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» 01 Apr 2010

It can be sour or sweet, creamy or crisp, hazy, tangy, fruity or even flowery. This high and mighty liquor (in Julius Caesar’s words) has delighted millions if people across centuries and continents. Indeed, the art of brewing is as old as civilization. It is said that, some 6000 years ago, the Sumerians accidentally discovered the fermentation process, when a piece of bread became wet and began to ferment to form an inebriating pulp. This pulp was then used to make beer, the “divine drink” believed to be a gift of the gods.

Today, many types of beer exist and there are hundreds of styles to choose from. Each country produces its own special types of beer, but you don’t have to travel around the world to discover these: a wide variety of this exhilarating drink is available right here in Mauritius, at Lambic gastro- pub and beer shop.

Lambic, situated in the heart of Port-Louis, is a beer shop, restaurant, café and lounge combined. The concept developed as a result of Oscar Olsen’s passion for beer. His interest in the brewing process, the ingredients and flavours was aroused during his numerous trips around the world: he visited pubs, breweries, famous beer bars and attended diverse beer festivals to deepen his knowledge and experience of the drink. As an avid beer hunter, he is always on the lookout for new tastes and aromas. His ultimate aim is to share his blind love for beer with Mauritians and foreigners.

The name of the place reflects the owner’s quest for what is exceptional: Lambic is a distinctive type of beer which is produced by exposure to wild yeasts (as opposed to cultivated ones). Lambic is special in many ways. The setting comprises a carefully restored colonial house which promotes local craftsmanshipand allows guests to appreciate the vestiges of a distinct colonial past. . Second hand material from old structures has been used for renovation and the architecture has been preserved. Indeed, the ancient stone walls, the wooden furniture, the antique lightings,the shuttered windows and large porch immerse guests in a unique atmosphere that embodies the charm and cheerfulness of a bygone era. And as they sip the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage, they get the instant feeling of being brought back in time.

Comfortably seated in the lounge and lulled by smooth jazz in the background, one may choose between a vast array of beer from Mauritius, England, Germany, Belgium, America, Australia and France amongst others, each one carefully selected for your drinking pleasure. Not less than 130 different types of imported beer are available and new ones are constantly being introduced.

Around 4400 bottles are present in the shop, and our beer specialist ensures that each beer is stored at the specific temperature required. Lambic is especially proud of the specialty beers it proposes. It represents, in exclusivity, several brands and has been the first one to introduce a beer menu in a Mauritian restaurant. One may enjoy a Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (a smoked beer whose flavor is imparted by using malted barley dried over an open flame) or Malheur 10 (a refermented, gold coloured beer with a rich honey-like texture).

Oscar claims not to have a favourite, but he did reveal a penchant for Kriek - a style of Belgian beer (made by fermenting Lambic with sour cherries) which would definitely awaken your senses. The drinks menu also includes 46 whiskies and some 43 teas from Sri Lanka.

The restaurant is another high point at Lambic. The cooks emphasize creativity and the menu reflects a fusion of Mauritian and European cuisine. In the morning one may appreciate a traditional English breakfast, while at lunch and dinner time a range of appetizing specialties are available:

deer cooked with Belgian St. Bernardus abbey beer, wild boar roasted with red fruits beer (Red Bocq) as well as fish and mussels with wheat beer (Hoegaarden). Moreover, the salads proudly sport 5 varieties of local lettuces and vegetarian dishes have recently been added to the menu. Above all, one cannot leave without tasting Lambic’s chocolate barrel with raspberry beer mou-sse for dessert.

Guests may also savour their meals outside under the centenary trees in the garden. Furthermore, two private rooms and a conference room are available for exhibitions, trainings, business lunches, night functions, meetings or product launches. These rooms are air conditioned and equipped with an Internet connection and a projector.

Lambic is, in Oscar Olsen’s words, designed “to bring to people flavours they never knew existed, revive memories from overseas studies or trips and bring expatriates a little closer to home”. It is a peaceful retreat for those who wish to unwind and enjoy a real beer experience with family or friends after a hard day’s work. Oscar’s dream would be fulfilled if we were to share his joy and passion for this age-old drink.

Lambic - 4, St Georges Street, Port Louis

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