It’s already nearly time for Cantillon’s Zwanze Day 2013 and N. Portland’s The Hop & Vine is the only venue in Portland selected to host this very special event. This September 14th, The Hop & Vine is honored to host the Oregon tapping of this worldwide simultaneous beer event from cult favorite, Brussels’Cantillon.
To ensure orderly, comfortable access to this rare beer, The Hop & Vine will sell tickets in advance at www.thehopandvine.com. Tickets will go on sale Sunday, September 1st at noon. There will be 175 tickets.A $28 dollar ticket will provide entry to one of four 90-minute sessions, a Cantillon glass, a pour of Zwanze + one additional Cantillon beer on draft, and post-session access to glass pours of bottled Cantillon. The event will be cash only for the day to keep service moving quickly.
The taplist will be overtaken by sours from near and far, and although the list is still TBD, The Hop & Vine will be rifling through the import lists, calling in favors from local sour brewers, and digging through its own reserves of special kegs to offer heavy hitters from the old world, the new world, and the weird world of cult sours. In addition, Chef Sam J. Reed will provide an special eclectic food menu for the day.
More than a beer, Zwanze is a global event in the beer community. By sending the beer to a select few locations (only 46 worldwide, with 22 in the US) and tapping it simultaneously, Cantillon ensures that when you sip from a glass of Zwanze, you are in good company – sharing the moment with a true worldwide community. Scores of good, beer-drinking comrades around the world will raise a glass to one another across thousands of miles.
Zwanze itself is a different beer every year. This year’s is a mash-up of a “traditional” “Abbey Ale” and a sour lambic beer. “Zwanze” is a peculiar Flemish word referring to a dryly sarcastic, cutting, but ultimately good-natured joke. This year, it appears that Jean Van Roy, fourth-generation brewer and owner of Cantillon, is taking that literally, using the beer to poke fun at the new Belgian brewing tradition of trading on older Belgian traditions. He’s calling the beer an Abbey Ale, claiming to have discovered ruins of an ancient abbey underneath his brewery, and evidence of beer recipes from a “Father Faro.” On the event’s website, he more or less spills the beans:
Nobody knows if the Abbey of Cureghem ever actually existed, and some people think it’s a direct product of the zwanze-imbibed imagination of the team at Cantillon. On the other hand, others are still digging to try and uncover all the secrets of Father Faro…
So whether or not Van Roy is pulling everyone’s leg about the Abbaye de Cureghem (the alternate name for this year’s Zwanze), the mood is set: this is serious beer brewed by people who don’t take themselves too seriously. Like all beer, it’s for sharing – sharing with the whole world.