Friday, January 3, 2020 — The Lambic Award is a distinction awarded by the High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers (HORAL) to persons who have made a particularly significant contribution to the interests of traditional lambic beers and the promotion of Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek. Today, the Lambic Award 2020 was handed to Adam Harbaugh, Bill Young and the other team members of Lambic.Info, which was founded in 2015. This reference website has become one of the most important documentation sources on gueuze, kriek and lambic. This non-profit project is run by a group of passionate gueuze lovers who spend an important part of their spare time collecting the information.
“Lambic.Info bundles an incredible amount of information about our lambic culture in a well-organised way. For example, if you want to know more about products of present and past breweries and blenderies, then you should definitely have a look at this website," said HORAL chairman Gert Christiaens. “At present, the website contains more than 500 pages and 3500 photos ranging from beer labels, bottles, and other breweriana to historical and current pictures of lambic breweries and gueuze blenderies. The editorial team has even put an extensive bibliography online. A real titanic job!"
Bill Young, one of the two initiators, lives in Colorado and works in the IT sector. While visiting beer festivals in North America and Europe, he developed a preference for the beers of the Senne Valley and the Pajottenland: "In my search for accurate information, I found out that it was ‘a bit everywhere and nowhere’. At the same time, my friend Adam Harbaugh, a Montana-based French teacher, was doing research about the history and culture of the lambic beer industry through numerous written sources. The project took a better form after we attended the Toer de Geuze in 2013. To keep all information easily up-to-date, we chose to use a wiki format."
“Once we got the project started, also other people got involved. Nick Bigelow helped with items related to brewing, science, microbiology and chemistry. Jonah Edwards was instrumental in getting the technical side of the site set up and helping us edit. Matt Granstrom was doing research on the closed breweries and blenderies. Ryan Degnan had already been maintaining a spreadsheet of bottling dates for some producers and came on to help research and edit. Finally we added Dave Janssen in 2016 to help with historical research," says Adam Harbaugh. “So we are now 7 people along with a large online community of contributors. The main drive for this project was and still is to collect as much accurate information about the lambic culture and the region where these beers are produced into one place so that people can learn about it."
Earlier winners of the Lambic Award were lambic brewer Edgar Winderickx, mayor Hugo Casaer, beer writer Tim Webb, pub owner Stene Isacsson, pub owner Daisy Claes, beer retailer Dominiek Geers and the folk group Arjaun.
The High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers (HORAL) was established in 1997. The association unites most lambic breweries and gueuze blenders in Belgium. Nine producers are members of the High Council: Boon, De Oude Cam, De Troch, Hanssens, Lindemans, Mort Subite, Oud Beersel, Tilquin and Timmermans. The main objective of the association is the promotion of traditional lambic beers, in particular Oude Geuze and Oude Kriek. The association also takes initiatives to protect these beers. www.horal.be