer that is cherry colored as well as cherry flavored. The pits from the cherries as well as any other fruit “residues” are removed from the Lambic before bottling occurs.
Kriek beers fare well in a snifter as this particular glass works well to capture the aromas. The snifter also allows enough room to swirl and agitate the liquid, further releasing more of the scent of the Morello cherries.
Now, most of the online sources I checked recommended pairing this tart cherry brew with cherry-pie or other sweet desserts, but that seemed a bit of overkill in regard to my taste buds and my dental bill!
So I went in an opposite direction by pairing the de Boomgaard Kriek with a basil chèvre (goat cheese). The pairing worked very well as the sharpness of the basil and the cheese balanced out the tart, sour qualities of the Kriek. Goat cheese is quite rich on its own and so, all in all, the entire pairing was a decadent treat for sure! I recommend splitting a 355ml. bottle with a special someone for more of a dessert type situation.
If you find yourself up a “Kriek” without a bottle of something new to try, give this Belgian brew a chance!
What’s your favorite Kriek? Comment below.