One of the more intriguing traits of the craft beer industry is its ever-expanding capacity for self-promotion. As an outsider in the world of television and other mainstream advertising, the small, artful brewer must find new and exciting ways to generate interest in their beer. Sure you have your somewhat arbitrary, but completely awesome “holidays”, like IPA Day or International Stout Day. And your more general celebrations, such as American Craft Beer Week and the growing number of regional brewfests. But, outside of your local homebrew club or beer geek community, it can often be difficult to learn the latest news… What are the big beer events in the near future? Any new breweries opening soon? How about any interesting brews coming out in the next month or so?
We beer bloggers do a pretty good job of informing people of these facts, but you have to develop an audience – which is our job – and then you need something to report – which places things right back in the hands of the brewers. Thankfully, we have quite a few enterprising organizations that give us the good stuff. Like the crew at Cantillon, the renowned Belgian lambic house, with this Saturday’s properly-hyped celebration known simply as: Zwanze Day.
Each year, the talented artisans at Cantillon brew a special concoction for limited release around the world. The resulting lambic, called Zwanze, is different each time, and first offered in a small number of locations worldwide… only 35 establishments have been gifted with this beer for Zwanze Day 2012. Fortunately for us in New Orleans, one of the 16 bars chosen in the entire United States is our own Avenue Pub!
For fans of Cantillon, and the complex sour beers known as lambic or gueuze, this day has been circled on the calendar for a while. And this Saturday, December 1st at 2pm, you can witness an impressive gathering of these folks at The Avenue Pub for an outstanding selection of Belgian and Belgian-style brews, in addition to the much-lauded Zwanze. You can bet your bottom that I’ll be there to get my hands (and lips) on this nectar. Only one keg is to be tapped, so (as I mentioned above) this release is VERY limited. Still, it’s quite a special occasion, and a great “get” for us beer geeks!
Basically what I’m saying here can be summed up thusly: sours are awesome, The Avenue Pub is a rock star in the beer world, and we need more amazing brews like this in New Orleans. Oh, and there can NEVER be too many good beer events in this city. If we keep getting this kind of recognition, maybe one day we can turn NOLA into a real beer town. When that happens, the first round’s on me…
See you then, my friends!