It has been two years since I started reviewing beers for The Carouser. Looking back, the first article was about a Gueuze so it seems appropriate to review this style again.
Gueuzes are an old-fashioned style of beer brewed in the area around Brussels, Belgium. They are naturally fermented with wild airborne yeasts and matured in huge barrels for several years before being blended with Geuzes from previous years. They are brewed with wheat, barley and old hops which are added for preservative purposes only. Gueuzes are barrel aged sour beers which is a style becoming popular again, especially in the USA where drinkers are seeking a change from the ubiquitous heavily hopped IPA.
Cuvee Rene pours an orange colour with a tart, green apple aroma. The taste is very distinctive to say the least. This is a sharp, sour, acidic beer with a bitter orange flavour. It is a very refreshing beer with a mouthfeel closer to cider. This would be a great beer for a summer drink and could also go with spicy food. This is a bottle fermented beer which comes in a champagne style bottle with a cork and a metal enclosure.
Lindemans were founded in 1822 in Vlezenbeek by Joos Frans Lindemans. He was a farmer who brewed in his spare time. It was only in the 1950’s that the farming activities ceased and the company concentrated solely on brewing. They are now run by the 6th generation of Lindemans who are expanding the brewery. Lindemans brew 11 different types of sour beers including several which are flavoured with fruit including Kriek (sour cherry), Framboise (raspberry), Apple, Cassis (blackcurrant) and peach. The brewery is open to the public and tours can be arranged for groups.
Belgium is famous for its beers and Flemish architecture but not for its music. ‘Walk Away Renee’ is a song written and first performed by the US band Left Banke. It was then covered by the Motown group the Four Tops who took it to No 3 in the UK singles chart in 1967. Many other artists have covered this song including T’Pau. Bon Jovi and Billy Bragg. I rather like this energetic version from Southside Johnny who is known as the grandfather of the New Jersey sound. If you like Bruce Springsteen then you will love the horn led sounds of Southside Johnny. Pour yourself a glass of the most enjoyable Cuvee Rene and listen to over 7 minutes of Walk Away Renee featuring some great sax solos.