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When discussing lambic, it is important to remember that there are two primary languages used within the Belgian lambic community: Belgian Dutch (sometimes referred to as Flemish) and Belgian French. Throughout the Lambic.Info project, we have chosen to use specific Belgian Dutch and Belgian French terms where appropriate for brewers, beer names, equipment, etc. This may cause some confusion to the general reader. This glossary of terms seeks to inform the reader of common non-English and English terms used throughout the site. There may also be some technical terms that are defined below. This page will continue to expand as the site expands. Links are provided to any relevant sections or articles when available.


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  • Acetic acid: Low molecular weight acid with a sharp, vinegar taste
  • Acetobacter: Gram-negative bacteria that produce large amounts of acetic acid
  • Aerobic: Requiring or occuring in the presence of oxygen
  • Anaerobic: Not requiring oxygen or occurring in the absence of oxygen


  • Bière: French for beer
  • Blåbær: Danish for bilberry
  • Blanc/Blanche: French for white
  • Brasserie: French for brewery
  • Brettanomyces: "British fungus", a yeast responsible for many of the characteristics in Lambic
  • Brouwerij: Dutch for brewery
  • Brussel: Dutch for Brussels, the capital of Belgium
  • Bruxelles: French for Brussels, the capital of Belgium


  • Cassis: French for blackcurrant (and pothole)
  • Coolship: Anglicized version of koelschip, a piece of equipment used in spontaneous fermentation


  • Dextrins: Polysaccharide sugars that are unfermentable by Saccharomyces, but can be consumed by Brettanomyces
  • Diacetyl: A simple organic compound with an intense buttery flavor and odor
  • Doesjel: Belgian Dutch slang similar to loerik (see below) closely approximating to snoozer or lazy. Used when a geuze does not referment in the bottle.
  • Doux: French for sweet
  • Druiven: Dutch for grapes


  • (E)-2-nonenal: See Nonenal, (E)-2-
  • Enterobacteriaceae: A family of Gram-negative bacteria, which includes a broad array of organisms. The enterobacteria are among the first to colonize Lambic during fermentation
  • Estaminet: French for tavern or pub and locally used in the Brussels dialect to describe a small drinking establishment or cafe.
  • Ester: A chemical compound formed by the linking of an alcohol with an organic acid
  • Ethanol: Simple, two carbon alcohol. Responsible for the intoxicating effects of alcoholic beverages. Often simply called "alcohol"
  • Ethyl alcohol: See Ethanol
  • Ethyl acetate: An ester of ethyl alcohol and acetic acid. Has an odor of green apples
  • Ethyl lactate: An ester of ethyl alcohol and lactic acid. Has a fruity odor, slightly like coconut


  • Foeder: See foudre
  • Foudre: A large wooden vat, popular in France's Rhône Valley, ranging from 3,000 to 20,000 liters
  • Fraise: French for strawberry
  • Framboise: French for raspberry
  • Frambozen: Dutch for raspberries


  • Geuze: A type of blended lambic comprising of young and old lambics; Dutch spelling.
  • Geuzesteker: A blender of lambics
  • Geuzestekerij: A place where lambic is blended but not brewed
  • Glucose: A simple monosaccharide sugar. Can be metabolized by most yeast and bacteria
  • Gueuze: A type of blended lambic comprising of young and old lambics; French spelling.
  • Gueuze-Lambic: An outdated term, describing a blend of 60% young lambic and 40% old lambic [1]
  • Gueuzerie: A relatively new French word loosely meaning "place where gueuze is blended"


  • Hard: An adjective describing Lambic that has an excessive acetic acid content [2]. See Soft and Ropy
  • Huisstekerij: Belgian Dutch for home blender(ie)


  • Isoamyl alcohol: A low molecular weight alcohol found in moderate concentrations in Lambic. It has a whiskey-like odor
  • Isobutanol: A low molecular weight alcohol found in moderate concentrations in Lambic. It has a sweet, musty odor


  • Jeune: French for young
  • Jonge: Dutch for young


  • Kloeckera: A type of yeast that colonizes lambic early in the fermentation. Often produces buttery odors
  • Koelschip: A piece of equipment used in spontaneous fermentation
  • Kriek: A type of sour Morello cherry used for fruiting lambic


  • Lactic acid: A low molecular-weight organic acid with a sharp, tart flavor. Found in many foods, including yogurt, sourdough bread, and Lambic
  • Lactobacillaceae: Gram-positive bacteria that can produce copious amounts of lactic acid. See Lactic acid
  • Lambiek: Belgian Dutch for lambic
  • Loerik: Slang Belgian Dutch adjective approximately relating to lazy in English. Used when a geuze does not referment in the bottle


  • Mars: (French) A low-alcohol beer produced from the second runnings of a lambic brewing.
  • Meerts:(Belgian Dutch) A low-alcohol beer produced from the second runnings of a lambic brewing.
  • Mûre: French for blackberry


  • Nonenal, (E)-2-: An aldehyde that was identified as one of the main compounds responsible for the flavor of oxidized beer, though many others have since been found to contribute as well.


  • Oude: Dutch adjective for old


  • Pajottenland: Sometimes written in English as Payottenland, this extremely fertile agricultural region of Belgium is situated in a valley to the south-west of Brussels between the rivers Senne and Dendre and is the cradle of lambic production.
  • Pêche: French for peach
  • Pediococcus: A genus of Gram-positive lactic acid bacteria. Can produce diacetyl in both Lambic and other foodstuffs, such as Chardonnay
  • pH: The negative logarithm of hydrogen ion concentration. A measure of acidity, where lower is more acidic
  • Pipe: A large wooden barrel generally 550-650 liters in capacity; most often associated with the Port wine industry
  • Pomme: French for apple



  • Refermentation: A secondary fermentation that occurs in a lambic after bottling to produce carbonation
  • Ropy: An adjective describing the texture lambic takes on after excessive lactic acid bacteria activity in the wort [2]. See Soft and Hard


  • Saccromyces: A genera of yeast responsible for many purposes in food production. Consumes simple sugars and produces carbon dioxide and ethanol, among other compounds
  • Senne: The French term for the Zenne valley and river.
  • Soft: An adjective describing Lambic that has an low acetic acid content and corresponding high pH [2]. See Hard and Ropy
  • Stoemper: A small rod with a flattened end used to crush sugar cubes into a glass of lambic in order to sweeten it.




  • Vieille: French feminine singular adjective for old
  • Vieux: French masculine singular and plural adjective for old
  • Vlaams-Brabant: Belgian Dutch for Flemish Brabant, the provincial region that encompasses the Pajottenland


  • Wallonie: The French-speaking region of southern Belgium.
  • Wort: The sweet infusion of ground malt or other grain before fermentation, used to produce beer and distilled malt liquors.




  • Zenne: Dutch for Senne valley and river


  1. Patricia Quintens, Bier en Brouwerijen te Brussel, 1996, page 16.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Jean-Xavier Guinard , Classic Beer Styles: Lambic, 1990