3 Fonteinen Resonance: A Friendship Blend
In October 2019, I traveled to Lot, Belgium, and joined Michaël and Werner in the cellars of Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen for a cooperation that would respectfully commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Hill Farmstead and, for me, symbolize a personal landmark of advancing a friendship, creating with and learning from icons that inspired the inseparability of my path and palate.
I spent the entirety of a day studying the cellars, sampling the barrels and Foudres, determining the possibilities, and seeking the emotional response and connection that would guide my palate toward something remarkable and representative of the opportunity. Guided by an unyielding impression of 3F from the early 2000s, I was seeking the distinctive characteristics that I would later realize had guided my best blends at Hill Farmstead.
I cannot capture this sense memory with words—a poet, I am not. Only a poet can approach the boundary of utterance and the ineffable. Several years later, when working on the label for this blend, I happened upon the awareness that taste is a vibration, a frequency, and that this reverberation has been guiding my pursuit for more than two decades.
Armand Debelder and I had a deep reverence for one another—the first time that I blended with his lambic in January 2009, he was clear and simple with his instructions: “No Acetic.” I visited him many times, and he even visited Hill Farmstead in June 2013. I admired his resolve, idealism, and surely the characteristics of his best blends.
It is Resonance—a flavor and frequency—that brings people (in this case, brewers) together. It leads to the interweaving nature of our journeys. It guides people in their pursuits to express the ineffable through a liquid medium. It is the inexplicability of mutual admirations. It is The Intuited Way.
I am honored to have had this opportunity to work with Michaël and Werner. In the coming months, this blend will be unveiled at Hill Farmstead in a series of seated presentations during which I can share the story behind the bottle. Next week, we will debut the beer at Monk’s Café in Philadelphia.
Thank you for lending me your attention,