“Refreshing Belgian Gueuze beers”
When the sun is calling you to some lovely terrace in the city streets or a quiet place in the garden, make sure you have the right beer to quench your thirst. When the spring turns to summer, in these first few warm rays of light, a Gueuze is an ideal partner to enjoy those moments.
Important when choosing your Gueuze, is knowing about its style characteristics. Because an “Oude Gueuze” – Old Gueuze – is nothing like any beer you’ve ever drunk. Gueuze is a style of beer that is spontaneous fermented (mainly) on the south-west region of Belgium’s and Europe’s Capital – Brussels.
In this “Pajottenland”, the countryside along the banks of the river Senne, brewers still rely on brewing methods like used in the old days. In the name “Oude Gueuze” old refers to the ancient process and techniques and not the age of the beer itself. The Lambiek – brewed with at least 30% of unmalted wheat and hops older than a year – is spontaneously fermented by letting it cool down using the surrounding air. The bacteria’s native to this region – Brettanomyces Bruxellensis – will impregnate the Lambiek giving it its unique flavor.
After some rest in big wooden casks, the Lambieks are blended to become Gueuzes. Even though all come from the same area, every brewery has its unique micro-flora of yeasts and bacteria in the air. This results in a variety of sour tastes in the different brands of Gueuze.
If you’re experiencing a Gueuze-style beer for the first time, I’d suggest you start out with something mild sour to get used to the taste. An Oude Gueuze Boon (preferably in a 37,5cl bottle with a cork) can be a good starter. In case you’re not that much into this more lactic acidity, you can try a more acetic Gueuze leaning towards the vinegar acidity’s. Here a Gueuze 3 Fonteinen, is a nice start.
When willing to experience the more white wine-a-like soft sours, let the Oud Beersel, a Cantillon or a hard to get by De Cam seduce you to uncork the bottle.
Now all you need to do is pick your bottle, toast a slice of bread in the mean while. Uncork your bottle and poor the beer gently in your glass – by turning it in your hand palm wetting the inner glass with the Gueuze to create a fabulous famous. Last you rub the bread with some white cheese and add an overlay of sliced radishes and some fresh garden herbs.
Sit back. Take a sip. Take a bite. Enjoy the moment.
Kurt from Belgium In A Box has a nice selection of Gueuzes and Krieks to choose from.
Check out the online shop for new and often hard to get brews.
Belgium In A Box has direct links and the opportunity to buy before the beers come to market from the Gueuze brewers of Brussels !
Santé ! Gezondheid ! Cheers !
Anneke – Belgium In A Box.