Zwanze Day @ WLV

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by jnrjr79, Aug 28, 2013.

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  1. BrianBo

    BrianBo Initiate (0) Feb 2, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    It would be great if they paired up with a place that was huge like Revolution on Kedzie.
    Anonymous1 likes this.
  2. marcgo2

    marcgo2 Initiate (71) Nov 16, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Where are the pics of this mess?
  3. PlayaPlaya

    PlayaPlaya Aspirant (202) Sep 19, 2012 Illinois

    Who would think that a large crowd could form in Chicago? It never ceases to amaze me when these events fail to plan for a large gathering of people. This is the 3rd largest city in the U.S.; we have arguably one of the top 2 or 3 beer scenes in the country, craft beer is bigger than it has ever been, and yet these beer events act like "Well, hopefully we get 50 people to show up" And then they are all surprised when many hundreds of people show up.
  4. quinnsi

    quinnsi Aspirant (239) Nov 22, 2008 Illinois

    I guess what I was saying was more "Realize this is at a liquor store, not a brewery or beer hall and thus expect crowds and lines." their plans accordingly. I can appreciate wanting to go to Zwanze but not wanting the crowds, but that fact is that's not Zwanze day in Chicago. I wouldn't expect to change venues anytime soon either. Jean and Kristina are friends. He wants it to be there. I think that's pretty cool.
    gpawned, jdhende, powz87 and 2 others like this.
  5. incubuscience

    incubuscience Initiate (0) Jul 26, 2012 Illinois

    And we also need to remember how limited a supply of Zwanze there is. Probably one sixtel. So, could the venue be bigger? Maybe. But can they plan accommodate more people? Not if everyone wants to get a pour.

    It is what it is. Feel free to complain about it. Maybe it'll do something about it. Maybe it wont. But we've all been to beer events in Chicago, and they're not going to get any less popular, less attended, and less clusterfucky any time soon.
    quinnsi likes this.
  6. HOPSareKey

    HOPSareKey Initiate (0) Oct 12, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    hey im on my way. someone save me a glass
    quinnsi likes this.
  7. tinypyramids

    tinypyramids Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2012 Illinois

    from looking at the checkins, it looks like zwanze 2013 itself sucks, but the bottle share is awesome. that's pretty much what i expected.
  8. Dontcounttoday

    Dontcounttoday Devotee (456) Apr 23, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    If anything the bar is less crowded this year than last. The line began sooner and filled up faster but that was just to get the glasses. It seems to be less of a cluster than last year
  9. willseph

    willseph Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2011 Illinois

    Please tell me which beer festivals would be envious of a crowd of 150-250 people.
    Franch likes this.
  10. cmoody91

    cmoody91 Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2010 Illinois

    Agreed! Much smoother than last year for me at least. Think people must have taken off quickly,
    Dontcounttoday likes this.
  11. jakethesnake9z9z

    jakethesnake9z9z Initiate (179) Mar 5, 2009 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    We took off by 5pm...was a lot of fn and pretty well run (other than waiting 45min to get into the bar). Nice to meet more cool BAs!
    sherm1016 likes this.
  12. ABisonEgo

    ABisonEgo Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2012 Illinois

    And after I saw the line was at 100 at 9:30 I decided not to even bother. Dammit!!!
  13. thetomG

    thetomG Initiate (0) Feb 17, 2010 Illinois

    Had an absolute blast... Zwanze 13 was definitely a bit underwhelming, but the rest of the taps and the bottle shares were great. Crowded for sure for he first couple hours, but thinned out and became very comfortable after about 3:00ish...
    Dontcounttoday, gpawned and sherm1016 like this.
  14. kawilliams81

    kawilliams81 Meyvn (1,248) Feb 27, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    That's fine if they "host it" but have a venue that can accommodate however many people they allow in. Full disclosure, I have not been to zwanze day, just going from all the comments and complaints from the past couple years.
  15. sherm1016

    sherm1016 Initiate (194) Aug 10, 2009 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I had a great time again this year. Got to hang out with a bunch of cool FIB BAs, great draft list, and even better bottle shares. Thanks everybody for the generous pours, and thanks Kristina for hosting another great Zwanze Day.

