The annual Zwanze Day is nearly upon us, with Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia joining 44 other bars around the globe in this international event organized by Belgium's one and only Brasserie Cantillon. Each year sees the legendary Belgian lambic producer creating a one-off beer, available in limited quantities (usually draft only) and simultaneously tapped at hand-selected bars around the globe.
This year's Zwanze beer sees brewmaster Jean Van Roy departing from the traditional lambics he usually brews, opting instead for an Abbey Double. After fermenting for 4 weeks in stainless steel, the brew was blended with 10% lambic, then transferred into 400-liter oak barrels to mature for 6 months. Check out the full story here.
Monk's Cafe will be just one of 22 bars in America to receive Zwanze 2013, and has opted (as they usually do) to turn this into a charity event with 100% of the profits going to Sutter Breast Care Center. The event is CASH ONLY and kicks off at noon, with Zwanze 2013 tapping at 3pm to coincide with bars everywhere from Stockholm to San Francisco. Also be on the lookout for special t-shirts and glassware - it will go fast.
Now for the juicy part we've all been waiting for - the taplist! All selections are subject to change, but these are the current selections and descriptions from owner Tom Peters at Monk's. See you there!
The following will be $5 per 6 ounce serving:
Allagash Smoke & Beards (ME) - A collaboration with Menno Olivier of Browerij DeMolen (Netherlands). A smoked tripel. Sounds yummy! 8.5%
Allagash PNC Broken Elevator (ME) - I made with Jason Perkins and my PNC mates from Falling Rock in Denver, Toronado in San Francisco, and Brouwer's Café in Seattle. This has been aged in wood barrels since May 2010. I flew up the Portland, ME on April 17th, 2013 to help select which barrels to use for the final blend.
Brasserie des Franches Montagnes Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien (Switzerland) - This is a crazy beer which blurs the line between beer & port. Each year Jerome Rebetowitz makes this one slightly differently by selecting different wine/spirit barrels for aging. 11%
Bullfrog Jong Bruin (Willamsport, PA) - Flanders-style sour brown ale aged with wild yeasts and steeped with sour cherries. 7%
Bullfrog Jong Bruin Druiven (Willamsport, PA) - Flanders-style sour brown ale aged with wild yeasts and steeped with Merlot Grapes. 7%
DeMolen Rook & Leer (Netherlands) - Collabortaion with Tom Peters. Deeply smoky Imperial Stout aged in Lagavulin barrels for 2 years with brettanomyces. Sour, smoked Imperial Stout. Not for everyone, but we love it! 11.5%
Evil Twin Femme Fatale Brett (NC) - An IPA fermented with only Brettanomyces, no traditional saccharomyces yeast was used. 4.8%
Firestone Walker PNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout (CA) - David Walker was kind enough to let our PNC band of miscreants to invade his brewery to make this one. It's another PNC beer with the same cast of characters with the addition of Apex in Portland, OR and Toronado in San Diego. Massive imperial stout, which had a bit of buckwheat in the mash, aged in fresh-from-the-distillery tequila barrels. 13.7%
Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca (MI) - Belgian influenced Wit with the requisite orange peel and coriander, but this was aged in wood for a nice tart finish. 4.8%
Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam (MI) - Farmhouse hefeweizen fermented with brettanomyces and other souring cultures. Aromas of banana, clove and nutmeg with a sour tinge. 4.5%
Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale (Belgium) - That’s right, our own private label brewed for us just outside Ghent, Belgium. Medium body, red color, fruity nose, malt flavor with a acetic & lactic sourness. A real thirst quencher.
Oxbow Farmhouse Pale Ale (ME) - Local boy makes a splash in beer-world. Mike Fava, formerly of Nodding Head, moved to Maine to help brew at a true, farmhouse brewery. They make amazing ales. American hops meet saison yeast in this dry, signature ale. 6%
Oxbow Loretta (ME) - a grisette, rustic in character and brewed w/spelt 4%
Oxbow OG Deluxe (ME) - Biere de Garde brewed with Brian of Stillwater. 8%
Russian River Supplication (CA) - Brown ale aged in french oak pinot noir barrels for different periods of time. Vinnie then blends these barrels into this magic elixir. He adds fresh sour cherries and three “wild” yeast strains: brettanomyces, lactobacillus and pediococcus. This is one of my all-time favorite beers. 7.2%
The following will be $10 per 6 ounce serving:
Cantillon Kriek - Fresh sour cherries are added to a two-summer old lambic (about a year and a half to two years old). The cherries are the wild Schaarbeeks variety, they are not from a cherry orchard.. Many lambic producers purchase cherries from Poland or use concentrate...not Cantillon. The cherries are added whole - pits, stems and all, and steep in the lambic for four to five months. The acidity of the lambic begins to dissolve even the pits.
Cantillon Vigneronne - Fermented with Italian white muscat grapes. The grape aroma and taste are subtle, but are definitely there. Always a small production of this gem.
Cantillon Iris - A unique lambic. It is made from 100% malted barley & with fresh (not aged) Hallertau hops. this batch was not dry hopped as is their usual method.
Russian River Pliny the Elder (CA) - You know what it is. 8% (PINT serving)
Tilquin Oude Gueuze (Belgium) - Pierre Tilquin is Belgium’s newest lambic blender. Great balance to this oaky, sour Gueuze. 6%