Zwanze Day, known as Cantillon's Day to celebrate its untraditional lambic, is a beer holiday originating from Belgium c. 2008. The word "zwanze" refers to a sarcastic style of humor and in some dialects translates as "to joke." Appropriately, America decided to make a joke of Zwanze day. Last year, Against the Grain Brewery from Louisville, Kentucky, declared the first Swayze Day. Yes, as in Patrick Swayze.
This year, eight other breweries joined in on Swayze Day festivities, including Jersey's very own Carton Brewing Company. The challenge was for each brewery to create it's own version of Dalton's Kriek, which was inspired by the "Roadhouse" character, James Dalton. Only 4 venues carried the special Swayze Day brew from Carton: The Blind Tiger Ale House (NYC), Bru Craft & Wurst (Philly), The Chubby Pickle (Highlands, NJ), and The Dog & Cask (Rochelle Park, NJ). I went to the Dog & Cask to meet my good friend, Brian Casse from idrinkgoodbeer.com. We enjoyed some nice beer chat with Dennis, brewer from Carton, over some good beer.
Carton's Dalton's Kriek was originally brewed to be a stout, but after the Swayze Day call, Carton was in need of a lambic-like beer. And so, they infused the stout with 18 pounds of Italian Amarena cherries and aged it in pinot noir barrels. The result? Deliciousness.
Sadly, we were limited to one Dalton's Kriek each. It was a very dark brown, served with nearly no head and very low carbonation. It had a medium heavy chocolatey body, which thinned towards the end into a drier, red wine finish. A light cherry tartness was present and added a bridging aspect between the chocolate and red wine, making a more complex and satisfying beer. Overall, I enjoyed Carton's Dalton Kriek very much. I cannot wait to see what they come up with next year. And their Swayze Day 2015 shirts were pretty neat-o as well!
Check back for my next post: Garden State Brew Fest.
Until then, hoppy drinking!
- One Hoppy Lady