Tag Archives: Belgian beer

Reminder: Cantillon Zwanze Day 2012 is Saturday, December 1

Just a quick reminder that the 2012 Cantillon Zwanze Day is this Saturday, December 1. Lambic, sour and Belian-beer lovers won’t want to miss it. The 2012 Zwanze lambic is a reproduction of the 2008 Zwanze brew, and it will be made with rhubard. More details on Zwanze Day and all the 31 official locations across the globe can be found here. I’ll be attending the event at Lord Hobo in Cambridge, MA. If you’re there, just scream, “Yo, Urban Beer Nerd, where you at?” and I’ll come say hello. Cheers, salute, slainte, prost and all that good shit.

UBN

Image via 100Beers30Days.com

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Uber-Rare Westvleteren XII Belgian Quad Coming to US for 1st Time in December

Westvleteren XII abbey of Saint Sixtus

I love me a rare beer, and Westvleteren XII from the Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in Flanders, Belgium, is nothing if not rare. In fact, it’s never officially been distributed in the United States before—the only way to get it was to travel to the abbey or to track a bottle down online and then pay an arm and a leg for it, and even then you had to make reservations.

But Westvleteren XII, a Trappist-made Belgian quad ale, is reportedly coming to the United States for the first time in December as part of a six-bottle, two-glass gift pack that should cost somewhere between $50 and $100. (It was also briefly available in North America earlier this year as part of a special fund-raising event.) The price of the gift pack is sure to skyrocket on the secondary market, too, after the beer sells out in liquor stores.

I’ve never had Westvleteren XII, but it has an amazing reputation, due in part to its difficulty to obtain. It also has the second highest user-rating on BeerAdvocate.com and the highest rating on RateBeer.com.

Westvleteren XII, which has a ABV of 10.2%, will be distributed by the Belchertown, Mass.-based Shelton Brothers, one of the leading importers of Belgian beer in the United States, which means it should be at least somewhat readily available in and around my home city of Boston. Needless to say, I’ll be keeping an eye out for this beer, and I’ll review it on this blog if I’m lucky enough to find a bottle or six.

UBN

Via NorwichBulletin.com

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

An Inside Look at the Cantillon Brewery in Brussels (Photos)

Cantillon brewer Jean Van Roy

I’ve been obsessed with Cantillon lately, ever since one of my Beer Guys hooked me up with a couple of bottles of Cantillion gueuze and a bottle of framboise, and after I had two Cantillon bottles at Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, Maine last week. So I was psyched to see that Xinhuanet.com posted an image slide show from a recent tour of the brewery. I’ve read about Cantillon chief brewer Jean Van Roy a number of times, but this is the first image I’ve ever seen of the man.

Check out the full slide show for an inside look at Cantillon brewery in Brussels, Belgium.

UBN

Tagged , , , , ,

Get Your Cantillon Zwanze on Saturday, December 1, 2012

Brasserie-Brouwerij Cantillon bottles

Brasserie-Brouwerij Cantillon, one of the world’s finest Belgian-Lambic beer brewers, is holding its annual Zwanze Day celebration on Saturday, December 1, 2012, in 31 cities across the globe, and 16 of those locations are bars in the United States.

If you’re a fan of Lambic, gueuze or other sour beers—and you’re near one of the few official Zwanze Day bars—this is an event you don’t want to miss.

From Cantillon.be:

“Seeing that we had received numerous requests to organise a Zwanze Day this year we decided to recreate the very first Zwanze produced in 2008. As a reminder, that year’s vintage had been brought about by soaking rhubarb in Lambic. The ultimate result of that experiment was a very delicate and complex product in which the beer’ acidic taste struck a very nice balance with the plant’s tartness and then lingered long on the palate.

“For this new production batch we decided to work with organically-grown rhubarb, and you can really taste this in the beer, which is more structured and full-bodied than the 2008 vintage. We opted to recreate the rhubarb Lambic because very few consumers had been able to taste this beer 4 years ago, when only 300 litres had been produced. On top of this, unlike fruit crops, rhubarb production was not adversely affected by the very poor weather which hit Europe this spring. And finally, the last, perhaps most important reason of all for bringing back Zwanze 2008: my wife tells me it’s one of her favourites.”

Here’s a list of all the Zwanze Day bars/cities:

America – USA:

  • Armsby Abbey – Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Avenue Pub – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • ChurchKey – Washington, D.C.
  • Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar – Denver, Colorado
  • Holy Grale – Louisville, Kentucky
  • Hop and Vine – Portland, Oregon
  • Lord Hobo – Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Monk’s Café – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Novare Res Bier Café – Portland, Maine
  • REAL a gastropub – Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Redlight Redlight – Orlando, Florida
  • Spuyten Duyvil – Brooklyn, New York
  • The Foundry – Kansas City, Missouri
  • The Trappist – Oakland, California
  • Toronado – San Diego, California
  • West Lakeview Liquors – Chicago, Illinois

America – Canada:

  • Canada – Montréal : Dieu du Ciel

Europe :

  • Belgium – Brussels : Moeder Lambic Fontainas
  • Belgium – Brussels : Moeder Lambic Saint-Gilles
  • Belgium – Arlon : Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon
  • France – Paris : La Fine Mousse
  • France – Lille : La Capsule
  • Great Britain – London : The Earl of Essex
  • Italy Rome : Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà
  • Italy Bergamo : The Dome
  • Italy Nicorvo : Sherwood Pub
  • Italy – Quinto Vicentino : The Drunken Duck
  • Italy – Quartu Sant’Elena : Ristopub Margherita
  • Norway – Grimstad : Nøgne Ø
  • Finland Helsinki : Pikkulitu
  • Denmark Copenhagen : Olbutikken
  • Netherlands – Amsterdam : De Bierkoning
  • Sweden Stockholm : Akkurat
  • Spain – Sant Joan de Mediona : Masia Agullons

