In Wambeek, Belgium – a small town in the bucolic countryside west of Brussels – the De Troch-Raes family has been crafting lambic beer since the early 1700s, and in the same farmhouse continuously since 1860. Today, Pauwel Raes – a seventh-generation brewmaster – ably continues his family’s artisanal tradition. Brouwerij De Troch is unique, even in the rarefied world of lambic brewing: It is an independent, family-owned concern that brews, ages, blends, and bottles under the same roof.
Lambics are the oldest continuously brewed style of beer in the world. Their distinctive flavor is the result of “spontaneous fermentation” – utilizing the wild yeasts and microflora in the natural environment. To earn the appellation “lambic” this process must occur at one of a handful of peer-recognized breweries in Belgium’s Senne River Valley, all of whom follow traditional methods.
De Troch releases their output exclusively under the brand name Chapeau, offering the most extensive and diverse selection of fruit lambics, including flavors such as Banana and the pineapple juice flavored Exotic, alongside the classic cherry-fruited Kriek and other traditional fruit blends. Their Gueuze and Faro are also regarded as authentic tastes of the Senne River Valley’s world renowned terrior.
Spontaneously fermented and aged in oak casks, Chapeau lambics are produced with the traditions of the original lambics of the 14th century in mind, but with consideration toward modern refinement and tastes.
Brouwerij De Troch’s lambics are authentic, and always produced on-site at the family’s farm in Wambeek. Their beers are “Traditional Specialty Guaranteed” – a European trademark that indicates that they use traditional methods to create their products. Also, Brouwerij De Troch is a member of HORAL, the High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers.