Brewery Lindemans - Gueuze Cuvee Rene 2010 5.5%
And it was such a good idea.
First day of the Great British Beer Festival but we're not going until tomorrow, let's have a barbecue and a really summery beer to celebrate all things beery.
It was a little cloudy when I lit the charcoal (or rather the bag it was in), but the sky cleared and we were bathed in glorious sunshine. What could go wrong?
Let's talk about the beer.
Brewery Lindemans is in Vlezenbeek, a small Flemish town south-west of Brussels. It produces spontaneously fermented lambic beers using wild yeast, which include Faro (a lighter beer), fruit beers and gueuze, of which this is an example. It is a blend, made from different aged lambics, typically 2/3 young lambic to 1/3 old and this blending it important in order to get the end maturation (attenuation or intensity of finish) just right.
So, what could go wrong?
My first clue was that it was raining at the Olympic Stadium. That's only about 20 miles from where I live so I started to get concerned.
Then it got very dark.
Then it rained.
Well the weather let me down, but the beer didn't.
It pours a sparkly pale golden colour with a lively bright white head.
Sticking my nose in the glass.after the head had dissipated of course, there's a big smell of dry sour apples, but with some floral notes, hay, yeast and a touch of smelly summer drains.
Lively, fresh but a little heavy, sharp and sour over the tongue, there's more unripened sour apple in the taste with some lemony honey, but with the merest undertow of sweet cherry juice particularly when it hit.s the back of the tongue and rolls down the throat.
Refilling my glass and drinking it through the foam I'm getting some zingy peach juice with some grapefruit sourness which transforms into some sharp apple peel.
It was at this point that I passed it to my wife for a taste. "Vinegar and feet" was her verdict, although she did admit to not being overly familiar to the taste of feet!
The finish is sour dry and sharp apples but while the taste fades far too quickly, the dry and sourness last a fair while.
We still had the barbecue.
I stood out there in the rain with my umbrella dutifully cooking the burgers and sausages, and rather good they were too.
The real star however was the beer, because no matter what the weather was doing outside there was plenty of (sour and slightly sharp) sunshine in my glass.