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Worldwide event set to showcase Belgian brew

From Monday Mag’s Matter of Beer column

Belgium is well-known for the quality of its beers, and there are a couple of opportunities this month to experience exactly what causes all of those beer fans to rush out whenever a limited supply of unique brews arrives on our shores.

One perfect example of this is Cantillon Zwanze Day. Held at a limited number of venues around the world, this annual event showcases a single unique and experimental brew from Belgium’s Cantillon, one of the top breweries in the world. We’re lucky to have had it hosted by a couple of venues in the past, and this year the honour has gone to Ile Sauvage Brewing in Rock Bay.

This year’s brew, a lambic aged on sea lettuce, which imparts some exotic fruit aromas, a saltiness, and a touch of minerality, will be poured on Apr. 20, with a ticketed event happening from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $49.26, and include the Zwanze beer, three additional Cantillon pours, access to the event-long buffet with vegan and non-vegan options, first access to a special Ile Sauvage brew, and discounted pours of additional Cantillon beers through the day. Somehow, tickets are still available, but not likely for long, so enjoy this opportunity to enjoy this special day since the next closest Canadian venue is in Toronto, and it’s never a guarantee to see another one here on the coast.

If you want to learn more about Belgian beers leading up to the event, Vessel Liquor has you covered. On Apr. 5 at 7 p.m., they are hosting a Tour of Belgium with McClelland Premium Imports. $21 gets you a ticket and a chance to taste a selection of Belgian beers while learning about brewing methods and taste profiles, so you can bring that knowledge to the Zwanze event.

As a final aside, keep an eye out for ticket sales to be announced for the Great Canadian Beer Festival’s 30th anniversary, taking place Sept. 6 and 7 at Royal Athletic Park. It’s going to be a fun celebration of an impressive milestone.

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