Category Archives: Beer Events

Beer Nerd PSA: Cantillion Zwanze Day 2013 is This Saturday

Cantillon Zwanze Day 2013

Just an (un)friendly reminder: Cantillon’s 2013 Zwanze Day is this Saturday, September 14. I wrote about the event last year, and believe you me, it was a blast.

Details on this year’s event and a full list of locations can be found on Cantillon’s website. Or read more about it here.

I’ll be at Lord Hobo in Cambridge, MA, on Saturday. If you spot me—I’ll be the guy with the Red Sox hat and the beer—leave me the fuck alone, huh? I’ll be busy drinking Cantillon.

UBN

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Cantillon Zwanze Day 2013 is Saturday, September 14

Bottles of Cantillon Zwanze 2013 in Brussels Belgium

It feels like just yesterday that it was Zwanze Day 2012, but this year’s version is right around the corner.

Cantillon Zwanze Day 2013 will be held on Saturday, September 14, according to a post on the Belgian brewery’s Facebook page, though no additional details on the actual Zwanze brew or the locations have been released yet.

Zwanze Day is held once a year, and it’s when Cantillon releases a small amount of an experimental beer, usually an interesting take on a lambic, at select beer bars across the word. (Learn more about Zwanze Day and check out my Zwanze adventures last year at Lord Hobo in Cambridge, Mass.)

I recent shared a look at the 2013 Zwanze in bottles at the Cantillon brewery in Belgium, and I shared some information on a unique beer that may become the 2014 Zwanze brew. But this is the first official information I’ve heard about Zwanze 2013. Mark the day on your calendar right this instant, and stay tuned to this blog for updates on locations, which I will post just as soon I find them.

UBN

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The Award for Worst Beer Names at 2013 Extreme Beer Fest Goes to…

Short's Brewing Co. booth at 2013 Extreme Beer Fest EBF

Short’s Brewing Co. booth at EBF 2013

Short’s Brewing Co. of Bellaire, Michigan! Congrats Shorts on having the strangest and most unappealing names for beers at this year’s Extreme Beer Fest (EBF) in Boston!

Craft brewers are typically laidback, quirky types. The names they give their beers are frequently creative, unique, amusing and sometimes even offensive.  Many of the names are designed to reflect qualities of the beers and help make drinkers remember them. Others are just fucking odd.

I attended the 2013 EBF last weekend, and I had almost as much fun reading all the beer names as I did drinking the brews. (Check out some scenes from this year’s EBF here.) Some of my favorite names: Evil Twin’s Justin Blåbær, a Berliner Wiessebier with blueberries (blåbær is the Danish word for blueberry); The Alchemist’s fantastic Heady Topper double IPA (love me some Heady); Allagash’s De Molen Smoke & Beards tripel; The Bruery’s Sour in the Rye sour ale; and Firestone Walker’s FW Barrelworks Wild Weisse Berliner Weissbier.

But one particular brewery’s names caught my eye at EBF—for all the wrong reasons. Short’s Brewing offered more different beers than any other brewery at EBF, and about half of them sported names that immediately turned me off. In fact, I didn’t try a single one of Short’s beers.

There was Sweet Taters, an American Brown Ale; Stray Cat Street Fighting for the Devil, an old ale; Bloody Beer, a fruit/vegetable beer; Short’s Keylime Pie and, quite possibly the worst name for a beer I have ever heard: Ben’s Asthma, a Russian imperial stout.

Before you drop a comment to let me know what an asshole I am for putting Short’s on the spot, I want to clarify two things: 1) I am well aware that I am an asshole; and 2) this post is really meant in jest. I have nothing against Short’s or its beers. I just don’t like the names. I didn’t skip Short’s beers because I don’t like their names. I skipped them because I’ve already tried most of them. Okay, I haven’t tried Ben’s Asthma, but I honestly have no desire to drink a beer named after a breathing condition.

Ribbing aside, Short’s makes some quality brew. I’m particularly fond of its Huma Lupa Licious IPA, and it’s unique The Soft Parade strong ale with a shitload of berries is also worth a try if that’s your thing.

