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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Day 96 Drink: Upstream Gueuze-Lambic

Omaha is a Native American word that means “upstream” or “against the current.” At first, the idea of a brewery in Nebraska making barrel aged Belgian-style ales sounds a little like swimming against the flow.

Founded in 1996, Upstream’s draught offerings feature the brewpub standards you would expect, such as pale ale, blonde ale and wheat beer. But it is the special bottlings of Belgian-style and barrel-aged beers that set Upstream apart from the pack.

Upstream first brewed a Gueuze-Lambic in 2005 to launch a barrel aging program after 20 ex-cabernet sauvignon French oak barrels arrived at the brewery. To create the Gueuze-Lambic a Belgian wheat beer is fermented with a variety of wild Belgian microflora, which impart a sour character in this beer. Each year fresh wheat beer is added to the ale to tone down the sourness a touch. Typically 18 months to two years may go by between the brewing and bottling of this ale.

Upstream Gueuze-Lambic pours a cloudy orange amber, producing a thin head that persists throughout. An immediate citrus and woody aroma emerges. A very coating mouth feel that surrounds your taste buds with tart sour flavour notes. Hints of oak, citrus, honey and a slight earthy qualities.

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