Authentic Lambic beers are special in several ways. They are produced only in a radius of 15 kilometers around the Belgian capital of Brussels, are neither top- nor bottom-fermented and they screw up most people’s face during first contact. Unfortunately, many beer drinkers label Lambic or Geuze beers as “not my thing” afterwards. A reaction I consider to be hasty!
The problem with enjoying Geuze beer often originates from false expectations in my opinion. The average beer drinker has been socialized with completely different brewing styles and therefore has a manifested idea of “beer”. Of course, in connection with the Craft Beer movement people have become more open minded, a development I can only welcome, but naturally this opening occurs from a certain point of view. And Geuze or Lambic beers often lie farthest from this point of view. Except perhaps if you’re Belgian and have grown up with these Beer Styles.
So, also I had to get used to this style of beer in the first place, but now I approach these beer style a little differently. If you regard them more like a good white wine or champagne, the taste experience might be a different and for sure a more delightful one!
Today’s Timmermans Oude Gueuze is a very suitable and representative Geuze. It comes from Brouwerij Timmermans in Flemish Itterbeek where they use to brew Lambic beers for more than 300 years. The Timmermans Oude Gueuze is produced as a Limited Edition in limited quantities since 2009 in the current form. After the bottling it still ferments for 4 months in the bottle and comes with 5.5% vol. Previously it has been made by blending older Lambics, which have matured for 3 years in wooden casks with younger ones.
On the nose, a typical Oude Geuze with additional earthy, almost mossy notes. Very interesting start with yeast and fresh woody tones. The taste then turns out dry and very acidic with some lemon and again with mossy notes. The finish comes with a fine fruit sweetness, but a more subtle one. Who likes Geuze beers will love the Timmermans Oude Gueuze for sure!
Buying sources: in specialized stores or online. A bottle costs about 4 euros. As a special feature I’d like to mention that Geuze beers have an extended shelf life, often more than a decade.