Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sour Attitude

Zwanze Day, September 23rd, 2017. So close I can almost taste it. Except that nobody has actually tasted the Zwanze 2017 yet. (I suppose the people at the brewery in Brussels have probably tasted it.) For those of you that don't know, Zwanze Day is a day (duh) where a special Cantillon lambic is poured at some of the top beer bars in the world. "What's that, you ask? Clarify 'the world'?" OK, how about this: 66 places in 18 countries, from the Pacific, throughout Europe and Scandinavia, all the way to the US, including Hawaii. It literally wraps around the world, and it is all about the greatest lambic producer in the world, Cantillon.

"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.

That is all I have for you right now folks. Have a great weekend, and be sure to drink a lot of beer.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Liberating Experience

This ought to be fun. At least I hope it is. You see, I need a new blog for my new job, but thought maybe I should just resurrect my old one instead. It looks like there are still followers here, and very few of you look to be ill enough in your profile photos to have passed away since I let this thing fizzle out a few years back. So what the hell, let's see if y'all are still out there craving fun stories about beer drinking.

Let's start with the explanation for why Fred's Beer Page fizzled out.

  1. I left Atlanta in late 2013, where pretty much all of my readers live(d). 
  2. My job at the time did not really lead to a lot of fun, crazy beer adventures like my old one did. 
Nobody wanted to hear about me going to work Monday through Friday and sitting behind a desk. Turns out I didn't really want to live that life any more than you wanted to read about it, so I flew the coop. Now I am back in Atlanta, working for a distributor that has the sexiest beer line-up around. It is run by a few of my friends, who asked me to join the party. Joining parties is something I have been known to do, so I did.

Here's the thing about a distributor though: Most of them are pretty much behind the scenes. You go to beer events at bars, in parks, wherever, and the distributor is nowhere to be seen. They dropped off the beer, picked up a check, and split. We are going to do things a little differently. The stuff we sell is higher end, rarer, and a little more exclusive. See the logo? "We deliver the bomb". No kidding. These beers are badass. People need to know that when the Liberator guys roll up, it is a pimp ass event, and you want to be there. So the plan is that we are going to be sure people know when and where the Liberator events are happening. Also, most of these breweries don't have salespeople in the area, so we are it. You think someone from Estonia is in town repping beer? Do you even know where Estonia is? (Go ahead and look. I bet you it's not where you think it is.)

I enabled the comments for this blog now. God help us. Please, if you are a troll or a hater, keep your stupid comments to yourself. If you make me disable the comments, I will make sure everyone else knows who ruined it for them. Remember: beer should be fun. If it's not fun, you're doing it wrong. If you want to comment and say, "I am still here. Don't start a new blog. This one is fine by me.", I would appreciate it. If you want to use the publicity of the comments section to get any other point across, please be aware that nobody cares what you think. They subscribed to this for one reason: beer. Let's stick to the topic at hand, shall we?

It feels good to be back. If you're out there, let me know about it. If not, I hope you are still able to find delicious beers without me. I am sure you can. Cheers.

PS - You can follow Liberator Distributing on Instagram at thebeerbombarbiers. We will be dropping bombs all over Georgia, so get ready. Shit's about to get real.