Saturday, September 20, 2014, marks the highly anticipated release of this year’s Cantillon Zwanze. Arguably the most anticipated release in the World of beer, Zwanze is ONLY available on tap at select locations worldwide. We at Armsby Abbey are elated to again be hand-picked by Cantillon’s Jean van Roy as one of only 23 locations in the USA (55 locations worldwide) to pour Zwanze 2014.
Zwanze 2014 will be simul-tapped WORLDWIDE at 3PM EST. We will be opening the doors of Armsby Abbey at 10AM per usual offering a limited Brunch menu until 3PM (our regular menu will also be offered), but again, we would like to reiterate that Zwanze will NOT be tapped until 3PM EST. There are no tickets for this event; as always, this event is first come first served. There has always been enough Zwanze for everyone in attendance in the last 2 years where we ran the same event format thus we anticipate this being no different. As we must maintain seating for our regular brunch customers, seating for Zwanze will not be available before 1PM. If you arrive prior, you may grab a seat at the bar or on the patio and give your name for a Zwanze seat/table of which will be communal to maximize seating as the day progresses. If you are looking to take in brunch and hang out until PM for Zwanze you may do so beginning at Noon; again to preserve seating for our regular clientele.
Our full draft list can be viewed below; in the mean time, here is a letter from Jean Van Roy regarding this years Zwanze…
Dear Zwanze enthusiasts,
Some of you have already had the opportunity to taste Iris Grand Cru aged 3 years in a 400-litre cask. This product was sold without having been blended with a younger beer and so there was no possibility of secondary fermentation. As a result, Iris Grand Cru is a non-sparkling beer and it is meant to be drunk like cereal wine. Without cold hopping, its fragrances tend more towards the characteristic acidity of a spontaneous fermentation product associated with a slight caramel taste.
In other news, my eldest son, Florian, turned 18 on 3 May. To duly celebrate his transition to adulthood, and as the worthy son of a lambic brewer, Flo received a rather original birthday gift: an entire cask filled with “Cuvée Florian”.
Admittedly, finding the name was easy, but it was another matter to come up with the actual beer we were going to produce on this occasion. When I first tasted the Iris Grand Cru, I immediately thought that adding a touch of fruitiness to the caramel accent could be very complementary. And since my son’s favourite beer is kriek, I based myself on a mix of these two products to create his birthday present.
As my goal was not to create some kind of kriek clone, I reduced the amount of fruit by 40% in this blend with the Iris Grand Cru. After all, the core idea was to contribute fruitiness and mellowness to the base beer, not recreate a beer that tasted like sour cherries. Although cold-hopping with the same quantities used for “traditional” Iris would probably have masked the blend’s very subtle fragrances, I still wanted to add a touch of bitterness to this birthday present and decided to opt for a small dose of superb and very delicate Bramling Cross hops. The linger on the palate is very complex while the fruity fragrances of the hops play a subtle role without throwing off balance the beer’s range of flavours and bouquet.
For this Zwanze 2014 I had originally planned on using the spontaneous fermentation stout brewed at the beginning of 2013, but despite the fact that this beer is already very good I have the feeling that another year of maturing in a cask will give it more delicateness and character. In light of this we needed another beer to replace our “wild” stout so as to be able to organise our Zwanze Day, and as you will undoubtedly have understood by now, the success of “Cuvée Florian” meant that it did not take very long for us to make a decision.
I did ask the kid if he was OK with me making a new version of his birthday present, and since this was not a problem for him, it was only logical to call this Zwanze 2014 “Cuvée Florian”!
Happy birthday, son!
Jean Van Roy
Lambic Brewer and Blender
September 20, 2014
Allagash Helles Brau Lager
Ballastpoint Sculpin IPA
The Bruery Autumn Maple
The Bruery Oude Tart
Cantillon Zwanze (worldwide simultap 3PM EST)
Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee
Firestone Walker Double DBA
Founders Imperial Stout
Green Flash Green Bullet
High Horse Business
High Horse Satisfaction
Hill Farmstead Nordic Saison
Jolly Pumpkin Fuego Del Otono
Lost Abbey Brandy Barrel-aged Angel Share
Maine Beer Co. Lunch
Maine Beer Co. Weez
Pretty Things Baby Tree
Trillium Congress Street
Trillium Fort Point
With the exception of Zwanze, the 21 other drafts will be available at open!