Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen1 was founded in the municipality of Beersel, Belgium in the 1880s as a cafe and geuzestekerij, a place where young and old lambics acquired from other breweries are blended together to produce geuze. In 1953, the establishment was purchased from the mayor of Beersel, Jean-Baptiste Denaeyer, by Gaston Debelder who expanded the enterprise by adding a restaurant on site before retiring and leaving everything to his two sons, Guido and Armand, in 1982.

With help from his father, Armand took over the blending operation, while Guido focused on running the kitchen in the cafe. In 1999, despite a massive downturn in the market and multiple brewery closures in Belgium, Armand opened his own lambic brewery located in a building behind the cafe. This allowed him to begin the process of brewing his own beers, instead of just blending beers acquired from other breweries.

Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen Hommage 2013 Bottle

First produced in 2007, Hommage is a blend of lambic beers produced to commemorate Gaston Debelder, who passed away in 2005 at the age of 88. It uses 60 percent barley malt, 40 percent unmalted wheat, hops, whole fresh raspberries from Payottenland and sour cherries. About 5,000 750-ml bottles of a second batch of the 6 percent ABV beer was rereleased in 2013, where it sold at the brewery for €14.20 each. Some of the second batch of Hommage was exported to the United States, where the average price was about $40 per bottle.

The Hommage pours a very murky raspberry red, with quite a bit of sediment present. There is actually less carbonation than I expected considering it is a lambic, but the lacing is a light red shade that remains for a while. The aroma coming from the glass is quite pungent, with huge fruity raspberries, barnyard, funk, oak and cheese.

Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen Hommage 2013

From the first sip, the Drie Fonteinen Hommage brings a multitude of flavors, with a huge funky oak, granny smith apples, lemon, and grass upfront while strong tart cherry and raspberries are present on the finishon the finish. The beer is slick on the tongue and tart, but it does not quite reach the level of sour, although I am noticing quite a bit of acidity in it. The finish is dry, but there is some sweetness that comes and goes on the palate, almost syrupy in nature and a bit off-putting when it shows up. Thankfully, it is only noticeable every once in a while. The carbonation sticks around longer than I thought it would and the sweetness only gets stronger as the beer warms up.

Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen Hommage (2013)
BREWERY: Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen
LOCATION: Beersel, Belgium
STYLE: Lambic
ABV: 6 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: €14.20
RELEASE DATE: December 2013
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml bottles
I was a bit concerned about opening this bottle too soon, but I wanted to try it relatively fresh before getting another one to cellar for a while to see how it ages. I am glad I did. While the overt funkiness of the blend was a bit overwhelming at times, it did combine nicely with the dominant dry oak and fruity sweetness that is present. Yes, there was a bit of a syrupy, artificial sweetness on the finish that I tasted at times, but it was not strong enough to ruin the profile for me. While not blow my mind amazing at this point in its life, this was a very good beer, and I can only see it getting better with time.
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