Ardent Twitter followers know already that tonight Churchkey will have Cantillon Cuvée St.-Gilloise on tap, a dry-hopped version of the Belgian brewery’s unblended 2-year-aged lambic. (Hop nerds: Ratebeer says Styrian Goldings, but I think this year Cantillon used Hallertau hops.) Unblended lambic (spontaneously fermented) beers are rarely served on their own — the traditional use is to blend many lambics for a brewery’s gueuze.
But here’s a quick story about this particular version. If you check the site Ratebeer, the St.-Gilloise is listed as an alternate name for Cuvée des Champions — that’s because brewmaster and blender Jean Van Roy originally produced this beer in 2004 to honor his hometown soccer club, Brussels’ Union St. Gilles, for their Division III championship. Sadly, as Van Roy told me a few weeks ago during my vacation to Belgium, St. Gilles’ performance has flagged in the years since, and he could not in good conscience dedicate the beer to “Champions.” Thus, the name was downgraded to the less grandiose “Cuvée St-Gilloise.”