Guardians of the Ale-axy

Guardians of the Ale-axy

While you might not think a pint is in need of protection, there’s a few organisations doing just that; protecting the artisanal brewing processes and promoting the players who respect these traditional styles.

The Reinheitsgebot (also known as the ‘purity law’) in Germany is the OG example of an organisation (the government) protecting artisanal processes and traditional styles - ordered in 1516, this law requires that “nothing other than barley, hops, and water” be used to produce beer. The world of brewing has come a long way since then, with a huge range of ingredients and methods available, and while we love all the innovation, it’s great to see some passionate groups protecting traditional styles.

Another example is CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) in the UK, a consumer organisation that focuses on protecting the tradition of real ale (or cask ale), plus cider and perry. They not only support and promote the product, but also champion the pubs that serve these types of beer. Founded back in 1971 (likely over a few frothy pints of real ale), it is still going strong today!

HORAL beers

In Belgium, not-for-profit HORAL - Hoge Raad voor Ambachtelijke Lambikbieren (really rolls off the tongue) or High Council for Traditional Lambic Beers, is a consortium of lambic brewers and blenders that work together to promote lambic beers, brewing, and culture in Belgium. Founded in 1997, particularly thanks to Armand Debelder from 3 Fontainen, the group has grown from 6 original members (3 Fonteinen, Boon, De Cam, De Troch, Lindemans, and Timmermans) to a total of 11 in 2024. One of the newest members is Lambiek Fabriek, a relative newcomer to the world of lambic that is slowly gaining more attention worldwide.

This edition of Ale Odyssey includes a couple of beers from HORAL members: Lindemans ‘Tarot Noir Dark Fruit Lambic’ and Lambiek Fabriek ‘Jart Elle Oude Kriek’. Taste the history and quality behind these beers, with the ease that people are looking after the tradition of such unique products. Cheers to these silent heroes!

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