Trillium will Pour Limited Edition Cantillon Beer on Zwanze Day

Armsby Abbey and other New England sites are also official hosts of the legendary Belgian brewery's annual celebration, coming up October 1.

Trillium / Cantillon Zwanze Day

Image provided by Trillium Brewing Company

UPDATE, September 8: Tickets to Trillium’s Zwanze Day go on sale Friday, September 9.

UPDATE, August 11: A small-but-mighty craft beer bar in Greenfield, Mass., will also host Zwanze Day this year. Seymour, the Pub—yes, that’s what it’s called—is taking the torch from Hill Farmstead, which has to cancel its Zwanze Day party this year, Cantillon announced over the weekend. Seymour, a sister bar to Northampton’s lauded Dirty Truth, will host a few ticketed sessions on October 1, with more details coming later this month.


When it’s time to tap this year’s installment of the Cantillon Zwanze series—a super-limited lambic from the legendary Belgian brewery—on October 1, an industrial park in Canton is the place to be. Trillium Brewing is one of a few dozen breweries and bars around the world chosen as an official Zwanze Day host this year.

Worcester’s venerable Armsby Abbey and Portland destination Novare Res Bier Cafe are also Zwanze Day sites again this year. (See update, above.)

Shelton Brothers, the Western Mass.-based boutique importer, coordinates U.S. distribution of Cantillon’s products, and the brothers asked co-owners JC and Esther Tetreault if they would like to host the annual celebration of sour. But they were waiting for Cantillon’s Jean Van Roy to announce the lineup himself. That finally happened yesterday, after a month or two of “jumping up and down behind closed doors” by the Trillium team, Esther Tetreault says.

Not much has changed at Brasserie Cantillon since it was founded in 1900, except that American beer fans have developed even more of a taste for its signature, tart lambics. Cantillon is one of the Trillium team’s favorite breweries, collectively, Tetreault says—they even have a custom strain of yeast built from the Belgian brewery’s go-to.

It’s been a busy year for Trillium. The 3-year-old prodigy brewing company expanded from Fort Point into a huge new facility in Canton with space for a taproom and about 10 times more beer. Trillium also started canning, and has teamed up with breweries including Evil Twin and Other Half on limited release collaborations. In March, JC and Esther visited Belgium to brew with De Prouf, and while they were there, they stopped in at Cantillon.

“We were so excited to be there, and to then get asked, just months later, to be one of a few select hosts in the world for this unbelievable event,” Esther says.

Zwanze Day started in 2011, though it stems from the Zwanze series by the fourth generation Cantillon brewer: Van Roy has released a different, spontaneously fermented lambic every year since 2008. The name refers to a word for a certain sarcastic sense of humor in Belgium, and it reflects the experimental nature of the brews. The event not only features the special release, but also a coordinated, worldwide toast to celebrate it. The Trillium team participated last year at Armsby Abbey, Tetreault says.

“It makes the beer community feel both small and in touch, but you still have an appreciation for how global and massive it is,” she says.

This year’s Zwanze beer is called Framboise, made with a hefty inclusion of raspberries, some blueberries, and a touch of vanilla. In addition to Framboise, Trillium (as well as the other host sites) will have other Cantillon specials on offer, as well as limited releases brewed in-house. Stay tuned to Trillium’s social media for more details as the event draws closer.

And maybe, think about getting in line pretty soon.

Zwanze Day 2016, Saturday, October 1, 1-5 p.m., Trillium Brewing Company, 110 Shawmut Rd., Canton, 617-453-8745,