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Gueuze and other Lambics

Old 01-16-20, 04:44 PM
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EJ123
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Gueuze and other Lambics

Pretty floored by how great these beers are. Been trying some classics of the style like 3 Fonteinen's and flavor ones like Boon Kriek. These are definitely more unique than just an average wheat or IPA. The first time I tried Boon Kriek I was almost in shock at what I've been missing. Very impressed with the spontaneous fermentation many of these use. Any other specific lambics worth checking out?
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Old 01-17-20, 11:14 AM
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I'm interested to hear how you compare american sour beer (which is purposefully inoculated) with a Lambic. Because I'm not willing to drink either.
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Old 01-17-20, 11:51 AM
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In my experience many of the new world (American) sours don't quite capture the complexity that I find in many of the classic Belgian sours. Of course that's a generalization and there may be some fantastic American sours that do stack up, but a large number that I've tried have left me with that impression.

I know that generally Belgian lambics are aged in wooden barrels for months or years prior to bottling and I think that aging has quite a bit to do with it. I'm sure that there are American breweries who are now mimicking that process, but a number of sours that I've come across are 'kettle soured' which is a quick souring technique and doesn't require the aging. I find kettle soured beers can be nice, but they don't match the traditional lambics for depth and complexity.
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Old 01-17-20, 04:28 PM
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Is 'Gueuze' how 'Gose' was originally spelled? A Gose is a nice compromise between a regular beer and a full sour, I guess kind of a half-sour.

In my neck of the woods, local brewery Green Flash started a sour facility called Cellar 33 (or was it Cellar 3?) where they just made sours, and had a tasting room that also served regular Green Flash beers. They had some great stuff, but they didn't last too long.

Council Brewing is another local that unfortunately didn't last, but when they were around, they were winning awards out the wazoo for their Beatitude sour.

Another local favorite you might actually be able to get your hands on is Modern Times Fruitlands. It used to be one of their seasonals, but it looks like nowadays it has been promoted to year-round. I see also their May seasonal is Fruitlands Mai Tai Edition, which I will definitely have to look for and try out!
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Old 01-17-20, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by winston63 View Post
In my experience many of the new world (American) sours don't quite capture the complexity that I find in many of the classic Belgian sours. Of course that's a generalization and there may be some fantastic American sours that do stack up, but a large number that I've tried have left me with that impression.

I know that generally Belgian lambics are aged in wooden barrels for months or years prior to bottling and I think that aging has quite a bit to do with it. I'm sure that there are American breweries who are now mimicking that process, but a number of sours that I've come across are 'kettle soured' which is a quick souring technique and doesn't require the aging. I find kettle soured beers can be nice, but they don't match the traditional lambics for depth and complexity.
I agree, the kettle soured method typically doesn't have the same complexity on taste. The guy working the shop I bought the beers from said he gets american sour reps claim that their beers are the same as the belgium styles...
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Old 01-17-20, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Is 'Gueuze' how 'Gose' was originally spelled? A Gose is a nice compromise between a regular beer and a full sour, I guess kind of a half-sour.
Allagash (Portland ME) makes top-notch Belgian-style beer. This is their answer to your question: https://www.allagash.com/blog/gueuze...ce/?ao_confirm
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Old 01-18-20, 07:32 AM
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Having been a diabetic for over 25 years, I can honestly say I miss whiskey but not beer.
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Old 01-18-20, 08:12 AM
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The tragedy of beer tasting evenings is that the better they were the less you remember. Every good beer has started somewhere sometime and a lot of reputable Belgian beers aren't really that old, so I would not discard American brewers. But when it comes to Lambiek the issue is that they're from wild yeast and bacteria that only exist in Pajottenland and the Zenne valley (Brussels) so even 90% of Belgium can't produce Lambiek. Geuze is a blend of old and young Lambieks so that could be done in other places. The 'geuzestekers' who 'stick' geuze the authentic way are protected by the name "Oude Geuze", just "Geuze" isn't protected and might contain additives like sweeteners. But there is an authentic one that refuses to use the name 'Oude Geuze' because they believe it's a disgrace to call the commercial beers with additives 'Geuze' at all. Despite selling globally these days, this is still Belgium of course. Anyway, I guess if you stick to the "Oude Geuzes" they'll be interesting at least. I haven't had one in years so there's no particular brand I would recommend.

Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Is 'Gueuze' how 'Gose' was originally spelled?
No, the Gose is a river in Germany from which it was brewed in Goslar, quite far from Belgium.

