Tag Archives: lambic

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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Cantillon Blåbær Blueberry Lambic ’13 Bottled Today, Very Limited Distribution

Cantillon Blåbær Blueberry Lambic label

I like Cantillon beers. A lot.

I’m always seeking news ways to obtain the incredibly-rare lambics, and I keep a close eye on the brewery online and in social-media circles.

This morning, Cantillon announced via Facebook that its super-exclusive, you-can’t-fucking-have-any-unless-you-live-in-or-near-Belgium lambic made with blueberries, Cantillon Blåbær, was bottled today. Only a single barrel, or 300 liters, was made. It will be shipped out at the end of June, but Blåbær will only be available at a specialty beer shop in Copenhagen called Ølbutikken. (“Ølbutikken” translates to The Beer Shop.)

Unfortunately, Ølbutikken doesn’t ship beers, but you can contact them and ask them to hold bottles for you if you plan to be in Copenhagen within the next month or so.

I will not be in Copenhagen anytime soon, so I guess Blåbær is going to remain on my Must-Have Beers list for the foreseeable future.

UBN

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Beer Porn: Bottles of Cantillon Zwanze 2013

Bottles of Cantillon Zwanze 2013 in Brussels Belgium

Last week, I posted about Brasserie Cantillon‘s 2014/2015 Zwanze beer, which will very likely be a spontaneously-fermented stout. I’ve been searching for details on the 2013 version of Cantillon’s Zwanze, an annual, limited-release beer that’s different each year, but I haven’t come up with anything. In fact, it seems as though Cantillon and its lead brewer Jean Van Roy are being somewhat secretive about the 2013 Zwanze beer.

The picture above comes from Twitter user Kyle Black (@kylefblack), and it was taken yesterday at the Cantillon brewery in Brussels, Belgium. The image shows bottles of 2013 Zwanze and 2013 gueuze. When Black asked about Zwanze 2013, the Cantillon staff would not share any details. That’s unfortunate, but I’m still glad to see this fine bit of beer porn. It was all but certain that Cantillon has a 2013 Zwanze in the works, and this image seems to confirm it. This Zwanze 2013 appears to have been bottled in October 2012. For more on Zwanze, check out my post from a 2012 Zwanze Day celebration.

Thanks again for sharing, Kyle.

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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Will Work for Cantillon

image

Seriously. What’s a blogger gotta do for a regular supply of Cantillon lambic?

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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Barfly’s View: Cantillon Zwanze Day 2012 at Lord Hobo in Cambridge, MA

Zwanze Day 2012 at Lord Hobo

Yesterday, Saturday, December 1, 2012, was Cantillon Zwanze Day, and beer nerds across the world simultaneously celebrated by toasting this year’s Zwanze lambic at 3 PM ET. (Zwanze 2012 continued to be poured until it ran out, but the official toast was at 3PM.)

I attended the Zwanze Day festivities at Lord Hobo, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a medium-size, dimly lit bar just outside the city’s Kendall Square neighborhood, home of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)—and the Cambridge Brewing Co., my favorite Boston-area brewpub.

Lord Hobo in Cambridge, MA

The 2012 Zwanze lambic, a recreation of the original 2008 Zwanze lambic made with rhubarb, was poured at 3PM, but wise beer nerds arrived at Lord Hobo hours before the pour. I walked through the doors of Lord Hobo and pushed back the thick curtain that covers the bar just after noon, and it was already packed; my girlfriend and I were able to nab two seats at a communal table, but the bar and most of the other tables were full three hours before Zwanze was poured. The staff stopped letting people in around 1:30, and by 3 o’clock a line of 20 or so drinkers were lined up outside—in the snow—along the front of the bar.

Barfly's View Lord Hobo Zwanze Day

Lord Hobo is known for its extensive bottle and draft list, and the staff took it a step further for Zwanze Day, with 9 different Cantillon lambics available in bottles and an extremely-rare, unblended two-year old Cantillon lambic on tap, in addition to countless other rare beers, including the 2003 Anchor Brewing Our Special Ale, a 2005 Dogfish Head Pangea and multiple Hill Farmstead brews in bottle and on draft. I can honestly say that Lord Hobo’s Zwanze Day 2012 beer list was the most impressive list I’ve ever seen.

