gueuze or geuze belgian beer in SF?
i read about this type of wild yeast belgian beer years before, but had never seen it. i'm no beer expert, but i believe that it is a wild fermented lambic beer that is tart and bright. then a few years ago i had an unexpected layover in amsterdam and found a bar that specialized in belgian beer. can't remember the name of it.
the bartender eased me through various beers, and then i noticed a gueuze or geuze (sp?) on the menu, and asked for it. she raised an eyebrow and said, "most americans don't like it." to which i said, rather boldly, "i'm not like most americans." well thankfully i was right to boast!..it was delicious. like slightly sour champagne, but fresh and definitely a...beer.
trouble is that i think she is right, in terms of it being on the market. i just looked at la trappe's beer menu and didn't notice one. i've come across one of these beers maybe three times in san francisco since my layover in amsterdam over four years ago. this type of beer seems particularly suited to summer (such as it is here), and i'd love to drink some more now.
anyone? i'm thirsty.
If you go to Belgium, most of the Geuzes are in bottles. You can tell because they're bottled like champaign, with the wired-on cork. I remember one place in Liege with a huge paper mache foot hanging from the ceiling that had a large selection of bottles, no taps at all.
Last one I had was a few months ago at The Trappist in Oakland, and it was terrific. Can't remember which it was, though.
I suppose I'm sorry to be posting to an old thread. But it's a thread from this year at least.
Definitely head out to City Beer. I was there yesterday and they had a nice selection of Jolly Pumpkin Ales from Michigan. Their La Roja is a good version of an American Wild Ale, though not as good as the Russian River sours. They also had some bottles of Temptation. Pretty sure they have Boon Geuze, Cantillon Geuze, and Rodenbach as well.
Have to say, bottled beer is generally a problem vs. fresh. Though I had a stunning bottle of Dogfish Head IPA once, it didn't travel far - Wilmington, Delaware.
Rare is the bottled beer that holds it head high, and as time & distance since bottling goes by, expect degradation. Have doubts about Vinnie's bottling venture, but hey, gotta make $$. Maybe he'll succeed this close to his brewery?
I think a slight degradation in quality is a fair trade-off for being able to have a Pliny whenever I want. That said, I think RRBC does an excellent job with its other bottled beers and I can't imagine that Pliny and Blind Pig will be any different.
I think some bottle beers do suffer from shipping and storage issues. I was definitely more impressed by some of the bottles I had during my recent trip to Belgium and Amsterdam than when I had the same bottled beers at the Trappist. Not necessarily the Trappist's fault -- just the timing of the shipping. Of course, sometimes you want to age a beer (I've had good lucky with even some hoppier styles, such as the Stone's Anniversary ales, benefitting from some degree of aging. But the belgian styles are definitely good candidates for that).
That said, I think City Beer has good turnover and I feel the bottles are always very fresh. Luka's bottles also generally seem very fresh.
Re the Gueze, I agree with all the other suggestsions. I would also add Ledger's to the list.
Great Scott, man - you drink bottled beer, haulin' A from out of state?
For a variety of excellent, fresh, cask conditioned Belgians, motor to this brewpub:
Russian River Brewing Co
725 4th Street
Santa Rosa, CA, 95404
Sun. through Thurs. from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Fri. and Sat. from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
HAPPY HOUR MONDAY – FRIDAY 4-6 AND ALL DAY SUNDAY
Per their Web site, they don't have any lambics on tap right now. If they haven't run out they have the Beatification, which is RRB's attempt at a gueuze-style beer, in bottle:
In bottle, the Trappist has Beatification, Temptation (blonde), and Supplication (brown), plus a keg of Damnation (strong golden) coming soon.
The Trappist in Oakland has several, plus lots of other lambics. Three blocks from 12th St BART.
Last time I was in Luka's Taproom they had Rodenbach sour Flemish ale on tap. Not the same thing but at the same far end of the beer spectrum.
2221 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
City Beer Store
1168 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103
460 8th Street, Oakland, CA
800 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94133
The Monk's Kettle
3141 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
re: Robert Lauriston
The Trappist doesn't show any on their published beer list, save for a Framboise (a close relative, but the only fruit beers that really tastes like a gueuze to me arefrom LIndemanns). I can't imagine a bar carrying "several" gueuzes.
Parenthetically, that's an interesting use of Google docs. It makes it easy for a non-geek to udate an on-line list.
re: Xiao Yang
That's the on-tap list. There are currently 16 entries in the Lambic & Gueuze section of the bottle list, including the following gueuzes:
Cantillon Classic Gueuze
Cantillon Rose' de Gambrinus
Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze
Drie Fonteinen Doesjel Old Lambic
Girardin 1882 Black Label
Oud Beersel Oud Geuze
I don't know which menu you looked at, but the currently posted menu has Oude Beersel (an "old" gueuze) on tap. I haven't tried it (so many beers, so little time) though I've had bottled gueuze in the past.
What SF Needs is a website like New York's beermenus.com:
The Monk's Kettle has a few but I would recommend going to City Beer or Healthy Spirits
first ... unless you very specifically are looking for a restaurant/bar setting.
Note: you can drink at CB. I am not 100% sure if you can consume alcohol at HS ...
they have some tables and chairs, but that might be for food only.
Note also: some of these may only come in large [~750ml] sizes.
BevMo may have some of these cheeper but it sounds like you might be better off
discussing what you are looking for with the beer nurds at CB and HS.
Does La Trappe have a beer list online?
It seems a little "oude" they wouldnt have anything in the gueuze family.
It would be somewhat humorous if Alembic in the Haight had nothing of this
kind, but I was there for cocktails and dont remember specifically if they
had any Geuze. Our bartender did say "flavored italian beers were the
new thing" so i know they have an interest in european beers.
er, for some reason an edit i made to my above post
didnt make it in, so here it comes again:
Anybody know of an SF/Berkeley bar/resto/store with
Rodenbach Grand Cru?
[i understand the Rodenbach people are making some changes
w.r.t. to their import business, so that may affect Rodenbach USA
availability for a while. But apparently there is a Rodenbach clone?]
re: Robert Lauriston
Since moving to the Left Coast, I've had a devil of a time locating Rodenbach, one of my all-time favorite beers. When I lived in LA, the only place I could find it was in a sandwich shop in the San Gabriel Valley, that for some reason maintained a breathtaking assortment of beers, including my beloved Rodenbach. It's been scarce on the ground up here as well, though relatively recently, I've located a source near my home - Star Grocery on Claremont has had both the regular and Grand Cru bottlings in stock, so my Flemish sour ale jones has been satisfied once again.