3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze
Imagine the smell of thrashing an old gym sock full of lemons around a musty bookshop, and it’ll get you close. In the balance are an intense stamp of grapefruit and cellar-funk, splashed on a canvas of lemony wheat and soft, dusty bitterness, the acidity restrained enough to encourage more drinkability than anyone can really afford.
Loc: Lot, Flemish Brabant, Belgium
Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic
You can almost taste the spiderwebs. Chase the fruit beers and experiments if you want, but we always circle back to the original gueuze: leaning sour but never harsh, with an earthy grapefruit-lemon heart, austere, elegant, but exploding like a fractal into a million complexities if you zoom in too closely.
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Oude Geuze Boon
Yes, we know the Mariage Parfait, and the Black Label, and the special-barrel gueuzes (such as Vat 109)—and they’re wonderful, well worth hoarding. But the undersung gem in the lineup is unpretentious, elegant, lighter Oude Geuze Boon, with more tangy, tart, quenching citrus emerging from the cellar-wood and soft bitterness. But maybe we’re just attracted to the idea of an everyday gueuze—though it’s sneaky for its strength.
Loc: Lembeek, West Flanders, Belgium
Gueuze Tilquin Draft Version
To some in the region, it is heretical to put gueuze in a keg and push it with CO2. Call it a naughty pleasure. Pierre Tilquin’s lighter interpretation is a mix of his accomplished blends and meerts, for a unique sparkling lambic drink that sacrifices only a smidge of complexity for the sake of obliterating thirst. Begs to be guzzled in quantity, if you can find it.
Loc: Bierghes, Wallonian Brabant, Belgium
Oud Beersel Foeder 21
Not a traditional gueuze, but something distinctive and wanting greater exploration. A blend of lambics aged almost four years in white-wine barrels, the bright grape sweetness has survived and sprouted as a new sapling, adding beguiling, Riesling-like, bright-fruit aroma to a ponderous, dry, cobwebby base of funky-lemon maturity.
Loc: Beersel, Flemish Brabant, Belgium