Friday, July 12, 2013

Zwanze Day - September 14, 2013 at the Avenue Pub

Zwanze Day 2011

Today, the Cantillon brewery in Belgium announced the list of 46 locations all over the world that will be serving its 2013 Zwanze vintage on September 14, 2013. Once again, the Avenue Pub on St. Charles Street in New Orleans has made that list, a testament to its beautifully curated beer list and dedication to get the best beer to its customers that it possibly can. It's so great to see them get this kind of kudos and recognition - it's so well deserved.

For the past few years, in order to circumvent black market reselling of their most rare and special beer, Brasserie Cantillon has instituted a system where only their most trusted colleagues around the world have the privilege of tapping their annual Zwanze beer. Although the Zwanze beer is always a sour, other than that, it varies from year to year. In both 2008 and 2012, the Zwanze was a rhubarb lambic. In 2009, it was a lambic brewed with elderflower, later released upon occasion as "Mamouche." In 2010, it was a spontaneously fermented, witbier style wild ale. (to date, this is still my favorite Zwanze.) In 2011, Cantillon collaborated with a Loire winemaker to use a local and rare grape called Pineau d’Aunis in their lambic. 2011 was also the year that the brewery began the draft only policy for a handful of beer bars (including the Avenue Pub) after their dismay of how the bottled 2010 vintage was horded and sold at outrageous prices. In the brewer's own words:
Because of my dedication to my work as a brewer and out of respect for the product itself, it is very important to me for prices to stay reasonable. Unfortunately, there are those out there who couldn’t care less about spontaneous fermentation beer but who do care a lot about making easy money. For this reason, it has been decided that not a single bottle of Zwanze 2011 will be sold by Cantillon Brewery.
Kyle, the Urban Beer Nerd, posted a photo that someone took of bottles of the 2013 Zwanze fermenting a few months ago. According the Polly Watts, proprietor of the Avenue Pub, this year's beer will be a spontaneously fermented tripel. It had originally been scheduled for last year, but the brewer didn't feel it was ready, and decided to re-release the rhubarb Zwanze instead for 2012.

But whatever it is, September 14 will be amazing. According to The Avenue Pub's Facebook event:
Just like in years past we will put up a stellar tap list designed to make even the most jaded sour lover very very happy. Here are some highlights that we know so far... But stay tuned, the list will get even better.
On draft:
Cantillon Zwanze 2013 - Belgian triple
Cantillon Kreik
Cantillon St Lamvinus
Cantillon Iris( Zwanze edition)
Cantillon St Gilliose
Tilquin Gueuze
Struise Weltmertz
loverBeer Madamin
BFM Abbey de st Bon Chien
Trois Dames L'Amoureuse Rouge
Trois Dame Grande Dames
Plus some cellared bottles
If you'd like to see my previous Zwanze reporting, check out here for 2011 (though there are several liveblogging entries that day) and here for 2012.

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