    I feel like there was plenty of space between the store and the Roscoe Village Pub. It got tight at times, but I think that's going to happen no matter the venue.
    gpawned likes this.
  16. nickMB

    nickMB Disciple (310) Nov 17, 2009 Illinois

    to lighten the negativity, let me tell you despite the lines and nonsense, it was a f@ckin awesome event. Granted I'm practically blind and my wife had to roll my a$$ home on my bike but....the stuff on tap was mostly stuff I've never had that ran the gambit from good to great. Side Project Saison was delicious as was the perennial barrel fermented quad. The bottle share was great as expected but seriously, hanging out in the back of the bar or outside where you had room to breathe, relax, and chat was stellar. Chicago is a sh&tshow but I found this one to be decently run and not crazy. Getting your zwanze & iris was painless but of course I was already in the bar so others might disagree. I think they accommodated the right amount and it really wasn't that bad after a couple hours, I'm just bummed I didnt get to share a couple more of my bottles besides my edward growler because 160 pound booze hound had to get some zzzzzzz's. Bottle share highlights, california brandy huna was the best beer there I think Ive had since BA abraxas, vietnemese speedway is the best coffee stout Ive had, & and 1515 coming in at number two of the day. on the chicago sh&tshow index, this was a 5 out of 10. Guys if you were in there and had a bad experience, feel free to complain but if you were outside looking in, maybe reserve your judgements.
    thedarkestlord, gpawned and Mandark like this.
  17. powz87

    powz87 Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2012 Illinois

    As soon as I got my glass I walked over to the pub to wait in line. Scored a bar stool and had a great time. The bartenders were awesome (esp the guy from 3 floyds). Highlight of the day had to be meeting "yeahnatenelson" and him looking exactly like his picture.
  18. tinypyramids

    tinypyramids Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2012 Illinois

    i regret not sticking around but i also don't; my best friend is in town who i haven't seen in about 10 months and i have a feeling if i would have stuck around wlv i wouldn't have had the mental fortitude to not be a total drunken asshole and pass out. sounds like i underestimated wlv's ability to run an event.

    how did they do bottle sales this year? i heard someone mention in line that they were reworking the system. considering i've heard zero complaints about it, it seems like that is in fact what happened.
  19. Ferocious

    Ferocious Aspirant (273) Nov 17, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    When you bought your glass you were given two yellow tickets. Each was good for one bottle buy from behind the counter. The line was rarely less than 6 people but usually 20+ deep and it moved slow.

    They had a shelf behind the counter that at certain intervals (say after every third purchase) they'd restock with random bottles. Over an hour span I saw Black Note, BCBS Coffee, KBS, Angels Share, Behemoth 12-13, Parabola, Sucaba, FW16, 6 Eclipse variants, probably 5 different Cantillons (750's and smaller as well,) Frangelic, Bolt Cutter, tons of Belgians I didn't recognize. It was a real crap shoot. You'd wait through the line and kind of just have to pick when it was your time. 2 people before me they rolled out a couple Cantillons and a King Henry. Those were all gone when it was my turn. 2 People after me they put out a 15 year Pappy Van Winkle. It was very much a luck of the draw and everyone said while it wasn't the best system, it still beat people bottle hoarding bottles against the counter, as was described last year.

    My only complaints were waiting an hour and fifteen to get into the bar, between 1:15-2:30, and they ran out of the Iris Grand Cru before i cashed my ticket in.
  20. jdhende

    jdhende Aspirant (299) Sep 27, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Sticking around late paid off at 6:30 they tapped a keg of cantillon gueze and were pouring it by the pitcher to the few people still left. Overall incredibly fun event. Kristina and the wlv crew did a great job.
    powz87 and gpawned like this.
  21. pawpaw

    pawpaw Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2011 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    This was one of the most unorganized events I've ever attended and the price for admission was ridiculous given the extremely mediocre draft list (which at some time before 4pm they stopped putting new stuff on) and the manner in which they decided to sell "rare" bottles (on top of the fact that every mixed boxe they brought out of the basement had at least two Oracles in it). Not to mention that they over sold tickets for Iris, so some people who had already paid for the beer weren't able to receive any.

    The FFF dudes working the bar were the highlight of the day. Those guys rule and handled the crowd like it was a normal Tuesday afternoon.

    I have a feeling lots of people are going to have a hard time justifying the cost next year (and if this year was any indication, they'll probably up the cost ten more dollars in 2014). It was really nice not to have to worry about paying for beer once you got your glass, I just expected a little more from the event.
  22. gpawned

    gpawned Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I wouldn't say they "oversold" Iris per se, more that at least one of the bartenders was pouring full glasses rather than 2oz tastes so that might have been the problem on that front.

