There was only about ten or so people left at the end of Oldham Beer Festival to enjoy a quiet hour or two after a very successful festival. As we sat shattered and knackered, we had a couple of beers, but I was all casked out. My poor tired body and jaded palate needed something different. There was a little cider left, but no, that wouldn't do it. What would then? I eyed the Foreign Beer Bar up. I knew what I wanted. Gueze! So what did we have in stock? Gueze Boon, a favourite of mine and three from Cantillon, the straight 100% lambic, the Kriek Gueze with the addition of sour cherries and Rose de Gambrinus, the raspberry one.
Now these beers are not to everyone's taste and when passed round, produced many a grimace, but to me and my partner in crime, John Lewis, well known cider guru and a predecessor of mine as Branch Chairman, love the stuff. We started on the Boon, Dry, tart, but quite refined and relatively easy drinking, with a refreshing sour kick. The Cantillon Gueze was drier, sourer, more in your face and delicious. The Kriek had a distinct sour cherry taste, rather like the pink penicillin medicine some of us old geezers used get forced down our swollen necks, forty plus years ago, when we got ill. Its finish was pure lambic with that lipsmacking cherry kick. The Gambrinus was new to me. Unsweetened and delicate, it has become a firm favourite.
I left in the wee small hours, with my palate renewed and an avowed intention to get some Lambic in for the summer - if we ever get one that is.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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