"But I can get the beer later if I want it, right?"
No. It will all be gone on one day.
"But surely you mean that just the draft will be gone. I can go down to the store and get a bottle next week, right?"
No. Apparently you don't know very much about Cantillon, my friend. And don't call me Shirley. Bottles are even more scarce than draft. Plus, if a brewery is going to do an international event on a single day across the globe with a coordinated toast from the brewmaster himself, they better have a damn special beer to generate that much hype. Cantillon Zwanze is that beer.
Stateside, the beer will be available in just 28 places across 19 states and the District of Columbia. So yeah, the beer is rare. One keg per location. If you live in one of the 30 states not getting this beer...bummer. Actually, don't feel bad. This is the first year that Georgia has ever had a Zwanze Day, and Atlanta is a pretty major metropolitan area. Maybe our beer scene has finally made the big time. Maybe who really cares why, let's just enjoy it.
So how do you get to be a part of Zwanze Day 2017? It's easy (not really). Just be one out of 100 people to get to The Porter Beer Bar early enough to claim your Zwanze ticket. However, if you are just now getting your plans together to be a part of the festivities, be advised that people--a lot of people--are going to line up early to ensure they get in the door. In addition to the single keg of Zwanze 2017, there is a tremendous lineup of Cantillon (and other beers) available that day. Need the details? Click here. Suffice it to say that most of us are going to make an entire day out of it, antacids will be needed after all that sour beer, and Uber is going to be busy this Saturday.
So what is Zwanze the beer? Well, each year it is different, and getting something "different" from a brewery that is so deeply steeped in tradition as Cantillon is pretty damn exciting. But in addition to that, each year's Zwanze is very unique and, well, can be a little odd. This year, for example, it is a blended lambic with Oolong tea leaves added. Apparently the brewmaster's son just turned 18, and to commemorate that he got to contribute some ideas as to what direction to take this year's brew. That means that Zwanze Day 2017 is the only chance to taste a one-of-a-kind lambic from the world's king of lambic producers, using an ingredient that is very much outside the canon of lambic traditions. In addition, the beer is clearly dear to the heart of its maker, with his son, Sylvain, being invited to take part. Apparently he likes tea quite a bit. Based on the label artwork, we can guess what kind of TV the young man likes to watch as well. If an Oolong tea lambic sounds gross to you, well, again, you don't know very much about Cantillon. They know what they're doing. Beer lovers around the world have 09/23/2017 on their calendars for a reason (or 23/09/2017 if you live anywhere but the US).
If you need more info on other beer happenings around the metro Atlanta area this weekend, I recommend you poke around and find some Tired Hands kegs out there. These are also a rarity, especially in Atlanta, and no one knows when we will see this beer in Atlanta again. Fingers crossed that it's soon. Kegs went to Argosy, Brick Store, Leon's, Midway, and Square Pub this week. They will know when those kegs are getting taped. Might be gone already, might be pouring as we speak for all I know.
In addition, start looking for Hourglass Brewing out there. This Florida brewery has some outstanding stuff that's worth seeking out. Saison du Sablier is my favorite, but that's just me. Everything they make is top-notch.