    I thought the idea of 2 tickets per person was great for the bottle purchases, except that people were allowed to give their tickets to their friends, so one person could wait in line, then collect tickets from their friends, who were not in line and mule bottles for them, and leave with all the Cantillon. At least a handful of people left with over 6 bottles of Cantillon. If they had done it Hill Farmstead growler fill style, where you get to buy 2 and go to the back of the line it would have been more equitable. Also, Kristina would warn her friends if there was something awesome coming up from the cellar and tell them to go to the front of the line (like 50N4E or King Henry). Sure, this system may have been better than last year, but it was still a cluster.

    BUT...that clusterfuck was completely avoidable, you in no way had to spend your time in that line trying to get your hands on the few crazy bottles that they did have. I decided that waiting in that line was not proving to be very fun, so a few of us in line turned that wait into another bottle share. The tension seemed to melt away and by the time I realized I wasn't going to get anything amazing from the cellar, I didn't give a shit anymore, because WeOnFire and his wife had just cracked open a 3 or 4 year old bottle of Cantillon Kriek and it was divine.

    Hell, any day that starts out with a high five from YeahNateNelson is destined to be great, even better when it ends with a pitcher of Cantillon Gueuze. Not to mention a bunch of new ticks and new friends.

    If anyone managed to rack up enough complaints to not have an awesome day, frankly, you did it wrong. Get your priorities straight and regroup for next year.

    Thanks to everyone for the killer bottles they brought to share and to Kristina and her staff, who put on an excellent event.


    Edit: PS. I'd pay $50 for a Cantillon glass and the right to attend that bottle share, any day. The free fills at the bar were a bonus in my opinion.
  23. gpawned

    gpawned Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Some photos:

    Official taplist:

    there were ups (like the bottle share):

    there were downs (like a broken glass):

    there were instawales (that lived up to the hype):

    and fucks given (thanks Pat):
    kate_the_great likes this.
  24. Sean9689

    Sean9689 Poo-Bah (2,070) Mar 17, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I had fun pouring beers w/ the FFF guys and opening some bottles behind the bar and hope everyone had a great time. Obviously, there's only so much space for everyone but hopefully you took breaks from the bar and went out back where there was tons of room. I didn't even make it to the shop but the only "problem" was the delay in handing out the tickets...seemed like it was all ready to go by the time we opened the bar at noon. Good to see all the normal suspects and nice meeting some new ones!

    Highlights were: Iris Grand Cru, Soleil de Minuit, Brandy Vanilla Dark Lord, BA Old Salty 05, various vintages Lou Pepe Krieks & Framboise, Funky Buddha Last Snow, etc.
  25. Sean9689

    Sean9689 Poo-Bah (2,070) Mar 17, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    powz87 and Samjuan12 like this.
  26. makdeco

    makdeco Initiate (135) Jan 31, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I enjoyed the Grand Cru over Zwanze (not that Zwanze was bad) IMO the bottle sales should just dissappare too many still hanging out at the counter and the poor guy working the register was pretty flustered he needed a beer I'm sure at the end of the night...

    Glad to see Classic was tapped i left around 5:30, missed out on the Side Project beer thought the Gose from Kissmeyer/magic rock was good. other taps not styles i really drink so have no comment on those... Still think it was too crowded but I get it is what it is... The bartender from FFF was spot on again like last year.

    Would be nice if the day was centered a little more around Cantillon...(seeing some other locations tap and bottle list available) and yes there were some bottles poured but if you were stationed all day on a seat at the bar across the street you more then likely missed out...

    I came home and enjoyed a LP Kriek by my firepit on a beautiful evening most relaxing part of the day IMO...
    pawpaw likes this.
  27. atomic

    atomic Disciple (328) Sep 22, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I had a great time meeting so many awesome BAs, and the bottle share was amazing. Really the best part of the day.

