A Belgian brewery recently posted on Facebook that they were spraying their walls with beer. But this isn’t some wild frat party or ridiculous parlor trick; there’s a method to their madness.
We tend to think of breweries as sterile places full of meticulously cleaned metal brewing equipment, but this is not the case with the world-renowned Cantillon in Belgium. Anyone I’ve ever spoken with who’s had the pleasure of visiting has remarked on the same thing: Brasserie Cantillon is comparatively messy.
But there’s a reason Cantillon keeps things a bit unkempt. The brewery is known for making some of the world’s best lambics—a style of sour beer. Cantillon’s specific process involves spontaneous open fermentation, which means instead of “pitching” a specific type of yeast into the mash, the brewers let it start fermenting naturally from the yeasts that happen to be hanging out around the brewery.