UBN

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Scenes from Extreme Beer Fest (EBF) 2013 in Boston

I just walked through the doors of Boston’s Cyclorama, the location of the 2013 Extreme Beer Fest (EBF), presented by Beer Advocate and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. EBF was supposed to be held in Boston a month ago, but a major snow storm hit the Northeast and crippled the city for days, leading to the cancellation and eventual rescheduling of the festival. Mother Nature can’t keep us beer nerds down, and we’re here today to try as many wacky, wild and challenging new beers as we can in three and a half hours. I don’t think I’ll have too much more time to write, but I thought I’d share some scenes from this year’s EBF. I’ll be updating this post throughout the event with images so check back often if you want to see what I see.

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Craft beer enthusiasts mill about before the EBF evening session

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The EBF line rapidly forming 45 minutes before doors open

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The Dogfish stand at EBF

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Allagash stand at EBF. Fantastic sour called FV13.

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Crazy busy show floor at EBF

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Firestone Walker booth at EBF. Wild Weisse Berliner Weisse made it worth the wait in the long ass line

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John Kimmich from The Alchemist, brewer of the illustrious Heady Topper

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The Bruery folks. Love that Sour in the Rye

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Samuel Adams dudes talking beer

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Captain Lawrence Brewing served a nice chocolate stout

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Nothing like a piping hot, sugar-coated waffle to top off a successful beer fest

UBN

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Cantillon’s 2014/2015 Zwanze Could be Spontaneously-Fermented Stout

Cantillon Zwanze Stout wort

Brasserie Cantillon, one of the world’s finest traditional brewers of Belgian lambic beer and one of my favorite breweries, recently posted some images and information on its Facebook page that suggest its annual Zwanze beer for 2014 or 2015 could be a spontaneously fermented stout.

From Cantillon’s page:

“Dark for a Lambic wort isn’it?? This is the probably future Zwanze 2014 or 2015, a Cantillon interpretation for a spontaneous fermentation stout…Fermentation starts! Foam is darker than the one from a Lambic, we are on the right way…”

Last year’s Zwanze Day was one of my favorite beer “holidays” of 2012. (Find out why here.) And the 2012 Zwanze brew, a lambic flavored with rhubard, was one of the most interesting beers I’ve ever tasted. I haven’t been able to find any official details on the 2013 Zwanze Day, but I can tell you I will be in attendance, assuming there is a celebration this year.

Cantillon Zwanze Stout Fermentation

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a spontaneously fermented stout, but I’ll give anything Cantillon brews a try. The closest beer I can think of is Drie Fonteinen’s Zwet.be, a porter brewed with wild yeast, which I had recently and enjoyed.

Anyway, the countdown to 2013—and 2014 and 2015—Zwanze Day is on.

UBN

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AT&T Park to Get Even More Beer-Friendly Thanks to New Anchor Brewery, Restaurant and Museum

Anchor Steam Beer at AT&T Park

If you read this blog, you know I’m a beer lover. What you might not know is that I’m also obsessed with baseball. I attend dozens of MLB games each year, and I always try to visit new ballparks during my travels. My favorite park is Fenway Park in Boston. But not too far behind Fenway is San Francisco’s AT&T Park, home of the Giants.

AT&T Park is far and away the most beer-nerd-friendly ball park I’ve ever been too. It’s easy to find a good selection of Anchor brews inside the park, which already gives it an advantage over many other parks that still focus mostly on Budweiser and Coors. And there’s even a top-notch beer bar inside AT&T Park called Public House that offers a very impressive lineup of craft beer drafts.

AT&T Park will increase its beer appeal even more in the coming years. Anchor Brewing Co. today announced along with Giants that it will begin construction in 2014 on a new brewing facility not far from AT&T Park, inside the Giants’ Mission Rock Development space. The new facility is expected to quadruple Anchor’s annual beer-production capacity from 180,000 barrels to 680,000 barrels, according to a press release from the Giants. And it will also include a new restaurant and museum, as well as a restored walkway that will let pedestrians see into the Anchor brewhouse.

From that release:

“Anchor will continue to operate its facility in Potrero Hill, but will greatly expand its operations with the development of the Pier 48 facility…Pier 48, the southern-most structure of the Port’s Embarcadero Historic District, will be fully rehabilitated and re-established as an industrial hub of the central waterfront…Anchor will offer tours of the facilities and educational seminars with a focus on the history of craft beer, the art of craft distilling and Anchor’s history in San Francisco. “

Though the new brewing facility isn’t actually inside AT&T Park, it’s within walking distance, and the brewery/museum will be a great place to swing by for a few brews before the baseball game. The actually facility won’t likely be operational until 2016 at the earliest, according to RealBeer.com, so it’ll be a while before Anchor opens the doors, but I look forward to checking it out as soon as possible.

