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.
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.
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.