Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gueuze for a game day

There is something resembling a stockpile of Belgian beer at my house. Mostly I forget about it because its in the basement, and I only go down there to contemplate the mess leftover from the flood and work out to the movies of Woody Allen and Kevin Costner. But yesterday was a big day - we had playoff tickets for Bulls vs. Cavs - as well as a ride to the game. In other words: time for some beer.

We selected a couple gueuzes, a sour beer from Belgium that has it's fair share of fans as well as haters. We happen to love the tart, sour taste as well as the funky / barnyard-y smell. However plenty of folks SERIOUSLY hate them, not just because the beer is funky and strange but because the bacteria used in production has messed with beers not meant to be sour.

Initially I thought that Petrus Aged Ale was not gueuze, but it clearly was. It had that barnyard smell that some soft cheeses have, and the flavor was light but definitely sour. I had started with a very hoppy (non-Belgian) beer, and this was a great contrast. Gueuze can be very effervescent and almost light despite the strange flavor. Germany has something similar - gose - which is not only sour, but also saline. It's actually not as strange as it sounds, but its not something I'd have every day or even as often as I might want a gueuze.

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