UBN

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Beer Advocate 2013 Extreme Beer Fest (EBF) Rescheduled for March 15/16

Beer Advocate Extreme Beer Fest Ticket

Last weekend, Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Fest in Boston was cancelled due to the massive winter storm Nemo. Boston was an absolute mess, with all public transportation shut down and an active driving ban punishable by a big fine and even jail time. It was necessary to postpone the event. But the organizers just sent out a message with the new dates for the 2013 Extreme Beer Fest.

Here’s the message Beer Advocate sent out to folks with EBF tickets:

Extreme Beer Fest: Rescheduled Dates

New Dates: March 15 & 16, 2013 in Boston, MA

Unfortunately, Extreme Beer Fest (February 8 & 9, 2013) was postponed due to severe weather conditions that forced the city of Boston to close all transportation. As EBF (and the storm) landed on a weekend, our efforts to reschedule had to wait; however, first thing Monday, we began coordinating with the venue to secure new dates and are pleased to announce that Extreme Beer Fest #10 will occur on March 15 & 16, 2013 at The Cyclorama in Boston, MA.

Options and information for existing ticket holders are also included below.

New Dates/Times

Night of the Barrels @ Extreme Beer Fest

Friday, March 15, 6pm-9:30pm

Extreme Beer Fest

Saturday, March 16, 1pm-4:30pm (Day Session)

Saturday, March 16, 6pm-9:30pm (Night Session)

Held at The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts.

Previous Tickets

Existing, non-refunded tickets are valid and will be scannable. Optional: Those who purchased tickets via Eventbrite may also re-download their tickets with the new dates; see http://help.eventbrite.com.

Tickets that have been refunded will not be valid and will be refused at the door.

Refunds

We’ll be waiving our “no refund” policy and will honor refunds to all Eventbrite ticket buyers who file their requests by February 19, 12am EST. Please see the instructions below.

Refund Instructions

If you’d like a refund, please email ebfrefunds@eventbrite.com withonly the order ID number in the subject line. You can find your order ID number on your confirmation email from Eventbrite.

Deadline

As a reminder, refund requests will be accepted up until February 19, 12am EST, based strictly on the instructions given above. Any refund requests beyond this will be dealt with on a case by case basis, but we cannot issue refunds outside of the instructions prior to the deadline or guarantee refunds past the given deadline.

Secondhand Purchased Tickets

If you purchased your tickets from a non-authorized reseller or individual, you’ll need to contact the original re-seller to confirm that each of your tickets is still valid.

All Eventbrite ticket buyers will be alerted of the new dates and options via email.

We can’t even to begin to put into words the collective disappointment shared amongst the BeerAdvocate team, attendees, brewers, vendors, volunteers and everyone else involved, but please know that we’re truly saddened by the inconveniences that this situation has caused, and we appreciate your patience and continued support.

Please see the Extreme Beer Fest website and this forum for future updates.

http://beeradvocate.com/ebf/

Sincerely,

Jason & Todd
Founders, BeerAdvocate

I’m real psyched to see the event reschedule so quickly, but I still feel for all the brewers and beer enthusiasts who came to Boston only to have their EBF plans fucked up by mother nature. I’ll definitely be attending one of the Saturday sessions next month.

UBN

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Dogfish Head ‘A Hop Eclipse Now:’ New IPAs, New Glass and New Randall the Enamel Animal

Dogfish Head A Hop Eclipse Now

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery today announced a new promotion it is calling “A Hop Eclipse Now”—a play on the title of the classic film “Apocalypse Now”—and it will be unveiling two new IPAs, a new beer glass and a “new” Randall the Enamel Animal fresh-hopping device during the next few months.

The idea behind A Hop Eclipse Now is to celebrate the current popularity of IPAs and other hoppy beers in America right now, as well as spotlight Dogfish’s rich history of brewing hoppy ales.