    The biggest downer for me was when we arrived at the bar at 4:30 for some Iris, and my gf got the last pour of it. It was all foamy but there was still enough Iris to try. Then before either of us got to try Iris, one of the 3F bartenders (the one with the black sleeve tat) took her glass back for what we assumed was more Iris, and instead emptied it, filled it with Zwanze, and threw her ticket back at her saying she should be thankful. We were like WTF? we didn't want more Zwanze, it was terrible the first time we had it. Total killed the mood for us and we left shortly after.
  28. gpawned

    gpawned Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    That definitely sucks. He should not have dumped your Iris. As a small consolation, you could open a regular bottle of Iris, wait until it goes flat, and then find some freshly paved asphalt and get just close enough to get a hint of that with the aroma of the beer. It'll be pretty close.
  29. gpawned

    gpawned Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    That guy definitely needed a drink. I agree that it would have been nice to see some additional Cantillon on tap, but when wouldn't that be preferred?
  30. Sean9689

    Sean9689 Poo-Bah (2,070) Mar 17, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Sorry to hear that you missed on the GC. We tried to keep the pours as low as possible and I really have no idea how the Zwanze went so long while the Iris GC kicked so quickly! I doubt Steve meant to come off as rude, he probably didn't know what was in it and figured Zwanze would be a good substitution. He's seriously one of the nicest guys and I'm sure he'd offer an apology to you and your girlfriend.
    FievelGoesWest likes this.
  31. Sean9689

    Sean9689 Poo-Bah (2,070) Mar 17, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I would prefer no sales of Cantillon bottles and instead they just get opened throughout the day or purchased through a bottle list for on-site consumption. This would clear out all the people who just come to buy rare bottles and make more room for those who actually go to Zwanze Day to enjoy the taps/bottles/shares. I'm going to bring this up to Kristina and hope she seriously considers it for next year.
  32. gpawned

    gpawned Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Brilliant solution, I hope she agrees with you.
    makdeco likes this.
  33. ppohio

    ppohio Initiate (172) Aug 5, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    This is the best suggestion for any event I have ever heard. And on-site consumption is a great compromise, particularly with the bottle shares going on.
  34. Lansman

    Lansman Aspirant (236) Mar 19, 2011 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    This is a much better idea than the $100 bottles of 2007 Kriek on sale for on-site consumption only at Brouwers Cafe in Seattle yesterday.
  35. JakeT469

    JakeT469 Disciple (332) Jan 13, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    They flew a 3F bartender in from Belgium? Whoa! This Zwanze day is getting more serious every year.
    Franch, mjohnson17, Mjmoser and 2 others like this.
  36. shelby3161

    shelby3161 Initiate (101) Jan 17, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I think people left early because there weren't as many different kegs as last year. I enjoyed the beers on draft, but the bottle share was AMAZING. The line for bottles was a little better then last year, but still needs a bit of work. The issue was sometimes something like 50N would could come up and other times there would be bottles of eclipse or bitches brew. Plus with only one guy working the area and no actual line things got messy. Also as someone said it seems regulars got alerted when to get specific bottles. Either way it was a great day and I can't wait for next year.
  37. liamt07

    liamt07 Poo-Bah (2,288) Jul 26, 2009 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Balling the hardest. Gueuze4lyfe.
    jdhende likes this.
  38. atomic

    atomic Disciple (328) Sep 22, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    har har har, BAs and their conventions! I've been calling 3floyds 3F since long before I was posting here and its a tough habit to break.
  39. atomic

    atomic Disciple (328) Sep 22, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for your response, though I wonder how in the world him throwing the crumpled up ticket at us could come off as anything but rude. Not to be a downer, but that sort of soured our experience (no pun intended)
    In either case, I'm not going to let that reflect poorly on either WLV or Zwanze Day in general. We still both had an amazing first Zwanze Day experience. The comradery and generousity of everyone at the event was incredible. I dont think I met a single person that wasn't just so happy to talk to me. Also seeing hundreds of grown (mostly men) turn into a mob of star struck teenage girls at the site of a bottle of beer was just heart warming.
    Sean9689 and thedarkestlord like this.
  40. nickMB

    nickMB Disciple (310) Nov 17, 2009 Illinois

    I'm not making excuses for the guy but I will point out that when he collected tickets, he threw them over his shoulder or up in the air, no joke. I'm gonna assume maybe it flew back in your/her face but he was throwing everybody's tickets in the air. It wasn't the sign of an angry bartender as much as it was like a bartender givin a lil Tom cruise cocktail or Benihana flourish to collecting tickets. I found it kinda entertaining and I think I drunkly was cheering him on and then threw money in the tip jar for the show.
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