Once a year, Brasserie Cantillon orchestrate a worldwide event featuring a beer made specifically for a few select accounts around the globe for a simultaneous toast of this fleeting beer. This magical fun day is known as Zwanze, a word that refers to a sarcastic style of humor, often noted in the specialty beer’s playful nature and ingredients.
This year’s Zwanze Day beer is a blend of two year old Lambic with a Congolese Black Pepper called poivre de Gorilles. Aromatic, but not too spicy, this blends perfectly with the acidity of the lambic for a beer that pairs perfectly with meat or fish. The name poivre de Gorilles comes from the area where it grows, in Likouala Forest, located in the northeastern region of the Republic of the Congo. This forest is home to a significant population of Lowland gorillas – a species in danger of extinction. Brasserie Cantillon will be donating a portion of Zwanze 2022 profits to (https://www.gorilla.fr/), an organization that works to protect these great apes. Here at DeCicco’s we will be donating 100% of our 2022 Zwanze keg sales to this incredible organization.
Due to the limited amount of Zwanze beer, we will be offering tickets to guarantee you a pour. Tickets for Zwanze pours will be capped at 120. You will not need a Zwanze ticket for admittance, just for a pour of Zwanze 2022.
There are some things in life that are so inherently tied to a sense of place that it would be inexcusable to think of them in any other context. The champagnes of Northeastern France, the barbecue of the American South, and the heavily peated Scotch of Islay are all prime examples. Perhaps none as tethered to locale as the lambics of Belgium’s Zenne Valley in the immediate area around Brussels. You see, these spontaneously fermented beers are so dependent on the location that the very buildings that house them dictate their fermented journey.
Whereas most traditional beer is inoculated with a cultivated brewer’s yeast to achieve fermentation and transform sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide, spontaneously fermented beers rely on the microbes native to a specific location. The wild yeast and bacteria in the air and immediate surroundings give lambics their distinct flavors and characteristics upon fermentation. Although there is certainly some overlap of tastes between lambic producers around Brussels, there is one house that stands above all the rest, revered for its uncompromising quality and rich tradition – Brasserie Cantillon.
Cantillon has been in existence since 1900 and remains a family affair with fourth-generation brewer Jean-Pierre Van Roy at the helm. In the brewery’s 120 plus years, very little has changed – a testament to sticking with perfection! Cantillon has become the benchmark of the lambic style, producing gueuze (a blend of old and young lambics), fruited versions of their lambics, as well as other variations blended with spices, herbs, and flowers. This is no small feat considering that all Van Roy’s creations begin fermentation in a wide-open vat in the brewery’s attic called a coolship. After chilling overnight, they are aged in oak or chestnut barrels for a year to several years, blended to taste, bottled, and then conditioned in bottle for a year before release. It is an arduous journey from raw beer ingredients to finished bottle, but Cantillon’s unyielding commitment to this tradition is the reason they are legendary.
The brewery’s house flavor is shaped by so many decades of process in the same exact location. The hot liquid of a freshly brewed batch of beer is laid to rest in the coolship where the steam billows up to the roof and wooden rafters surrounding the vat. These fixtures contain all the mojo of thousands of beers before. It is, at its very core, the product of its own environment. Every beer being shaped by those that came before, a family tradition of fermentables. All the majestic microbes are already in place to ensure a successful wild inoculation and fermentation. Upon walking into Brasserie Cantillon, the presence of these elements permeates the air, there is no doubt this is exactly where these magical elixirs are produced because, quite frankly, they could not exist anywhere else. The other dominant quality that is ever-present in the brewery is the Van Roy family’s commitment to this historic beer style, their ancestor’s traditions, and an undying gratitude to their patrons. Jean and his family are often busy at work conducting tours and selling bottles when they are not blending, bottling, and labeling. They make you feel at home in this hallowed house of beer.
Once a year, Jean Van Roy and his family orchestrate a worldwide event featuring a beer made specifically for select accounts around the globe for a simultaneous toast of this fleeting beer. This magical day is known as Zwanze, a word that refers to a sarcastic style of humor, often noted in the specialty beer’s playful nature and ingredients. Now more than ever, we need a time and place to stop and reflect. To come together with exuberant camaraderie, to raise a glass high above our troubles in the name of the greater good. We are in this life collectively, arm in arm, to overcome all obstacles together. So, take a moment to stop and smell the lambic!!!
Location: 266 Route 202, Somers, New York 10589
Doors Open at 11:00am
We will be opening doors at 11am with 2 Cantillon beers on tap when we open. We will be tapping another Cantillon beer every hour on the hour leading up to the world wide toast of Zwanze 2022 at 3PM.
We would like to thank the entire Van Roy/Cantillon family as well as the teams from Lime Ventures and Shelton Brothers for inviting us to bring this day to our guests. Of course, we also couldn’t have done without our many customers over the last 30+ years who have embraced craft beer with us! Thank You!
Below is the list of Cantillon kegs and the times we will be tapping each one.
We are incredibly honored and excited to announce that we will be hosting Zwanze Day this year at our Somers location.
Zwanze Day 2022 T-Shirts (pictured here) and very limited Zwanze safari shirts (not pictured) will be available for sale at the event. Shirts are not included with the purchase of a ticket and must be purchased at the event.
Food will also be available for sale during the event!