I'm afraid the sound of "eu" does not exist in the English language. Geuze comes from Geuzenlambiek as Geuze is a blend of younger and old lambieks. Lambieks are from Pajottenland (Flanders so Dutch speaking) and the Zenne valley were Brussels is (which is bilingual) so it's most likely from Flemish origin but with Brussels in the mix you can never be sure.

To complicate matters further the Flemish (Dutch with an accent mainly) word 'geuzen' comes from the French 'gueux' which means beggars, but only in French. In Dutch it's a specific kind of rebel. Ironically that Dutch word originated in Brussels long before the beer, where a team of nobles went to in 1565 to ask the Spanish empire's local ruler for freedom of religion and pull the Spanish Inquisition out of the low countries. They were met with contempt and allegedly 'ils ne sont pas que des gueux', they are just beggars, was said about them in their presence. It turned out they weren't begging for freedom of religion but demanding it, and the following protestant rebels who turned out to be the beginning of the end of Spanish rule over the Northern low lands called themselves 'Geuzen', as a matter of linguistic reappropriation. Allthoug Flanders didn't become part of the Dutch Republic and stayed catholic without freedom of religion, the word 'Geus' has made into Flanders as quite a common last name, as a word for rebel/privateer, protestant or freethinker.

So it might be as boring as coming from an early Lambiek blender named De Geus, De Geuze, Geus or Geuze. But Geuzelambiek originated in the time when champagne was very fashionable among the Brussels upper class. Geuze was bottled in second hand champagne bottles because of the refermentation and therefore the pressure, so it could possibly come from the French gueux again, 'beggar's champagne' or that the blenders had to beg for the bottles at restaurants. Self mockery is never far away in Belgium, but it might also be just short for 'gazeuse' which means sparkling in French. I like etymology but it's always a bit disappointing when there's no final answer and it might be the boring one too.
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Old 01-27-20, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
I'm afraid the sound of "eu" does not exist in the English language.
Is it anything like German "eu" ~ "oy"? Or German u-umlaut?
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Old 01-27-20, 10:47 AM
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Here is a story about one local Arizona brewery who strives to achieve wild fermentation by bringing their coolships to the wild to inoculate - then the let them ferment and age in oak barrels for 1-3yrs. They are not trying to recreate traditional European styles, but inspired by them to make something regional. I've tried a few and some are great.
https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/rest...d-ale-11266453

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Old 01-27-20, 11:34 AM
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There was an episode of Brew Dogs (I believe the one with the founder of Sam Adams) where they introduced yeast to their vat of cooled wort by jumping in naked and sitting in it.
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Old 01-27-20, 11:38 AM
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Why is the wort bubbling already?
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Old 01-27-20, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Is it anything like German "eu" ~ "oy"? Or German u-umlaut?
No, not at all. The 'UE is used to replace the 'Ü like in Müller/Mueller but only when the word or name is from obvious German origin, for example 'Brueghel', who actually painted quite a few Lambiek beers, is pronounced like Breughel. The German "Ü" is very much like the French "U" and the Dutch "UU", while the German "U"-sound without the umlaut is simular to the French "OU" and the Dutch "OE". The Dutch and French "EU" is very much like the German "Ö".

Come to think of it, the 'EU' is almost identical to the French 'EU' like in jeu, deux, un peu, so probably not that hard to reach for the anglophones. Most likely it's more the reflex of reading it as two vowels and expecting the 'you' sound in there, instead of as a double letter vowel that hinders them. But there are still the 'UI' and the 'IJ' or even 'UIJ' to remind people that not every sound exists in every language and it's very hard to learn new movements of the mouth after early childhood.
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Old 02-02-20, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Here is a story about one local Arizona brewery who strives to achieve wild fermentation by bringing their coolships to the wild to inoculate - then the let them ferment and age in oak barrels for 1-3yrs. They are not trying to recreate traditional European styles, but inspired by them to make something regional. I've tried a few and some are great.
https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/rest...d-ale-11266453

That is amazing and hilarious. Pretty glad places in the USA are...open to it.
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Old 02-02-20, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by winston63 View Post
In my experience many of the new world (American) sours don't quite capture the complexity that I find in many of the classic Belgian sours. Of course that's a generalization and there may be some fantastic American sours that do stack up, but a large number that I've tried have left me with that impression.

I know that generally Belgian lambics are aged in wooden barrels for months or years prior to bottling and I think that aging has quite a bit to do with it. I'm sure that there are American breweries who are now mimicking that process, but a number of sours that I've come across are 'kettle soured' which is a quick souring technique and doesn't require the aging. I find kettle soured beers can be nice, but they don't match the traditional lambics for depth and complexity.
I agree. There are some neat modern funky beers, but I'm finding a lot of them to just be overly vinegary. Sour for the sake of being sour, not for the flavor complexities.
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