The brewery hasn’t specified which new IPAs will be unveiled, though he did say one of them will be fruit infused, not unlike its Hellhound on My Ale IPA. That beer is expected to be released on March 1, and it could be called A Hop Eclipse Now. And a few months ago Dogfish announced that it is working on another collaboration brew with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., an imperial IPA called Rhizing Bines, so that could be one of the new hoppy brews. Dogfish also didn’t unveil its new glass design yet, but the brewery’s founder Sam Calagione says the glass will be shown off in early February. And the following image, taken from the end of the A Hop Eclipse Now video clip below, gives us an idea of what the new Dogfish glass could look like.

Dogfish Head New Glass Design?

Calagione also says Dogfish will begin selling mini Randall the Enamel Animal fresh-hopping gadgets soon, and the Dogfish website says the $20 Randall Jr.s will begin shipping in February. Dogfish also listed the next-generation, full-size Randall, called Randall 3.0, for sale last month.

Finally, as part of the A Hop Eclipse Now celebration, Dogfish will host a number of related beer dinners across the United States starting on February 7 in Philadelphia and ending March 17 in Cambridge, Maryland. (I’m kind of pissed off that none of them are close to Boston, but I guess that’s my problem. Meh.)

Find more information on Dogfish’s A Hop Eclipse Now and the related new products and beer dinner’s on the brewer’s website or watch the above video.

UBN

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Beery Christmas and Hoppy Holidays from Your (Un)Friendly Urban Beer Nerd

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Ah, Christmas. That wonderful time of year when families and friends gather together to eat (too much) and drink (too much), give each other gifts they can’t really afford that nobody really wants and fight (thanks to too much drink) over animosities that built up during the past year. Joy.

Or maybe you’re one of those happy people who actually enjoys the holidays. If so, fuck you ya happy bastard.

This is the last post of 2012 for this Urban Beer Nerd because as much as I enjoy writing this blog, my day job is also writing and editing, so posting still kind of feels like “work” to me. And I really need a vacation.

That said, I wish you as beery a Christmas as possible and an extra hoppy New Year. Thanks for reading, and see ya in 2013.

UBN

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Relive Cantillon Zwanze Day 2012 with T-Shirts and Tulip Glasses

Cantillon Zwanze Day 2012 Tulip Glasses

Saturday, December 1 was this year’s Cantillon Zwanze Day, and I was fortunate enough to attend a Zwanze celebration in Cambridge, MA. (For information on Zwanze Day and a recap of the Zwanze Day event , read this post.)

Like many beer nerds, I collect beer glassware. And some of the more difficult glasses to obtain are Cantillon glasses. Sure, you can order some of them online from Belgium, but the shipping costs more than triple the price of an already expensive glass. So I’m always on the lookout for different ways to obtain Cantillon glassware.

Prior to the 2012 Zwanze Day celebrations, I’d read a number of recaps about Zwanze events in past years at which attendees could purchase Cantillon Zwanze glasses. So I was really looking forward to grabbing a few at Lord Hobo in Cambridge. But unfortunately, Lord Hobo didn’t have Zwanze glasses or any other Cantillon crap for sale. (I later read that the bar was supposed to get t-shirts and glasses, but they never showed up on time, but I’m not sure if that’s true or not.)

Cantillon Zwanze Day 2012 T-Shirt

So I had to take things into my own hands. After some online research, I found a liquor store in Chicago that’s selling both Cantillon Zwanze 2012 tees and tulip glasses. The glasses have the West Lakeview Liquors name on them, but that’s a small price to pay for a unique Cantillon glass. (West Lakeview hosted its own Zwanze celebration on December 1.) Now if you didn’t attend any of the events, or you’re just not particularly interested in Cantillon glassware, you might be wondering why you should care. But if you’re thinking that than fuck you, man, I didn’t tell you to read this post.

If you do care, you too can get yourself Cantillon Zwanze 2012 glasses and t-shirts from West Lakeview Liquors. The glasses cost $9.99 each, and I paid $21.99 for my shirt–$19.99 plust $2 for the XXL size. The glasses have the liquor store’s name on them, but I don’t mind. And the t-shirt is the definition of beer-nerd chic, with a small Cantillon logo on the front left breast and a list of all the 2012 Zwanze Day locations on the back. West Lakeview even still has a few Zwanze Day 2011 t-shirts, if you’d rather than vintage.

Visit the store’s website for more details on the glasses and tees. But you should act fast if you’re interested; the glasses in particular will be gone before long.

UBN

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