Authentic Gueuze vs. American Goozie Blind Shootout

The “authenticity” of American wares is contantly impugned when cast under the examining lens of their Belgian counterparts.  No sooner than someone begins to extol the virtues of Duck Duck Gooze, they are met with the reverberating refrain that “LOL YA BUT REGULAR 3F GUEUEZE BETTER AN EAASIER TO MAKE HAVE URS!”

It’s the mandible grinding equivalent of PARAARABOALA standard bearers, making blanket statements about shit they  1) either have never had, or 2) have set out intentionally to fell new idols to bolster the old.  The most frustrating part is, the sentiment that Belgian beers are superior is USUALLY correct.  This is a synthesis of both the multitude of one dimensional lacto-forward American wilds, and the pedigree of bottles to which they are being compared.  BUT WHAT IF YOU MADE THE FIGHT FAIR: TAKE THE BEST FROM BOTH REALMS AND MAKE THEM GROPE AND GYRATE AGAINST EACH OTHER BLIND DARKNESS?


DDB set out to do just that, assemble some of the most lauded examples from each side of the globe and let them have the UFC 200 on full musty steroids. At the outset I am sure I will hear absolutely vapid objections from both sides with innumerable “LOL POVERTY TASTING NO BRABANTIAE? WER DAFUQ IS BEE KEEPER” or whatever else.  Regardless of your OCD compulsions, it would be difficult to nonironically maintain that this list fails to capture some of the best from both sides of this dispute:

Belgian Contenders:

2005 Brouscella Grand Cru

2011 Geuze Mariage Parfait

2012 Cuvee du Saint Gilloise

2012 Cantillon Classic Gueuze

2010 Cantillon 100% Bio

Drie Fonteinen Armand and Tomme


American Shasta Deviants:

Broken Truck 1

Broken Truck 2

Duck Duck Gooze

Cable Car 2013

Obviously we omitted fruited lambic and pLambics, gooze or die. Sure we could have included innumerable allagash coolship batches or whateverthefuck else.  I get it.  De Kam, sure, Zomer, fine, tweet me your complaints so I can assemble a ZFG list.  Let’s get to the results.

Tasting Order:

  1. Cable Car 2013
  2. Broken truck 2
  3. 2012 Cantillon Classic
  4. Mariage Parfait
  5. 2005 Brou Grand Cru
  6. Cuvee Saint Gilloise
  7. Duck Duck Gooze
  8. Armand and Tomme
  9. Broken Truck 1
  10. Cantillon 100% Bio



First place: The Broken Truck 1

Second Place: Armand and Tomme

Third Place: Regular ass Cantillon 100% Bio

4. Broken Truck 2

5. Duck Duck Gooze

6. Cantillon Classic

7.  Cuvee Saint Gilloise

8. 2005 Brou Grand Cru

9. Cable Car 2013

10. Mariage Parfait


Commence the bitching immediately because DDB “favored” an American beer and ranked it first in a blind tasting with other people.  Trust me, I was staggered by the results as well.  I went back to review Broken Truck in both iterations and was floored by how phenomenal they were.  My personal rankings had AnT above BT1 but both scored ridiculously high. The disrepaired Silverado is likely one of the best AWAs that I have ever tasted, no superlative overload.


Burn ward.

Here are the salient points that I can surmise that changed the course of the results:

  1. The baby palates in the tasting eschewed and nerfed the scores of any musk/cheese/funk forward bottles.  The bottom bracket consists almost entirely of less “bright” albeit more complex bottles tossing doses of grist and oxy-cobwebs.
  2. Similar to the way that people preferred the approachable sweetness of English Barleywines, the acidic “brightness” was favored almost universally, and when I compared the scores I found a preference for this in lieu the more muskier leathery delights.
  3. Cable Car 2013 was wildly overrated, in a way that is crushing to the soul when I think back to what I gave up to land it.  I say this beyond the scope of mere trader’s regret and more in the realm of “the list of superior, more accessible beers is staggering.”
  4. Mariage Parfait was reviled for its sickly honeycomb sweetness and tepid watery body. Kill confirmed, the Brewdog of the goozie world.
  5. Brouscella Grand Cru poured nearly flat, as usual, and many people nuked it for this, but holy fuck was that bottle complex.  It has the most depth and character to it by a mile.  If you like dating quirky alt-women who play tabletop games and are into crystal chakra healing, this would be your hot alternative medicine.
  6. DDG is still swinging like an acidic champ, despite rumors of the anatidicide. It is odd because given the component blending and release dates, you would expect the horrendously underwhelming 2013 Cable Car to have some component blended Phunky Duck or Mellow Yellow, or something resembling that quacky king.  This is not the case.
  7.  In the same breath as the foregoing, Armand and Tomme might be one of the best gueuzes ever made.  I rated it easily the best of the evening and I would be hard pressed to think of a more balanced and flawlessly executed gueuze, and amongst my favorite beers of recent memory.  It has traveled so far in depth and grace and nuance in the past three years, surpassing the previously untouchable Zomer.
  8. Finally, the most salient takeaway is this: look at how fucking well that regular ass Cantillon Bio/Classic performed.  Consider the fact that you could have anywhere from 4-10 times the bottles in lieu of any of the “touted” entries on this list and the diminishing returns approach “bourbon levels” of hilarity.  So while once again the PARARABOLEAR protesters aren’t right, but they aren’t exactly wrong either.  In the end, that world class accessibility should be the underpinnings of the grace and nature of beer itself.  A living product, for living people, poised for consumption and not to decay in some Indiana basement on an IKEA shelf only to make transcontinental trips annually to bolster the self esteem of some other cargo short wearing dumbfuck.

Beer is meant for consumption and discussion, organically fostering some of the best possible moments amongst friends and family. Those vignettes of gentle repose, beyond the reach of competition or feelings of inadequacy, the fleeting foam a gentle analog to life itself, ever cascading upward to a destructive change in form, becoming something greater than the sum of its simple components.  That is the essence of classic ales and innovative libations, ensconced outside the ambit of covetous carrion grips, transcending to a realm that modifies the social experience lieu of supplanting it.




6 thoughts on “Authentic Gueuze vs. American Goozie Blind Shootout

  1. There are a lot of Whitman phrases in this piece. Which I appreciate. At the same time, thank you for leaving out the bit about wantonly ejaculating all over a beach full of pre-teen boys…BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT CICCERONES ARE FOR AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHT OR AMMIRITE.

  2. what was the reasoning behind having Grand Cru Bruocsella in this tasting? As an old unblended lambic, it seems a bit out of place with the others.

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