n. A Belgian beer made by blending young and old lambics and bottling them for a second fermentation.
Gueuze (or Geuze) is a type of lambic, a Belgian beer. It is made by blending young (1-year-old) and old (2- to 3-year-old) lambics, which is then bottled for a second fermentation. Because the young lambics are not fully fermented, the blended beer contains fermentable sugars, which allow a second fermentation to occur. Lambic that undergoes a second fermentation in the presence of sour cherries before bottling results in kriek lambic, a beer closely related to gueuze.
Since gueuze is made by blending lambics, it tastes different from traditional ale and lager style beers. Because aged hops are used to produce these lambics, the beer has little to none of the traditional hop flavor and aroma that can be found in most other styles of beer. Furthermore, the wild yeasts that are specific to lambic-style beers give gueuze a dry, cider-like, musty, sour, acetic acid, lactic acid taste. Many describe the taste as sour and "barnyard-like." Because of its carbonation, gueuze is sometimes called " Brussels Champagne".
In modern times, some brewers have added sweeteners such as Aspartame to their gueuzes to sweeten them, trying to make the beer more appealing to a wider audience. The original, unsweetened version is now often referred to as "Oude Gueuze" ("Old Gueuze") and has become more and more popular over the last few years. Tim Webb, a British writer on Belgian and other beers, comments on the correct use of the term "'Oude gueuze' or 'oude geuze', now legally defined and referring to a drink made by blending two or more 100% lambic beer."
Traditionally, gueuze is served in champagne bottles, which hold either or . Also, traditionally, Gueuze, and the lambics from which it is made, has been produced in the area known as Pajottenland or Payottenland and in Brussels. However, some non-Payottenland/Brussels lambic brewers have sprung up and one or two also produce gueuze -see table below. Gueuze (both 'Oude' and others) qualified for the European Union's designation 'TSG' (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) in 1997/98 - see Geographical indications and traditional specialities (EU).