rodenbach Archives – PorchDrinking.com
The art of brewing beer varies by region, brewer and brewing style. Many brewers find their niche in one style or art-form, craft their beer to perfection and become famous for it. That’s the case for esteemed Rodenbach Brewery in Roeselare, Belgium, which brews oak foeder-aged sour Ales that have led the way for the category for almost two centuries. Their most popular offering is the simply named Rodenbach Classic, a standard-bearer Flanders red Ale that effuses the precision and expertise of Rodenbach’s master blenders and brewers.
Perhaps Rodenbach’s most well-known brewer is Rudi Ghequire. A Rodenbach brewmaster since 1982, Ghequire has walked the hallways in their massive foeder-filled brewhouse more times than he can count. Foeders are special to Rodenbach and they are special to Ghequire. Yet, many beer drinkers, myself included, are not fully aware of the magic of foeder-aged beers, the flavors that blending foeder-aged beers creates and the expertise needed to delicately create these offerings. To find out more about foeders and what makes Rodenbach’s foeder program special, I asked Ghequire five questions.
Dogfish Head Brewery continues to be one of my favorite breweries in the country due to their unrelenting pursuit of brewing daring beers that challenge and excite the average beer lover. Sometimes, these beers fall flat and the flavor notes don’t mesh like they should, but most times, they create something new and inventive that makes me take notice. Their newest offering, Vibrant P’Ocean, which was done in collaboration with the nearly two centuries old Brouwerij Rodenbach, falls into the latter category.
The new blended Sour Ale combines the mastery of both breweries in pursuit of a drinking experience that feels familiar and emblematic of two breweries separated by thousands of miles. Vibrant P’Ocean comes in at 4.7% ABV and is composed of a two-year, foeder-aged sour from Rodenbach mixed with a Dogfish Head kettle sour brewed with pilsner malt, malted wheat, elderberry, elderflower, sliced lemons and Belgian fleur-de-sel. I was lucky enough to get a few cans of this new beer from Dogfish Head recently – here are my thoughts.
The craft beer scene in the U.S. has been around for a relatively short period of time. Part of its rapid growth and success can be attributed to the industry’s willingness to evolve and contort itself to appeal to the ever-changing whims of today’s curious consumer. While hard seltzers and fruit-puree sours might be nothing more than a passing trend, one recent market shift seems to be here for the long haul: craft beer in cans. The benefits of cans are clear: they’re more transportable, better for the environment, and boast longer shelf life than their glass counterparts. A huge signal that the can trend is more of a foundational than fleeting trend in the U.S. is that century’s old European brewers are also augmenting their typically rigid perceptions of packaging to appeal to the American market.
Brewers collaborate with each other all the time. The results are usually pretty good and often buzzworthy. Then, there are those collaborations that make your eyes light up and your tastebuds salivate at the thought of two sour beer-brewing masterminds coming together to create something truly special that is primed to set the market ablaze – if executed properly. The new international collaboration between Delaware-based Dogfish Head and Belgium sour stalwart Brouwerij Rodenbach has the potential to do just that.
“I was his light in the darkness.”
Frezi Bouckaert smiled slyly as she made the comment. Frezi further noted, “It was dark and I was his shining light.” As Frezi started explaining this rather somber statement, I realized she was speaking both literally and figuratively. Let me give you a little bit of context. Frezi met her husband Peter Bouckaert (yes, that Peter) spelunking in Belgium. When dating, some folks like to go to the movies, see live music or wine and dine; Frezi and Peter would go caving. A lot.
G’day, drinkers. Happy weekend to you. One of my favorite kinds of people to encounter in my taproom are the “I don’t really like beer” types. I always reply with “Yes you do, you just haven’t found the right beer …
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Flemish Style ale
In short, Brouwerij Rodenbach‘s Vintage Oak Aged ale could, easily, be described as a champagne among beers! The long way round takes about 200 years, which is about how long Brouwerij (Brewery) Rodenbach has been brewing. How exciting is that?
This is the second time I have had this beer, and each time I fall more deeply, deeply in love with Rodenbach Grand Cru, a Flanders Sour style beer. I first sampled the Grand Cru at The Crest Gastropub in Columbus, OH. The main reason for trying the beer was that it was the most expensive on the menu ($10 for a 10 oz. pour), so I wanted to see what the buzz was about.