Beer Types – Framboise / Raspberry Ale

Framboise or Raspberry ales are a lambic style of ale, “Framboise” being French for Raspberry. Lambic is a very distinctive type of beer brewed traditionally in the Pajottenland region of Belgium and in Brussels itself at the Cantillon Brewery and museum. Lambic is now mainly consumed after refermentation, resulting in derived beers such as Gueuze or Kriek lambic.

Unlike conventional ales and lagers, which are fermented by carefully cultivated strains of brewer’s yeasts, lambic beer is produced by spontaneous fermentation: it is exposed to the wild yeasts and bacteria that are said to be native to the Senne valley, in which Brussels lies. It is this unusual process which gives the beer its distinctive flavour: dry, vinous, and cidery, usually with a sour aftertaste.

Today the beer is generally brewed from a grist containing approximately 70% barley malt and 30% unmalted wheat. When the wort has cooled, it is left exposed to the open air so that fermentation may occur spontaneously. After the fermentation process starts, the lambic is siphoned into old port or sherry barrels (of chestnut or oak) from Portugal or Spain (some of the brewers prefer used wine barrels.) The lambic is left to ferment and mature for one to two or even three years. It forms a “velo de flor” of yeast that gives some protection from oxidation, in a similar way to vin jaune and sherry; the barrels are not topped up.

Fruit lambics are usually bottled with secondary fermentation. Although fruit lambics are among the most famous Belgian fruit beers, the use of names such as kriek, framboise or frambozen, cassis, etc. does not necessarily imply that the beer is made from lambic. Many of the non-traditional fruit beers derived from lambic that were commercialized in the last decades are considered to be low quality products by many beer enthusiasts.These products are typically artificially sweetened and based on syrups instead of fresh fruit, resulting in a taste experience that is quite remote from the traditional products. Some of the well known raspberry ales are Lindeman’s Framboise, Amsterdam Framboise, Mort Subite Framboise and the above pictured St. Ambroise Framboise.

Meet The Wizard Who Reads Minds

When I was 16 I read an article in a Reader’s Digest issue which I would later use to good effect a few times. The article is not something that I remember much about; I guess it was about someone recanting a special person from his developing years and mentioned a trick that this person did and later how he did it. At 16 I thought it was cool and nifty and spoke to a friend of mine, Nikhil, and we arranged that we would use this on our friends or relatives.

Ok this is the simple trick, which we label as the Wizard. Now say I wanted to pull this trick on someone I am with, I would tell this person that I know a Wizard would could read other people’s minds. And then I would take a deck of playing cards and ask this person to pick a card at random and show me the card. Then I could call my friend the Wizard on the phone, in full view of the other person and once the phone is picked up I would ask for The Wizard. Once the Wizard is on the phone I would tell him that I have a friend / relative here who has picked a card and would he be able to tell him which this card is by reading his/her mind. When the Wizard says he is ready, I would then give the phone to my friend/relative who picked the card and then the Wizard, without fail will tell the other person the card he or her had picked. Worked every time and the person would be stunned!

Wanna know how we did it? It’s simple. My friend Nikhil and I had prearranged signals for enacting this little silly trick. When I had a person with me who chose a card at random and showed it to me, say it was the 8 of Diamonds, I know which one it is right? So when I called Nikhil at his home and he picks up, I would use the first prearranged signal, which is:

“Is The Wizard at home?”

Nikhil would then start saying to me “One….two…three….four…five….six….seven…eight….” till Ace! I would interrupt him at the correct number, which in this case is eight and then ask the next question:

“I have a friend / relative here who has picked a card and could you read his / her mind and tell which card it is?”

That being the second prearranged sign, Nikhil would then say to me “Clubs…..Hearts….Diamonds…..Spades” and I would interrupt him at Diamonds and say “Ok, so I’m going to hand it over to my friend / relative now!” So Nikhil aka The Wizard now knows that the picked card is the 8 of Diamonds. I hand the phone to my friend / relative and as soon as they say “hello” he would say “The 8 of Diamonds” and hang up! Leaving a stunned person at the other end of the line and me with a big smile on my face!

Feel free to use this and trick your friends!