Friday, July 8, 2011

Mikkeller Koppi Coffee IPA and Zwanze Day!

Bought this at Cork & Barrel a couple months ago, I think during American Craft Beer Week. Finally cracked it open tonight after a few cask ales at the Avenue Pub, while listening to TMBG's Flood.

I was very unsure what to expect with a coffee IPA. Not really the style you expect to go with a coffee infusion, and I was intrigued. It was a tasty and interesting IPA. Poured a pale orange with a nice head- a few fingers' worth.

I did not get any coffee flavor really, though. The finish had that tannic, acidic coffee aftertaste, but no actual coffee flavor. Odd. But I don't want to complain, because the Tomahawk hops gave the beer an excellent piney, citrus, pineapple aroma and bitterness. The specific bitterness of these hops added to the coffee-esque overall impression of the taste.

It was good, but I don't know if I'd ever attribute coffee to it as a flavor or overtone. I mean, read the above- I'm REALLY stretching to give it any coffee relevance. Like really a lot.

In other, most excellent news, the Avenue Pub has been chosen to be one of the TEN beer bars in the NATION to pour Cantillon's Zwanze 2011 on September 17 aka ZWANZE DAY. From the press release:

In 2010 we tried something new by blending lambic with Pineau d'Aunis. The result was quite surprising and wine-like with specific accents of fruit, pepper and other spices, both as regards smell and taste. With Olivier's approval, and despite a substandard harvest due to poor weather conditions, we recreated the same beer for Zwanze 2011. I subjected it to some very limited cold hopping using Bramling Cross hops, which yields a slightly bitter fruitiness. My friend Rob Todd of the Allagash Brewing Company calls it the «kiss of the hops», and I've decided to use this fantastic expression. The balance struck between the lambic, the grapes and the delicate bitter fruitiness is surprising yet very pleasant.

So to recap, there will not be any bottles of Zwanze put on sale so as to avoid any overpricing. On top of this, contrary to what was done with the Zwanze in previous years (with 80% of the production going into bottles), 2/3 of the Zwanze production for 2011 has been put into barrels. The goal here is to try to make certain that Cantillon enthusiasts everywhere will have a chance to taste the beer while short-circuiting those whose just want to make a fast buck.

In order to create an ephemeral event for this ephemeral beer, I decided to have all these barrels opened and enjoyed on the same day, when possible at the same time, by our friends throughout the world in places like Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the United States, Japan, Canada, France and Belgium.


Hooray, Avenue Pub! Hooray Zwanze Day!

Also available at the Avenue Pub on Zwanze Day:

Cantillon Classic Gueuze
Refreshingly tart with medium oak notes. Don't get too excited...its only one keg.

Zwanze 2010 in bottles
The 2010 vintage mixed fermentation witbier without spices or fruits. We received a limited supply of these and will be bottle pouring them the day of the event. Bottles will not be sold for take away and will not be available after the event on Sept 17th.

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