This Royal Decree stipulated that the names lambic, geuze, geuze-lambic and also their compounds or derivations could only be used to indicate a spontaneously fermenting beer.

The wort must be brewed with at least 30% of the wheat and the density of the wort must be at least 5 Belgian degrees. At first glance, this Royal Decree offered bona fide brewers the necessary protection. In practice, however, its application was never checked.

Moreover, this Royal Decree ignored the reality that two totally different products, the real geuze and the filtered and sweetened geuze, continued to bear the same name. Subsequent amendments in 1973, 1974 and 1993 also ignored this reality.

At the European level, the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin of foodstuffs was regulated in 1992 by two regulations (Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 and Council Regulation (EEC) No 2082/92 of 14 July 1992 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs).

Protected designation of origin (abbreviated PDO; English: Protected designation of origin, PDO; French: Appellation d’origine protégée, AOP) is a European regulation) that provides regional products with protection against imitation. There are three protection categories for regional products:

  • the protected designation of origin (PDO)
  • the protected geographical indication (PGI)
  • the traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG)


TSG – traditional speciality guaranteed

A register is kept of regional products recognized in one of these categories. Strict rules apply to each protected product: a set process and a defined area of production. In principle, the products are protected against counterfeiting only within the EU, so counterfeiting from non-EU countries is not protected. Global protection is difficult within the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Registered as TSGs were:

  • Lambic, Geuze-Lambic and Geuze
  • Kriek, Cherry Lambic, Raspberry Lambic and Fruit Lambic
  • Faro
  • Oude Geuze, Oude Geuze-Lambiek and Oude Lambiek
  • Oude Kriek, Oude Krieken lambiek, Oude Raspberry lambiek and Oude Fruited Lambiek

Thus, Oude lambiek has since been lambic beer made with at least 30% wheat and which has undergone integral spontaneous fermentation. “Oude geuze” is created by blending 100 % old lambic of spontaneous fermentation with a weighted average age of at least one year and the oldest of which has aged in wooden barrels for at least three years. The mixture must undergo secondary fermentation in the bottle and must meet a number of biochemical requirements after six months of aging in the bottle.

“Oude Kriek” must also have been refermented in the bottle.

For gueuze and kriek, which may not bear the preface ” Oud” or “Oude,” the requirements are much less stringent; lambic beers must not be that old, there must be no secondary fermentation in the bottle, and filtering, sweetening and pasteurization are permitted.

Name of product

Vieille Kriek, Vieille Kriek-Lambic, Vieille Framboise-Lambic, Vieux fruit-Lambic

Oude Kriek, Oude Krieken Lambiek, Oude Raspboise Lambiek, Oude Fruit-Lambiek.


(b) Specific production or preparation method

Sour beer spontaneously fermented during the preparation process. Spontaneously fermented beer is obtained by a fermentation that occurs during the cooling of boiled wort under the influence of microorganisms present in the air.


(c) Traditional character

The tradition of gueuze, lambic, geuze-lambic, faro and lambic-based fruit beers is described in detail in Thierry Delplancq’s dossier “La Région du Lambic” (September 1995). This file describes the various products, gives an etymological explanation of the designations, mentions whence these designations first appeared and indicates the boundaries of the region. Written records of the manufacture of these beers exist as early as the early 19th century, and for faro even the early 18th century.


(d) Product description

Sour beer with an aroma characteristic of aging in which the microorganism Brettanomyces Bruxellensis and/or Lambicus plays a determining role. The beer has an initial density of at least 12.7° Plato, a pH of up to 3.8 and a bitterness level of up to 20 EBU.

Oude Kriek or Old Cherry Lambic is created by blending lambic beers with a weighted average age of at least one year and whose oldest has been aged in wooden casks for at least one year. The mixture undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle and after six months of aging in the bottle has an isoamyl acetate content of not more than 0.5 ppm, an ethyl acetate content of not less than 50 ppm, a volatile acidity of at least 10 mEq NaOH and a total acidity of at least 75 mEq NaOH.

Oude Kriek is obtained by adding to the mixture cherries, cherry juice or concentrated cherry juice with a weight equivalent in cherries of not less than 10% and not more than 25% of the weight of the finished product. The same applies to the other fruit beers, except for peach beer, in which the weight equivalent in peaches added may not exceed 30 %.


(e) Minimum requirements and control procedure specificity

Control of products manufactured in Belgium is carried out by the Economic General Inspection (EAI), the official control service of the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs.

This control includes:

  • control of the inventory and management of stocks in the breweries concerned;
  • sampling in the breweries and the distribution companies to check the preparation process and the conformity of the products; a microbiological check during preparation and an aroma check. The initial minimum density, pH, coloration, and bitterness of the beer can also be checked by laboratory tests.