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These two sour beers are not the same.

Max Bonem
June 14, 2017

Beer is many things, but most of all it’s delicious and refreshing. At times, however, it can also be quite confusing. And no, we’re not just referring to the times when you drink too much of it and are then forced to play the fun game of, “where’d my dignity go last night?” Instead, it’s the differences in beer styles that can sometimes trip people up, especially when they have very similar names. Let’s take a look at the differences between a couple sour beers, gose and gueuze. The two are confused by many sour neophytes in bars all over the place.

They are pronounced differently.

First things first, let’s differentiate between how these two types of beer are pronounced. Gose is pronounced “GOES-ah” and it is historically German, specifically from the town of Goslar. Gueuze, however, is pronounced “gooz” and is a Belgian creation sometimes referred to as “Brussels Champagne” due to its high level of carbonation.

They taste different.

The gueuze style is an extension of the Lambic family, a spontenously fermented style known for having a sharp, sour taste flavor. Additionally, the wild yeasts specific to lambic-style beers give gueuze a dry, cider-like quality. Gose, while sour as well, also can have a tart lemon taste, which comes from the use of lactic bacteria, a definite saltiness, a bit of coriander and essentially no trace of hops (which is true also with gueuze). 

They are produced differently.

Gose can be produced relatively quickly and ferments by being intentionally inoculated with ale yeast and some form of Lactobacillus bacteria. Gueuze, on the other hand, undergoes natural fermentation through barrel aging. Multiple types of young and old Lambic beers are blended together so that the older beer can feed on the sugar from the younger varieties that haven’t fully fermented.