Alibi V.18 No.20 • May 14-20, 2009 

Hip Hops

Big ’n’ Tart

Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek

Big life happenings deserve the "bottle service" treatment. Anniversaries. Graduations. Restaurant openings. Fridays.

Which is to say that Brasserie Cantillon's Lou Pepe Kriek is a great memory cementation device. A Kodak moment in a 750-milliliter beer bottle.

Poured into traditional Lambic flutes—those frilly, gold-rimmed mini-Pilsner glasses that seem like the German answer to teatime—this Kriek is the luscious color of freshly juiced raspberries muddled through a cheesecloth and spritzed with seltzer.

Absent from this kind of Kriek (a sour-cherry Lambic from Belgium) is any sort of "wild cherry" sweetener. The front of the taste is a smooth, sparkly pucker, and the back is more of the same amplified on different buds—a savory, yeast-on-citrus lozenge drip. And unlike some animal-style Lambics that get crazy with a double-fermented wallop of Geuze-whiz (but we dig that, too, of course), this classy lady packs just a latent, background funk. Think of backup soul singers who are hardly noticeable in the mix of a good rock song.

At only 5 percent alcohol by volume, squirreling away a bottle of Lou Pepe for that monumental occasion doesn't make much sense. You want to toast with this relatively quick. We're tempted to have babies and open restaurants just to drink more.

Dairy Pairy: English lemon curd

Soundtrack: U2's "Lemon"