GUEUZE-LAMBIC, 4.2% ABV
ABOUT BATCH #1
Brewer’s Reserve Batch #1 is a true Gueuze.
First and foremost, this ale is a labour of love and patience, and no shortcuts have been taken in creating this beer.
Owner and Head Brewer Jon Christiansen began creating the Brewer’s Reserve Lambic, our first blended Gueuze-Lambic, 3 years ago.
Driven by a passion for aged Belgian beer, he wanted to release a true Gueuze-Lambic since the mid-200s while he studied the world of beer in Belgium and across Europe.
Although not spontaneously fermented, Brewer’s Reserve Batch #1 has all the hallmark qualities of a true Gueuze-Lambic: blended from 100% barrel-aged Belgian-style ales, each aged for up to 3 years.
The first thing that makes this a Gueuze is the base ale that has been brewed here at Zymurgy. Wheat, oats, and barley make up the original grain bill.
A portion of the grain bill was unmalted wheat to give the wild yeast and bacteria something to feast on years after primary fermentation was complete.
We included a small addition of Saaz hops, but not enough to inhibit any bacteria or wild yeast activity.
Brewer’s Reserve Batch #1 is a combination of two saisons and a fruited hefeweizen that were soured and aged for 1.5 to 3 years in un-charred American oak wine barrels.
For the larger portion of this blend, Brewer Jon used a saison yeast strain in the primary fermentation, then transferred the beer to the barrels immediately after fermentation slowed.
Brewer Jon is also a bit fanatical about German hefeweizens, so he fermented a small portion of this blend with a German weisse yeast strain in the primary fermentation - just to add a little touch of whimsy and personality.
The cultures vary widely, but all of our favorite yeast and bacteria have been invited to the party long ago. Some of the cultures used to sour one of the barrels were propagated four years before we even opened our doors here at Zymurgy.
Besides controlled wild yeast and bacteria being added to each of these ales before blending, the cherished “dregs” from Jon’s favorite classic Belgian Lambic and Gueuze producers have been pitched into the barrels in an attempt to match a desired Belgian microflora.
Secondary fermentation additions
Yeast: Brettanomyces lambicus
Bacteria: Bruxelliensis, lactobacilli, pediococcus, and misc. dregs.
This is merely the first release of our Brewer’s Reserve Blended Gueze-Lambic. We have patiently waited to present this to you, and intend to continue these offerings 2 or 3 times a year. Releases will be limited due to the nature of this fine ale, with generally less than 100 bottles available each release.
This first batch is not bottle conditioned (refermented in the bottle), but some future releases will be bottle conditioned.
We encourage beer and sour enthusiasts to cellar The Brewer’s Reserve blends anywhere from 6 months to 5 years.
And of course, always be on the lookout for these blends to be on tap, and for future sour and/or barrel age classes with Zymurgy Brewing Co.