You may or may not have seen this recently; either way I'd still like to let you know there's a new Oude Geuze we've made with Mikkeller!
In this case this geuze is more of a wink and nudge towards the american tries/experiments of our beloved lambic. These tries, resulting in interesting and nice bottles of beer, but also very often resulting in beers that we find to tend more towards malt vinegar, seem to be liked by a lot of people even with the enormously high acetic acidity, and mostly by Americans. When we made a more acetic Oude Geuze (the VAT 108) to put in our Discovery Box, many people loved it, but it seems many Americans still found it not sour enough.
But no, we didn't decide to make something even more sour. We care what Belgians like to drink, we will listen to the Belgian taste pallet, so we DON'T want to make malt vinegar. No one wants to drink salad dressing.. (in Belgium at least). On the other hand this reminded us of an old habit that some producers of Champagne had. Batches that turned out more sour were labeled "Goût Americain" (American Taste) and some also were marked "Goût Russe" etc. and were then sold in those markets. With all this, we had an idea to make a beer, not necessarily to be sour, but more to put into perspective the appreciations of certain tastes. And this is a topic we've talked about with Mikkeller many times before which is how this became the basis for a new collab.
To us acetic sting (as we like to call it; "piqûre acétique" in French) is an off-flavour. But it seems it is an acquired taste for other people (in this case more so the American part of the world). So don't expect enormous amounts of sour because of course we're not going to let anything leave the brewery that we don't like ourselves. But what you taste is a nice complex, balanced Oude Geuze with acetic acidty that is already way above the level we normally prefer and what we'd easily at our brewery unofficially label as "american taste". At the same time it's still relatively mild compared to other beers, but it is only to show that we don't believe acetic acidty should have such a huge role in these beers. It is nice to add a small barrel with "neig" (lambic with acetic sting) to a large blend to give some depth (a bit like using salt and pepper in the kitchen). But it should not be a dominating taste in the beer. All the stories of irregular bowel movements and the enamel of teeth coming off is not what a properly made lambic beer should have as result.