Belgium’s Brasserie-Brouwerij Cantillon's international Zwanze Day is Saturday, Oct. 1, and The Avenue Pub
(1732 St. Charles Ave., 504-586-9243; www.theavenuepub.com
) is again one of 60 bars in the world chosen to tap the beer simultaneously at 7 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (2 p.m. CST).
The ingredients in the spontaneously fermented lambic style Zwanze change every year. Brewer Jean Van Roy announced
this year's beer is a throwback combination: a blend of 82 percent raspberries, 18 percent blueberries and .05 percent bourbon vanilla beans. The beer is aged two years before release.
The tapping of the beer is at 2 p.m., but Avenue Pub owner Polly Watts says bar staff will start taking names at 9 a.m. for those interested in buying tickets to sample the beer. Customers can purchase tickets for pours of Zwanze and other Cantillon and rare lambic-style beers. To keep their place on the list to buy tickets, patrons are expected to stay at The Avenue Pub. Nathanial Zimet will serve Belgian-inspired breakfast fare and brunch items from his Purple Truck beginning at 9 a.m. The bar also will offer many sour beers from Belgium and the U.S., including brews from Gueuzerie Tilquin, Brasserie Trois Dames, Brasserie Dieu de Ciel, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and others.
Cantillon beers include Gueuze, Kriek, Iris and Fou’ Foune, an apricot lambic, which will be tapped on Friday afternoon or early evening. NOLA Brewing Company will send several special kegs of beer from its sour program, such as House of the Rising
made with mayhaws and strawberries, and an experimental American-style sour beer brewed with cantaloupe, called Wharf Series No. 3.
“There’s only so much of Zwanze,” Watts says.
But the bar will serve other other high quality sour beers and lambics between Sept. 30 and Oct.2.
“The key is to look at the entire weekend and the draft list as a whole,” Watts adds.