Geuzing it up on a Sunday morning

Sunday morning thirst quenchers, before, during, and after church

It sounds crazy to most to get up early on a Sunday, especially to get on a bus heading out of town to go drink beer. It sure is, but when the place is where we were headed this past Sunday, it’s well worth it. And since “In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst” is only open Sunday mornings from 10 until just after church lets out at 13.30, you don’t have much choice. Unless you’re having a funeral or another special event and book in advance, or it’s one of the few special events during the year that sees them also open, you’ll need to visit on a Sunday morning. It’s the same hours the “Insurance Against the Great Thirst,” as its name translates to, had been running for 51 years when two brothers took it over. Maybe you’re still wondering why it’s so special?

Eizeringen locals, brothers Yves and Kurt Paneels restored the pub to its old glory after taking it over from Marguerite, whom ran it for 51 years. When she decided to finally retire at 85 years old, on Christmas Eve 1999 she’d serve her last beer. The brothers decided they needed to continue the pub’s tradition in this small village and remain open.

Get me to the geuze on time!

The history of the pub is not only what makes it so special, it’s also the beer they serve, as local as the two brothers, lambic, and lambic-based beers such as geuze and kriek. It’s native to the areas of the Senne Valley (Brussels), and Pajottenland, the beautiful, fertile, and somewhat hilly area encompassing Brussels from the South to the West, the region you’ll find the pub. This special beer has earned an international reputation, as has this thirst-quenching gueze pub that breathes history, a sense of place, and tradtion. In his book Good Beer Guide Belgium, (2006 edition, p. 46) Tim Webb states “The bar stocks perhaps the best range of lambic beers on the planet.”  It’s not only the brothers that are doing their part to keep their historical, museum-like pub and this oh so special beer alive, it’s their parents, whom also help them out. This is the sort of place that makes you feel right at home, wishing you had this sort of place close to your home.

And if you don’t live close by and can’t visit, at least you can always have them send you some geuze, from The House of Geuze.

As for this incredible beer, empty tasting notes are a must! Typical notes nosed are of wheat, barley, fruit (if it’s a kriek or other fruit infused), cinnamon, summer flowers, and dried summer hay. From the Drie Fonteinen 2007 Geuze pictured below, I surprisingly found warm, baked chocolate fondant! Incredible stuff this spontaneously fermented sour beer.

Out of the ordinary from this empty geuze glass

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3 Responses to Geuzing it up on a Sunday morning

  1. Great blog! I had the pleasure of going to the Cantillon brewery in Brussels and sampling the products…fantastic stuff. There’s also a pub in Brussels called A La Mort Subite that serves such beer (and many more), great atmosphere too.
    Like no other beer I’ve ever tasted!

    • emptywhiskyglass says:

      Cantillon is excellent, I’ll bet you had a great visit there! A La Mort Subite is a classic pub/restaurant, very cool, and I believe one of the last remaining outposts for the company to sell their beer, as it used to be common. It’s just too bad they flavor/sweeten their lambic beyond recognition and appreciation of the real deal. No laws are in place governing the differences so we must be careful when purchasing if we want the true lambic, geuze, kriek etc! Thanks glassandbottle for your comments!

  2. Pingback: Missing Brussels « Empty Whisky Glass

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