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HORAL’s Oude Geuze Megablend 2024

Belgium’s Toer de Geuze, which is a biennial open house at most of Belgium’s lambic breweries and blenderies, was held the weekend of May 4-5, 2024. It was a great success, with an estimated 20,000 attendees, despite cold and wet weather on the Saturday. Toer de Geuze is organized by HORAL, which is The High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers. HORAL was founded in 1997, and is a non-profit organization comprised of most of the lambic producers in Belgium’s Payottenland and Zenne River Valley.

In 2009, HORAL created the first vintage of Oude Geuze Megablend, an assemblage of lambics from eight HORAL members. 16,000 bottles, all in the 75 cl size, were filled. The blending and bottling of Megablend has been done at Brouwerij Boon since that first vintage. Frank Boon, the owner and founder of Brouwerij Boon, was also one of the co-founding members of HORAL. Though Frank has been officially retired for a few years, he is very often present at the brewery, and is still very involved in its activities. See this previous article here for a detailed look at Brouwerij Boon, and Frank Boon, who is regarded by many as the “Saviour of Lambic” for his efforts to help keep the style from going extinct in the 1970’s and 1980’s, when traditional lambic was at the very lowest point of its popularity. As we know now, he was very successful. The Lambic style is very popular, with dedicated fans all over the world.

Frank Boon (center) with sons Jos Boon on the left and Karel Boon on the right.

The creation of Oude Geuze Megablend turned out to be a great success for HORAL and the lambic world in general, as this Oude Geuze is a favorite among lambic fans. It was produced in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, and then again in 2022, and 2024. Note that there was only a virtual Toer de Geuze in 2021 due to the pandemic, and so now the Toer is held every other even numbered year.

I have attended every Toer de Geuze since 2009, with the exception of 2011. I always enjoy tasting the new Megablend, and 2024 was no exception.

I recently spoke with Karel Boon, Frank’s youngest son, about the 2024 Megablend. He had this to say: “The 2024 Megablend was blended and bottled by us, as before. This Megablend was a record in the amount of different producers’ lambic that was used. Lambic from 13 breweries and blenderies in total is in the blend!”

Karel added: “Even though more lambic from so many different producers makes the challenge of creating the Megablend more difficult, we’ve managed to make another great edition, in my opinion. As we generally hear people say: ‘it’s still too young, let’s wait a couple of months before drinking it again’, we heard that again this time. Probably because there’s always about seven months between bottling and the release of Megablend during Toer de Geuze. In my opinion it was good to drink immediately during the Toer, but some extra time surely won’t hurt. It will get a bit softer over time. Probably it will be reaching the sweet spot at around 1.5 to 2 years in the bottle, and hopefully will remain as such for a long time. It’s still a beer of spontaneous fermentation with a lot of different lambics together, you never know!”

Karel handles Marketing and IT for Boon, while his older brother Jos oversees the brewing and blending.

HORAL Chairman Gert Christiaens, who is also the owner and blender at Oud Beersel, says: “We had an amazing turnout at Toer de Geuze this year, with around 20,000 attendees. It really shows what a vibrant lambic community we have. The date for the next edition is set as 2 and 3 May 2026.”

Gert Christiaens, Chairman of HORAL, pouring an Oud Beersel Oude Geuze Vandervelden 135.

Gert added: “The Megablend 2024 is a really nice full bodied Oude Geuze. This year 13 producers participated to the Megablend. This is the pinnacle of all collaborations, with 13 lambic producers working together to create one Oude Geuze, in line with the traditions of blending Lambic.”

Per HORAL, 2024 was the 15th edition of Toer de Geuze, and the HORAL Megablend for this year is the ninth blend of the Megablend series. All HORAL members (Brouwerij Boon, De Oude Geuzestekerij De Cam, Brouwerij De Troch, Brouwerij Den Herberg, Brouwerij Eylenbosch, Hanssens Artisanaal, Brouwerij Kestemont, Lambiek Fabriek, Brouwerij Lindemans, Brouwerij Mort Subite, Oud Beersel, Gueuzerie Tilquin, and Brouwerij Timmermans) have contributed by delivering an amount of lambic.

37,300 bottles of 2024 Megablend were filled in the 75 cl size, attesting to the popularity of this brew, and of Belgian lambic in general. The suggested retail price was 11.2 euros a bottle on the official release date of May 4th. Note that each HORAL member is free to charge what they like for Megablend, though most do set it at the suggested price during Toer de Geuze weekend. Bottles also make it into beer specialist cafes and restaurants, and also the retail side of things. Megablend can be found at bottle shops and on-line beer sites, some of which ship outside of Belgium. One such shop, which does both retail and webshop sales, is Het Huis Van de Geuze in Eizeringen, which is associated with In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst. This cozy cafe is widely regarded as one of the premier lambic specialist bars in the world. The Etre Gourmet shop and webshop also stocks the Megablend.

I highly recommend seeking out the delicious 2024 HORAL Oude Geuze Megablend!

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