Gueuze, also written geuze, is a blend of young and old Lambics (traditionally 1 year old, 2 year old and 3 year old). Geuzes are typically highly carbonated from refermentation in the bottle due to either the unfermented carbohydrates present in components of the blend or from the addition of priming sugar (or a combination of both). Because gueuze is produced from lambic, it is a 100% sponteneously fermented product and does not receive the addition of pitched yeasts and bacteria.
Some gueuzes are filtered and force carbonated if not pasteurized as well. There is some legal protection in the EU to differentiate sweetened gueuze from the traditional version, but not all producers follow this nomenclature. According to EU law, the term "Gueuze" denotes a blend of spontaneously fermented lambic which is inoculated by ambient air during cooling. Gueuze must meet certain OG, color, pH and bitterness standards and the oldest component of the blend must be aged in oak for at least 3 years . The terms Oude and Vieille are associated with a more traditional product, although not all traditional g(u)euzes follow this nomenclature (for example, Cantillon and Girardin). "Oude" or "Vieille" Gueuze must additionally be a blend of lambics which are on average of more than one year old, undergo a secondary fermentation on the sediment in bottles, have a minimum volatile acidity and a minimum total acidity . Some examples of traditional gueuze exist without being labeled as "oude" or "vieille" however sweetened, pasteurized and/or filtered examples will not be called "oude" geuze.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 5.0-7.0%
Additional Articles on MTF Wiki
- "Flemish Red Brown Beers", Presentation by Rudi Ghequire at CBC 2012. (Contains differences with Lambic)
- Dan's youtube video on calling non-Belgian beers lambic and gueuze
- Dave Janssen's blog post about Tilquin, see the section on lambic blending