I’m not sure how I missed this news, because it was apparently announced more than a month ago, but Cantillon’s Zwanze Day 2015 will be held at 56 different locations throughout the world on Saturday, Sept. 19.
If you’re unaware, Zwanze Day events are held in bars across the globe once a year, and the Belgian brewer o’ spontaneous beers always unveils a sour ale that’s specially made for the occasion. This year, it’s a sour stout, according to Jean Van Roy, Cantillon’s brew maestro. Cantillon occasionally posts updates and images to its Facebook page, and way back in March of 2013, it hinted that a sour stout it was working on could end up becoming the 2014 or 2015 Zwanze beer.
Here’s a quick description of the 2015 Zwanze libation, from Van Roy:
“I fermented some raw wheat to improve mellowness and enhance storage characteristics and did not use roasted barley to avoid further accentuating the dry aspect, which was already present as a result of spontaneous fermentation.
“The recipe is that of a stout, the colour is that of a stout, and spontaneous fermentation followed by 28 months of maturing in a cask has given birth to a ‘surreal’ stout. The dry and tart notes of a spontaneous fermentation beer combine with the roasted, slightly burnt and delicate chocolate flavours sometimes found in certain stouts.
“For the 28 months of maturing we used three types of casks: 50% of the casks had already contained lambic, 25% had already been used for CoÌ‚tes du RhoÌ‚ne wine and 25% had already been used for Cognac. Beers that have matured in old Cognac casks take up the warmth of the alcohol while those from casks having contained red wine adopt winey and fruity characteristics.”
The French word “zwanze” refers to “humor typical of Brussels,” according to OxfordDictionaries.com, and it’s used to describe the Cantillon brews, because many of them are kind of odd and experimental.
Check out the Cantillon website for more details. And here’s the list of the 26 U.S. venues serving Zwanze 2015 on Saturday, Sept. 19. (You can find the full list of the other 30 venues outside of United States in the related Facebook post.)
- Anchorage Brewing Co. — Anchorage, Alaska
- Apex — Portland, Oregon
- Armsby Abbey — Worcester, Massachusetts
- Avenue Pub — New Orleans, Louisiana
- Bagby Beer — Oceanside, California
- Beachwood BBQ — Seal Beach, California
- Blue Monk — Buffalo, New York
- Brouwer’s Café — Seattle, Washington
- ChurchKey — Washington, D.C.
- Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar — Denver, Colorado
- Fool’s Gold — Manhattan, New York
- Hill Farmstead Brewery — Greensboro, Vermont
- Holy Grale — Louisville, Kentucky
- Jester King Brewery — Austin, Texas
- Lord Hobo — Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Monk’s Café — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Novare Res Bier Café — Portland, Maine
- REAL a Gastropub — Honolulu, Hawai’i
- Redlight Redlight — Orlando, Florida
- Russian River Brewing — Santa Rosa, California
- Schera’s — Elkader, Iowa
- Side Project Cellar — Maplewood, Missouri
- Spuyten Duyvil — Brooklyn, New York
- The Birch – Norfolk, Virginia
- The Trappist — Oakland, California
- West Lakeview Liquors — Chicago, Illinois