Iris from Brasserie Cantillon is a celebration of traditional brewing elements. It harks back to the early 20th century, combining the acidity achieved through spontaneous fermentation with bitterness from fresh hops and cold hopping. This unique beer deviates from the brewery's norm by exclusively using pale-ale malt, resulting in a richer amber hue. The Iris maintains the essence of spontaneous fermentation, delivering complex aromas and vinous flavors.
Here, the hopping process takes an unconventional turn. Iris employs a blend of 50% dried hops and 50% fresh hops. The fresh hops contribute a delightful acidity, while the tannins from dried hops preserve the beer's quality. After two years of barrel aging, Iris experiences a second dose of fresh hops just two weeks before bottling. This "cold hopping" technique intensifies the beer's flavor, enhancing both its aroma and bitterness.
Iris is a seasonal brew, crafted only once per season, and every bottle comes from a single brewing event, hence its date marking. The second fermentation stage is achieved through the addition of liquor.
Despite its spontaneous fermentation roots, Iris distinguishes itself from Lambic. Its amber color and slightly caramelized, bitter taste offer a compelling complexity that sets it apart in the world of craft beer.