Good Beer Hunting

no. 475


A new tradition is taking shape.

Carnivale Brettanomyces is Amsterdam’s annual wild and sour beer festival that welcomes brewers and drinkers from around the world. In recent years, brothers Tom and Wim Jacobs invite a few lucky beer makers to Belgium for a group brew day following the festival. (That’s Wim in the brown T-shirt above.) The whole thing goes down at a farm in the Flemish countryside called Antidoot, where the brothers create their highly regarded natural wine, cider, and wild ales.

They were joined this year by amateur and professional brewers from Switzerland, Sweden, France, the United States, and Germany. The recipe consisted of organic European malts, hops from Wim’s father-in-law’s property, and hay from a piece of land recently acquired by Tom to expand the farm. We layered the hay in the lauter tun and steeped it in the koelschip along with some of the hops.

The use of the koelschip in the summer months is rather unorthodox, and some of the puritanical brewers and blenders we lovingly refer to as “The Lambic Police” have objected. Nevertheless, the quality of the beers coming from Antidoot is undeniable. Sometimes it’s worth bucking tradition.