Like most beer-loving office-workers out there (or anyone who has lived and worked in England for a time), I’m quite partial to a pint with my lunch on Fridays.
When I was in England it was usually chips, a steak sandwhich and an Old Speckled Hen at the pub next door. Now in Auckland I can have any number of odd combinations – and yesterday it was sushi and a Geuze.
I didn’t really want a Geuze to be honest – I wanted something normal, like Bookie – but when I saw that Brew on Quay had two that weren’t Timmerman’s (the only kind I can find anywhere), I thought I had better just take it while I could.
I chose this one over the other because of it’s attractive, vaguely art-nouveau label. This and the fact it had a cork made it seem quite fancy, as did the (unanticipated) $18 price-tag. (Note to self – always check the menu first!)
It poured a clear, orangey gold with a stiff white head. It smelled like Dad’s hobbies in a glass – apple cider and musty books, with some old woody notes and a bit of vinegar as well.
It was fizzy, crisp and tart. Really tart in fact, with almost a complete absence of sugar. The finish was bitter in a way that I found a bit jarring – like that medicinal taste when you don’t get your panadol down in time.
I can appreciate that this is a special beer, and is probably adored by those with more sophisticated palates than mine… But I must confess (pleb that I am) I don’t quite get it. Maybe I could force myself to drink it until I was converted – but at $18 a pop I’d have to live in a house made of Geuze bottles to make that viable.