Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Jester King and Cantillon vs. Texas

I don't normally plug events outside my region, but this one's supporting an excellent cause: beer freedom. Jester King, in Austin, has locked horns with the Texas ABC before, so it's no surprise that when the TABC thwarted their plans to host Cantillon's "Zwanze Day" release event in September of 2015 (the TABC has rules about what beers can be sold in Texas!), they cried "Bullshit!" and let loose the dogs of beer. They won — naturally! — and will be holding their Zwanze Day next month, and proceeds from the event will go to a fund to reform Texas beer laws. Brilliant. I'm so pleased that I copied the whole press release below (okay, partly it was to use that really cool graphic). Well done, Jester King!

We’re very excited to finally announce the date for “2015” Zwanze Day at Jester King — Thursday, April 14th, 2016 from 6pm to 10pm.

If you’re not familiar, Zwanze Day is the time of year when Brasserie Cantillon simultaneously releases a new, very special beer at dozens of locations around the world. 2015 Zwanze Day happened back on September 19, 2015. Although Jester King had the honor of being a location, we postponed 2015 Zwanze Day (with Cantillon’s blessing) until Cantillon could officially be licensed for sale in Texas. Unfortunately, Texas law makes it very hard to get beer from small breweries into our state. The Texas government sends the message that if you’re not prepared to sell at least 1,000 cases of beer per year in the state, you have no business being here.
Fortunately, due to help and good will from Cantillon, Shelton Brothers ImportersFlood Independent Distribution, and Jester King (if we may say so ourselves), Cantillon is now licensed in Texas! We previously wrote last year about our efforts on this front. As we mentioned, we’re using Zwanze Day as a vehicle to raise money for Texas beer law reform and to make it easier for small, out-of-state breweries to enter our state. 
Half the cost of every ticket ($25) will be donated to the Texas Craft Brewers Guild Legislative Committee and/or Open the Taps. Tickets are $50 and include a 4 oz. pour of 2015 Zwanze (a spontaneously fermented stout), a cheese pairing from Antonellis Cheese Shop, a custom Jester King 2015 Zwanze Day souvenir glass featuring the artwork shown above, and the aforementioned $25 donation. Two-hundred tickets will be available.

Guests will also have the first opportunity to purchase Cantillon bottles and draught legally sold in Texas.We expect to have Cantillon Gueuze and Kriek available for purchase on draught, and bottles of Bruocsella Grand Cru, Kriek, and Gueuze available to go. Due to the small number of Cantillon bottles we will be receiving from Shelton Brothers, customers will be limited to purchasing one bottle of Cantillon (either Bruocsella Grand Cru, Kriek, or Gueuze). We’ll have just enough bottles so that every ticket holder can buy one bottle. Also, we will just apply our standard markup to the Cantillon bottles and draught. No price gouging from us.

We’re hosting a lottery for the 200 tickets. To enter, please follow the link below and enter the requested information, including whether you wish to purchase one or two tickets if your name is selected. Lottery entry will close at midnight on Sunday, April 3rd. We’ll then notify lottery winners by the close of business on Monday, April 4th. Lottery winners will have 48 hours to purchase tickets. If tickets aren’t purchased within 48 hours, we’ll randomly select another entrant to offer the tickets.

You must be 21 or older to enter the lottery. One entry per person. Double entries will be eliminated. You must show up with a valid ID that matches the name on the ticket. Tickets are non-transferrable.

Finally, we’ll be announcing a few surprises for Zwanze Day in the coming days, which will include some special beer releases and special guests. We’ll also be allowing a bottle share for ticket holders at Zwanze Day again this year. We’re excited the long wait to have Cantillon in Texas is over and that “2015” Zwanze Day is finally here!

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