Liam Deegan

Beer Pairing: Summer Edition

In Beer and Food Pairing, Gueuze on June 13, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Gueuze.  This is typically a style I would hesitate to introduce people to as their first entrance into good beer.  However, if you desire complexities, and a challenge, this beer is perfect.  Using traditional brewing practices and a deep reverence for nature, Gueuze is created by blending young and old Lambic beers and creating a truly unique brew.

Spontaneous fermentation is basically keeping your unfermented wort in a shallow, uncovered tank and letting the micro flora and fauna come into contact with the liquid and the wild yeasts inoculate it and create incredible flavors.  Brettanomyces creates a funkiness that some beer geeks love, but winemakers hate (many winemakers forbid their employees from visiting these breweries out of fear the bacteria will destroy whole vintages).

Gueuze can be described as sour, metallic, funky, acidic, green apple, even leather or hay.  They come in corked and caged bottles as champagne does and undergoes more fermentation in the bottle.

Once it is opened, it is best enjoyed I think as an aperitif, with cheese.  However, raw oysters is a food pairing that I propose to work incredibly well, but not for the picky drinker/eater.  Raw oysters and Gueuze style beer can easily make any newcomer cringe at just the thought of indulging in each separately, but keep an open mind.  No horseradish or lemon neccessary, the acidity of gueuze can liven up the minerality and salt of a raw oyster.  The high carbonation lifting the fats and the earthiness of both harmonizing with each other.

I suggest Lindeman’s Cuvee Rene as a good beer to pair with raw oysters (mussels and escargot for that matter).  Don’t worry, this post is not a sign of my entrance into snobbery.  I will always crave tall boys of Narragansett to go with my clam strip roll.

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