Asia:

  • Japan – Tokyo: Embassy of Belgium

I will most definitely be attending the Zwanze Day event at Lord Hobo in Cambridge, Mass. As far as I can tell, you don’t need tickets for any of these events; they’re first come, first serve. I was fortunate enough to find bottles of Cantillon Vigneronne and Saint Lamvinus last week at Novare Res Bier Cafe in Portland, Maine, two fantastic Lambics made with grapes, and I seriously can’t stop thinking about them. And Cantillon Zwanze Day 2012 can’t get here soon enough.

UBN

Tagged , , , , , ,

Rare New Beer Alert: Chimay Spéciale Cent Cinquante

Chimay Spéciale Cent Cinquante

In early August, Belgian Trappist brewer Chimay announced its 150th anniversary beer, called Spéciale Cent Cinquante, which (roughly) means “special 150” in French. Chimay’s Spéciale Cent Cinquante is a pale, Belgian strong ale, and it looks like it’s hitting U.S. store shelves now—albeit in very small quantities and only in certain states.

Chimay reportedly only brewed 12,500 cases of this special anniversary Belgian ale, and the United States will only see 2,500 of them, according to a press release from Hunterdon Distributors, which sold its allotment of 500 bottles in a single week.

Chimay Spéciale Cent Cinquante will be available in Virginia, Florida, California, Kansas, New York, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico, according to Hunterdon, but it seems likely other distributors will ship the beer to additional U.S. states.

So beer nerds should be on the lookout for this rare, new limited-edition brew, which will never be made again. I’m a big fan of Chimay, and I’ll definitely do everything I can to get my hands on the Spéciale Cent Cinquante ale. If you find a bottle, buy it immediately—and then promptly send it me. Please. (Hunterdon also says Chimay will release another special anniversary Chimay Vintage Grand Réserve later this year, but I couldn’t find any specific details about that ale.)

More about Spéciale Cent Cinquante, from Chimay:

“This special edition is a full bodied and distinctive strong beer developed within the abbey to celebrate and honour the 150th anniversary of the brewery. Produced with 100% natural ingredients, its pale golden robe and champagne sparkle is topped by a rich white head of foam. The distinctive bouquet evokes the rich fruity and complex notes of the Chimay yeast in harmony with a delicate spicy note and the fragrance of fresh noble hops. At 10% alcohol, the flavour is full bodied and complex with a slight but refreshing tang note and a crisp hop finish that will delight the palate.”

UBN

Tagged , , , ,

Barfly’s View: The Publick House in Brookline, MA

The Publick House in Brookline, MA

A couple of weeks ago I posted a Barfly’s View from my favorite Boston-area beer bar, the Publick House in Brookline, Mass.’s Washington Square. In that post, I spotlighted one of my favorite things about the bar: The cool green-marble taps in the Publick House’s Monk’s Cell, where they pour only Belgian beers.

I stopped by the Publick House yesterday for a draft Gueuze Tilquin and some chicken-and-garlic mac and cheese, and I snapped this new Barfly’s View. If you’re ever in the Boston area and you’re looking for a beer-nerd hangout spot, the Publick House’s 36 taps and 100+ bottles will not disappoint, which is why it sits atop my list of the best Boston beer bars.

UBN

Tagged , , , , ,

Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend Review

Brouwerij Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend

What’s better than a nice, aged lambic? Why, a blend of four lambics of different ages, of course. Geuze beers are traditionally unfiltered, unpasteurized blends of one-year, two-year and three-year-old lambics that are bottle conditioned for at least a year, but Belgian brewer Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen‘s Oude Geuze Golden Blend is unique because it’s equal parts one-year, two-year, three-year and four-year old oak-aged lambic.

Oude Geuze Golden Blend is a special creation from Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen’s master lambic blender Armand Debelder, and it is a one-time limited release. As such, it’s quite rare because relatively little of the beer was made.

My 12.7 FL OZ bottle cost me $32—it’s certainly not cheap—and it has been sitting on my shelf for a while now. It was bottled on February 17, 2011. And it has an ABV of 6%. Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen says its Oude Geuze Golden Blend will age well for as long as ten years. But I couldn’t wait another day.

When I opened the bottle its cork nearly took my eye out; it rocketed out of the bottle’s stem as soon as I removed its decorative foil and untwisted the cork cover. I quickly poured the geuze into a small goblet to avoid spillage, and it instantly formed a frothy, bubbly head, like Champagne. It’s darker than I expected, with a tanish, dark-sand color. Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend has a sweet, tangy-and-sour aroma and a funky, musky body. It’s very tart with a mild sour-acidic taste and a surprisingly bitter aftertaste. The aftertaste sort of rubbed me the wrong way at first, because it was unexpected, but it grew on me as I drank the brew.

Before drinking Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend, my favorite geuze was Boon’s Geuze Mariage Parfait. The Golden Blend is a bit more complex, but I think I still prefer Boon’s Geuze Mariage Parfait.

Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend gets a 7/10 rating on the Urban Beer Nerd scale. (It has an impressive rating of 95/100 on BeerAdvocate.com based on 46 user reviews at the time of posting.)

UBN

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements