Originally founded in Anderlecht, Brussels in 1900, Brasserie-Brouwerij Cantillon’s1 first brewer was Paul Cantillon. The brewery has stayed in the same family since then, and the present owner and fourth generation brewer is Jean-Pierre van Roy. Cantillon brews lambic beers exclusively in the traditional style and even houses the Brussels Gueuze Museum onsite.
According to the brewery, the name Fou’ Foune2 is in reference to a nickname of apricot grower named Francois Daronnat, who kept talking about how “Bergeron” apricots were the most natural, delicious and sweet fruit anyone would ever experience during a dinner. In July 1998, 300 kgs of “Bergeron” apricots were delivered to the Cantillon brewery, and the first release of Fou’ Foune was born.
The Cantillon website has a bit more info:
Due to the success of our provençal beer, 1200 kgs of apricots are delivered now every year to the Cantillon brewery. The fruits are stoned by hand before being soaked in 2 years old lambic. The beer extracts the taste and the aromas very quickly and the Fou’Foune is bottled after two months. The beer is rather sour, slightly turbid and has a pale gold colour. Its production is limited to 3000 liters a year. A large part of the bottles go back to the region where these apricots come from. People there consider the Fou’Foune Cantillon as a local beer.
Fou’ Foune comes in at 5 percent ABV, and is sold exclusively in corked and caged 750ml bottles. While the vast majority of the bottles that are produced stay in its home country, a very limited amount make it to the United States, where they are quickly snatched up.3
The Cantillon Fou’ Foune pours a very cloudy straw gold color, and despite a very slow pour, features an enormous fluffy white head. The two-finger head disappears fairly quickly, leaving a thin milky white lacing behind. There is plenty of carbonation evident in the glass and the aroma coming from the glass is a combination of juicy apricots, funky horse blanket, oak, sweet flowers and citrus.
Right off the bat, the flavors of the Cantillon Fou’ Foune include tart apricot pits, sour grapefruit, lemon peel and musty, cheesy funk. There is an almost shocking lack of carbonation on the palate considering the amount of head that was present, but the carbonation that is present is quite effervescent on the palate. The sourness in the profile is aggressive, but there is just enough juicy apricot sweetness to balance it out perfectly. In addition, there is a nice tartness on the finish, along with slight floral sweetness and a bit of a mineral note on the back end. As it warms, the profile becomes more sour and funky, while the lemony citrus note becomes more dominant and the carbonation is almost nonexistent by the time I finish the glass.