163. Girardin Gueuze Black Label 1882

When the lovely people behind Camberwell’s ever-magnificent Stormbird open a brand new pub in South London, you can sort of predict that Threehundredbeers will make an effort to be first on the scene.

Slightly too much of an effort in fact, as I pitched up outside the Star & Garter on opening night to find the place still to be something of a building site. Never mind, a couple of days later with the paint still drying, I was able to spend a very pleasant Sunday afternoon working through the impressive tap lineup.

And the fridge of course, because quietly minding its own business in there was a beer from the list which has not been at all easy to track down. In fact I’m not sure I recall even seeing it in Brussels. Anyway, here’s the Girardin Gueuze 1882, or “Black Label” as it’s known, for fairly self-evident reasons.

Girardin Gueuze Black Label 12882 at the Star and Garter, Bromley

Girardin are a family-run brewery based in the tiny Belgian village of Sint-Ulriks-Kapelle, and they produce two editions of their Gueuze: the White Label and this, the Black. This is the one the proper beer nerds tend to seek out, as it’s the unfiltered, unpasteurised version, bursting with delicious Lambic flavours.

It’s a complex beer, blended from 12, 18 and 24 month aged Lambics. It’s sour as befits the style, but not as brow-moisteningly so as some examples. Instead it’s zesty and citrussy yet full of soft vanilla and peach flavours and the unmistakable musty notes provided by the Brettanomyces yeast.

There are constantly extra depths to discover as you take your time over it and wish you had one of the larger bottles instead.

I shall certainly return to the Star & Garter before long and see what else we can find there. Bromley has certainly hit the jackpot now beer-wise, and I wish everyone involved in the new pub all the best.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Brouwerij Girardin, Sint-Ulriks-Kapelle, Belgium
Style: Lambic and Gueuze
Strength: 5.0% ABV
Found at: The Star & Garter, 227 High Street, Bromley, London BR1
Serving: 375ml bottle

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