Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen is best known, I think it's fair to say, for its lambic and gueuze — by and large spontaneously fermented, sour, and often fruit-infused styles of Belgian beer. It's certainly fair to say that's what I know them for best. Their Oude Kriek, in particular, is a benchmark for me. As much as I like Cantillon's Kriek, the version from Drie Fonteinen is less savagely tart but every bit as complex... and more downright drinkable.
It's that drinkability that draws me to their slightly more mainstream line of beers, as well. Called "Beersel," after the town of Beersel where the brewery is located, the lineup includes a Belgian blond ale, an organic ("Biologisch") version of the same beer, and a lager. I've seen the Beersel Lager, the topic of today's post, alternately referred to as Czech pilsner in style. From my palate's perspective, though, I'd put it firmly in the classic lager camp — light amber in color, round and crisp yet fairly soft in mouthfeel; less bright and herbaceous, more malt-rich than what I think of as a classic pilsner. While its carbonation level is higher than in the gueuze from 3Fonteinen, it would be considered low-carbonation by American standards, an attribute that adds to the beers easy drinking character.
Reasonably low-alcohol at 5.2%, straightforward up front, very gentle and open on the mid-palate, and just a wee funky on the finish, it goes down easy. That bit'o'funk, meanwhile, makes me know I'm drinking not just any lager but a lager from Drie Fonteinen. Not surprising, I suppose, given that it's brewed with the same basic ingredients used in the brewery's lambic production; selected bottom-fermenting yeast strains and a higher original gravity are the key differences. If only it weren't so pricey (a single bottle averages around $6 US), I'd be happy to make a place for it in my regular, go-to rotation.