Oude Beersel Bzart Lambic
For me, simply the most elegant Gueuze I have ever had. Is it super funky or sour? Definitely not! But well balanced, bone dry and refined, without doubt. It makes sense how they achieved this result: Bzart is Oude Beersel Lambic (+/- 18 months old) that is bottled at one of Flanders’ premier sparkling wine–we cannot say Champagne–producers, where Champagne yeast is added. The beer then follows the same maturation process as Champagne, including riddling out the yeast. The result is perfectly clear, incredibly bubbly and as I said, elegant, dry Gueze.
From Chuck Cook: “Geuzestekerij Oud Beersel has been quite a success story since it was purchased by Gert Christiaens and his father Jos in 2005. The old brewery has been beautifully preserved, and they have added much more lambic fermentation capacity-eg, more barrels, in the last couple of years. Beer and wine enthusiast Luc Dirkx, originally of the Maasland region of the Netherlands, just over the border from Limburg Province in Belgium, has partnered with a winemaker in Limburg, and the Oud Beersel lambic blendery in Beersel, to create a sort of lambic /champagne beer.
Called “Bzart Lambiek,” this lambic is aged for a little over a year by Oud Beersel, and sugar and champagne yeast are added during bottling to produce a sparkling effervescence. The bottles have undergone the same processes that Champagne goes through, though with this lambic it is called “Methode Traditionnelle” instead of “Method Champenoise,” which creates a secondary fermentation in the bottle. Prior to this, the 1,300 bottles in the 75 cl size of this brew underwent what is referred to as “Méthode Traditionnelle.” This would be called the “Method Champenoise” when dealing with a true Champagne.
A sparking wine maker, Guy Geunis, performed the riddling and disgorgement process at his location in Borgloon. Geunis sold his wines under the clever name “Champinnot” for years, before being recently forced to change the name by champagne producers in France. The new name is “Optimbulles” meaning “Optimum Bubbles.”
Gert tell us that the beer has been making appearances on menus at top Belgian restaurants: De Karmeliet in Bruges, Couvert Couvert in Heverlee, and Brasserie Latem in Sint-Martens-Latem, to name a few.”