Renowned for his traditional lambic production at Brasserie Cantillon in Brussels, Belgium, Jean Van Roy found inspiration during a blind wine tasting a few years ago, prompting him to take his brewing a few thousand years further back in time.

Some of the Italian wines he sampled had been matured in amphorae, ceramic fermentation vessels dating back to the Neolithic period, and Van Roy was intrigued by the complexity and minerality imparted by the ancient technique. Naturally porous like the wooden barrels more commonly used in aging beer, amphorae provide a place for bacteria to reside while allowing micro-oxygenation to occur. Unlike wooden barrels, amphorae do not contribute tannins or resins into the finished product, but instead offer an earthy mineral character and robust mouthfeel, which winemakers have been harnessing for years.

via Amphora-Aged Beers: The Next Small Thing?.

Amphora-Aged Beers: The Next Small Thing?