Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Oshkosh Beer Sampler 008: Oude Gueuze Tilquin

A slanted and endless survey of what’s pouring in Oshkosh... tallied one beer at a time.

What: Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L'Ancienne, in caged and corked 12 oz. bottles.

Where: At the new bottle shop within Gardina's Wine Bar and Cafe, 448 N. Main St., Oshkosh.

Why: Because this beer fantastic! And aside from that, this is the first chance any of us have had to buy a bottle of authentic Gueuze from a retail outlet in Oshkosh. We’re witnessing one of those pivotal events in Oshkosh beer history that you’ll one day be croaking about as you bore the unenlightened to death.

Really, though, if you love good beer this is great to see. Adam Carlson has been steadily ramping up the beer side of things at Gardina’s and he’s just added a shelf of craft and premium import beer to the store that occupies the back half of the building. At this point the selection is modest, but what is there is composed almost entirely of brews we haven’t been able to purchase in Oshkosh. Currently in stock are beers from Nøgne ø, Mikkeller, Hoppin’ Frog and The Bruery among others. Everything there is intense. Especially this one.

If you’re not familiar with the style, Gueuze is a Belgian style of beer made from the blending of one, two and three year-old Lambics (ales fermented with wild yeast that lend the beer a distinctly sour, acetic flavor). They’re difficult to find and Tilquin’s is among the best. In the glass, it’s hazy and dark gold with a musty, earthy aroma somewhat like apple cider vinegar. The flavor is sharply sour, in a puckering apple and pear sort of way, with a lingering tang that approximates bitterness. It’s not for everybody, but if your palate veers towards the sour side, you might love it.

Gardina’s is selling bottles of Tilquin for $9.99; not cheap, but a couple bucks less than I’ve seen them in Milwaukee and definitely worth it when your in the mood for something extraordinarily different.

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