GUEUZE vs GOSE
Wow is this a can of worms. In a recent Vocabrewlary post, Saint Brewis follower Patrick asked us to do a G vs. G post for Vocabrewlary so dammit, here we are. As usual, we’ll keep this above all of the technical aspects but we will discuss ingredients and pronunciation which to be fair, are the two biggest pieces of this puzzle.
The ONLY way these sumbitches get confused is due to incorrect pronunciation. The only way. Yeah they’re tart, sour, whatever (we’ll get into that below) but basically, people say them wrong and that gets us to where we’re at. They’re both words with foreign origins so I get it. Also, gueuze has more vowels in it than my first and last name combined so it’s not exactly a common term.
Gueuze (also spelled geuze because this can’t be any more ridiculous)
Aside from having two ways to spell it, this one has super crazy amounts of ways to say it! Before I get into those ways, I’d like to point out that literally none of them sound the same as gose!
Ger-zuh – Beer guru Michael Jackson (not to be confused with Macauly Culkin pal Michael Jackson) pronounced the beer this way, so dammit, I’m inclined to as well.
Goo-zuh – This is also a less firm way of pronounce the beer as shown above. This one is perfectly acceptable and may actually be the biggest reason these two get confused.
Gooze – If you’re from France, or most Americans, you probably pronounce the beer this way. Go for it, man. This one is okay, too.
Goze-uh – Yeah. There’s only one way to say this one. It’s like the word “goes” as in “my husband goes to town for marshmallow peeps during the Easter season” with a distinct “uh” on the end. Brewers have a fun time with this one with beer names like “what gose ‘round” and other punny names. Bottom line, it’s DAMN NEAR pronounced the same as the word “goes,” but if you don’t say the “uh” at the end, you’re doing it wrong..
Ingredients and Origin
This truly deserves its own post but I’m going to give the most abridged version of gueuze and lambic that has ever been given.
A lambic is a spontaneously fermented ale, originating in Belgium, that uses aged hops and has a distinct tartness due to its wild yeast and naturally occurring bacteria during fermentation. A gueuze is a blend of 1-3 year old lambics. This takes the harsh “young” beer and blends it with the more mellow aged beer for a unique taste. There are families whose entire livelihood is based on their time spent blending these beers and their feel for when the beer is ready. It’s truly incredible and something that takes years of experience to master.
Ingredients in a lambic (and therefore a gueuze) include: Aged hops, wild yeast, and 30-40% unmalted wheat. These ingredients are things that you’ve likely never had unless you’ve had a lambic or gueuze. Aged hops give off a distinct cheesy aroma/flavor (isovaleric acid) and wild yeasts give off barnyard, horse blanket and wet hay flavors. On paper, I agree, it sounds terrible. Admittedly, they may be acquired tastes, but lambics and gueuzes are highly sought after for a reason.
This beer style is of German origins, which, according to Google is a completely different country than Belgium. This beer has an ingredient which is absolutely, 100% of the time never found in a lambic or gueuze, and that’s salt. Yep, you read that right, goses use salt in their recipe. On top of that, they use up to 50% malted wheat (not unmalted like gueuze), coriander, have citrusy lemon notes and while they were originally spontaneously fermented, they’re now fermented with brewer’s yeast and lactic acid to provide tartness.
In the end, these are two different beer styles with two different names from two different countries using two different groups of ingredients. Are people going to continue to confuse the two? Absolutely. Do you now know enough to educate these folks (politely, not like a jerk) on the differences between the two? I mean, that’s the whole point of these Vocabrewlary Lessons so I sure hope so.
Do you have a beer term that you’d like to know more about? Email me at email@example.com or comment below with something you’d like to see explained in a future Vocabrewlary Lesson.