I’ve noticed in my travels among the beer nerds that sours—especially lambics and gueuzes—are often considered the last bridge to cross in the education of one’s palate. I assume this is partly because, well, if you came up drinking Miller High Life, sour beers are just plain fucking weird in a way that, say, black IPAs and barrel-aged stouts aren’t. But I’m sure it’s also partly due to the mystique surrounding traditional sours: producers of lambics and gueuzes belong to what’s de facto an exclusive club, for all intents and purposes confined to a small area of west central Belgium where the proper microflora exist in the wild, and the antique process of making these beers is complex, arcane, and time consuming.

Gueuzerie Tilquin, run by a former bioengineer named Pierre Tilquin (it’s pronounced “till-CAN,” with a nasalized final vowel), is in fact the first new lambic blender to emerge in almost 15 years; his commercial debut was a bit less than two years ago. Compare that to the way craft breweries have mushroomed up around Chicago just since 2010.