Cantillon Zwanze Day 2012 Tap List at Lord Hobo

To kill time until the Zwanze 2012 pour, my girl and I sidled up to a few Cantillon bottles (Cantillon’s 2012 Fou’ Foune and 2012 Kriek 100% Lambic), a couple of glasses of the two-year-old unblended lambic and some grub; I got fried chicken and waffles and the chef made a special vegan-friendly dish for the lady. Lord Hobo’s menu is not at all vegan or even vegetarian friendly, but we were pleased to see that both our waiter and the chef were more than willing to whip up a vegan offering. They came up with a fruit/granola dish along with hash and a fried-rice patty thing that was much more than either of us expected. And the service at Lord Hobo, even during the crazy period just before and just after the Zwanze toast, was impeccable.

Cantillon Two-Year-Old Unblended Lambic

Glasses of Two-Year-Old Cantillon Unblended Lambic

Just before 3PM, the owner of the bar stood up on a chair to address all of the anxious beer nerds awaiting the Zwanze. He spoke about how important the Cantillon brewery and its head brewer Jean Van Roy are to him personally and why it was an honor to host Zwanze Day at Lord Hobo. You could feel real passion in the man’s words, and everyone else in the bar fed off of his energy; the noise level in Lord Hobo immediately increased. When the Zwanze was poured and distributed—six ounces each for about 100 people in the bar—and three o’clock came around, everyone raised their glasses in a salute to Lord Hobo and the Van Roy family and yelled out in unison, “Cheers!” It was a special moment, and I am glad to have been a part of it.

Two Glasses of 2012 Cantillon Zwanze lambic

Glasses of Cantillon’s 2102 Zwanze

I visit Lord Hobo relatively frequently, but I’d never been to a Zwanze Day celebration there. The next time I stop by for a brew, which will likely be sooner than later, I’ll picture the barroom filled with excited Cantillon drinkers, all of the tables covered with spent bottles, and I’ll remember that Lord Hobo is not just another beer bar. Lord Hobo is run by people who love beer and brewing as much as I do, and the bar and its staff deserve to be recognized for that.

If you’re ever in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I strongly suggest you make some time for a beer or six at Lord Hobo.

UBN

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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

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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

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Timmerman’s Framboise Lambicus (2012) Review

One of my favorite craft beer styles right now is the lambic. I really like sour beers, and many lambics are quite sour or at least very tart. And many are brewed with fruit.

My latest sour lambic: Timmerman’s Framboise Lambicus (2012). It came in a large “bomber” bottle (1 pint, 9.36 fl. oz.), and it was bottled on May 31, 2012. The price was $12.25, though pricing will vary based on retailer.

Timmerman's Framboise Lambicus in a Goblet

First thing you notice after removing the cork is a very strong raspberry scent that immediately wafts out of the bottle. (Framboise is the French word for raspberry.) I poured the brew very slowly into a small-stemmed goblet, and it settled with medium carbonation and very little head. The color of the beer is a beautiful and vivid deep pinkish-red, and it seems to glow if you hold it up to a light.

The raspberry flavor tastes natural, unlike many framboise lambics or other raspberry flavored beers that taste fake or too sugary.  Some lambics are noticeably acidic. This one isn’t. And that’s a good thing. The brew is also aged in oak, though the associated flavor is rather mild.

Timmerman’s Framboise Lambicus has a low, 4.0ABV, and you really can’t taste any alcohol. In fact, it tastes a lot like a carbonated raspberry juice.

I’m still working a better rating system for the Urban Beer Nerd blog, but right now, I’m using a 10-point system, with 10 points being the best possible rating. I give Timmerman’s Framboise Lambicus a 7/10 rating. (BeerAdvocate.com user rating is 74/100 based on 63 reviews at the time of this post.)

Deep pinkish-red color of Timmerman's Framboise Lambicus

Timmerman’s claims to be the “World’s oldest lambic brewery,” and the Belgian brewery is part of the Anthony Martin “Finest Beer Selection” family of brewers.

Learn more about Timmerman’s Framboise Lambicus or order the beer online from the Anthony Martin website.

UBN

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