Gueuze falls under a category of beer called lambic. In order to be considered lambic, a beer must be fermented through exposure to the wild yeasts and bacteria of Belgium’s Zenne Valley.
Typically, a lambic has a distinct cider-y dryness and sour flavor. However, although every gueuze is a lambic, not every lambic is a gueuze.
But what is a gueuze?
How Is Gueuze Made?
Brewers make gueuze by combining young lambic (about one year old) with an older lambic (about two to three years old). After two to three more years of further conditioning, the brew is finally ready for consumption.
Although all gueuze comes from Belgian by definition, some producers are much more famous than others. For instance, products from the Cantillon Brewery in Brussels commands extremely high values on secondary trading markets.
What Does Gueuze Taste Like?
Typically fruitier and dryer than most other lambics, gueuze has a minimal hop character and an intense effervescence. Many aficionados and collectors treasure this beer for the complexity and depth of flavors.
Many of the complex flavors in gueuze are a result of spontaneous fermentation, a brewing method in which wort (unfermented beer) is exposed to native microflora.
How To Pronounce Gueuze
Not to be confused with gose (a tart German beer), gueuze is pronounced like you’re saying the word “goose,” but with an emphatic “ew” in the middle and flat “zzz” at the end.
Make sure you practice it a few times before whipping it out in casual pub conversation.