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Cantillon Zwanze 2010For those into sour beer, Brussels Belgium based Cantillon produces some of the most sought after beers around. Not only do they make great indescribably amazing beer, but due to their limited production their beers can be pretty hard to find out here in San Diego which just adds to the demand. When bottles show up at local shops they typically sellout within hours. Kegs at bars don’t usually last long either.

Sour beers lend themselves nicely to experimentation, and Jean Van Roy, brewer at Cantillon embraces that with (among others) a beer called Zwanze. The beer changes from year to year, but the fact that each Zwanze beer is an experiment it what ties them together. In previous years the majority of Zwanze was bottled, but this year the majority of the beer is going into kegs (Van Roy explains why on the Cantillon website, hint it has to do with E-bay profiteers), all to be tapped the same day (Sept 17th) at 21 different bars around the world.

Lucky for us here in San Diego, Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens is one of only 10 locations in the United States (and only two locations in the Western US to get Zwanze, the other is Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, CA).

With such a rare and sought after beer in such limited supply, the potential for this to be disastrous was huge. Long lines. Line cutting. Blown kegs. Disappointment all around. Thankfully Stone thought it through and is selling tickets before hand, without one you can’t get any Zwanze. For $25 plus a small service charge you get:

  • De la Senne Taras Boulba (8oz)
  • Cantillon Iris (4oz)
  • Cantillon Zwanze 2011 (4oz)
  • Cantillon Zwanze 2010 (4oz)
  • Honey and black peppercorn waffles with blackberry compote and Stone Cali-Belgique IPA-battered fried chicken
Or for $20 you get all of the above except for the 2010 Zwanze.
On the surface it might seem a bit expensive, but 375ml bottles (approximately 3 4oz pours) can retail for around $15, let alone what they sell for on the secondary market. And since Cantillon won’t be letting any bottles out of their brewery, this is pretty much your one shot to get some. Stone hasn’t said how many tickets they’re selling, but this is sure to sell out. If you want to go, don’t wait to buy yours.
Oh, and if you don’t get your fill of sour beer at Zwanze day, this same day Churchill’s Pub and Grille just down the street is holding their 2nd Annual Peter Reeves Memorial Sour Fest.