First off, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Chris (seeswo) and I am a new contributor to this blog. I am a relatively new transplant to the Cincinnati area, coming from Wisconsin. I’ve been enjoying craft beer for many years, but become a bit of a nerd about it over the last 2-3. This comes with a substantial cellar and an organizational problem, but I like to call these “good problems”. My favorite styles are IPAs and anything in a barrel (sours, stouts, etc.), but I’ll give anything a go once. I’ve been moving from the lighter fare a bit heavier as the weather has turned, but, I guess I had one last sour day in me.
Decided to take the plunge and head on down with a few buddies to Zwanze Day at the Holy Grale in Louisville, KY. For those unfamiliar, the short story is that Cantillon makes good sour beers. They make a different beer around every year called Zwanze, but weren’t particularly happy that people on eBay were selling off those bottles for a lot of coin. So Zwanze day was a way to control this by only releasing the beer at select locations on a particular day. Enter Zwanze Day 2012. This batch was a rhubard soaked lambic.
Before we get to that, however, if you saw the people up front, waiting 1.5 hours to get started and operating a propane grill, that was us. So, how were the festivities and the guest of honor? The boar bacon, avocado swiss and egg sandwiches were great. But, really, Zwanze 2012 was fine. Tasted and smelled exactly like it sounded – like rhubarb soaked lambic. Everything else around it was fantastic. Beautiful day today to sit outside and enjoy pours of Cantillon Kriek, Fou Foune, St. Gilloise, Gueuze, Lou Pepe Framboise; Struise Rio Reserva and Against the Grain Bo and Luke amongst others. The latter two really stood out as solid beers that I would love to drink again. All of the Cantillon was excellent as expected. Pours were expensive, but doable for what they were. Generally, Holy Grale is a fantastic location with delicious food and excellent service. The pretzel bread with beer cheese, frities with spicy ‘samurai’ sauce and duck confit tacos made me a happy man. Altogether, it was an event and a locale that really delivered.
I can definitely recommend a return trip and suggest people join me for Zwanze Day 2013!