Saturday, July 11, 2009

Vigneronne for Your Great Thirst and Mine.

What is it about the Vigneronne? Is it the sweetness of the Muscat grapes? Is it the beer's knack, especially when chilled, for embodying all that is refreshing about lambic? Or maybe it's the power to hit the reset button on your mind, stomach, palate, and soul? Especially when slurped at the end of a long night. Or the morning after.

Whatever it is, Vigneronne is my favorite Cantillon beer.

(I have favorites, and I don't trust people who don't. "Depends on my mood yada yada," whatever. How often do people ask you about your favorite beer? Don't waste their time with a spiel. Have a simple answer that will point them toward a great beer. You haven't taken the time to figure out your own favorite beer? Now that's just lazy. If you really don't know, you can borrow my favorite: Saison Dupont. Now, just for argument's sake, let's say you decide that your favorite beer is Bell's Two-Hearted. Excellent choice, by the way. And someone asks you if Westvleteren 12 is the really the world's best beer. Now all you have to say is, "No. Bell's Two-Hearted is the world's best beer." See how easy that was?)

Here you see the Vigneronne employed as a Sunday morning remedy at the Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst, a.k.a. the Insurance Against Great Thirst. The Grote Dorst is in all likelihood the greatest lambic café in the world. It wins for selection, price, traditional location in the heart of Pajottenland, and after-church village atmosphere. Indeed the Eizeringen village steeple is just across the street. As a matter of great annoyance and charm, the Grote Dorst is only open Sundays, church holidays, and funerals. (Note that the café will be closed for summer holidays on July 19 and 26.)

And how about that vintage Cantillon glass? Or is it faux-vintage? Who cares? It's cool. Hooray for tumblers that encourage us to gulp.


  1. I often say my favorite is New Belgium's La Folie, but with every new sour I have, I think it might change. That Vigneronne is mighty tasty though.

  2. Joe- I hate to bust your bubble, but the best beer in the world is Westmalle Tripel ; )