Rodenbach: fruity and vinous grand cru beers!
Det belgiske bryggeriet Rodenbach er en av Beer Enthusiasts største produsenter av surøl. Merkevaren har en sterk posisjoner her i Norge både hos Vinmonopolet og i barer rundt om i landet. Peter Buelens er Rodenbach sin "PR Communications & National Accounts Manager" og har skrevet dette gjesteinnlegget om hvordan de lager det ikoniske surølet.
Originally from Andernach am Rhein, the Rodenbachs settled in the West Flanders' Roeselare. The Rodenbach family had many soldiers, poets, writers, brewers, entrepreneurs, but also pragmatic revolutionaries and politicians in its ranks. Pedro Rodenbach, for example, took part in Napoleon’s Russian campaign and, in 1830, led the Belgian revolution leading to Belgium’s independence. Two Rodenbachs were members of the Constituent Assembly of the Founding of Belgium. In 1821 Alexander, Gregoor, Pedro and Amalia found the brewery. However, it is to Eugène Rodenbach that Rodenbach owes its unique quality and masterly character. He not only studied the vinification of the beer, but also optimised the maturing process in oak foeders (maturing barrels). The world-renowned foeder halls with their 294 oak foeders, some of which are 150 years old, are protected as industrial heritage of the Flemish Community.
Cooperage is the pride and joy of the Rodenbach Brewery. These artisan specialists construct and repair the large oak foeders used to mature the beer. Tonny Dancet and Pol Dewitte have been ready and prepared, every single day for forty years, to look after the beating heart of the brewery. Their working method is the same as that of their colleagues all the way back in 1821 (without using nails or screws). A foeder, in fact a Flemish adaptation of the French term foudre is a large wooden barrel used to store and mature beer. The foeders are made from planks – also known as staves – that are 8 centimetres thick and made from home-grown oak, selected for its high density.
The art of blending, resulting in the most refreshing beer in the world
A visit to the brewery is a real experience. You will find 294 huge oak barrels and can enjoy the fruity, almost wine-like, aroma of what British beer connoisseur Michael Jackson described as the most refreshing beer in the world. Rodenbach is the prime example of uniquely Flemish, mixed-fermentation red-brown beer. Red-brown beer is a blend of young acidified, mature acidified and oak-matured beer. This kind of beer can trace its roots back to a lagering method from the late middle ages. The outcome is a vinous, beautifully balanced and utterly thirst-quenching, tangy beer range: Rodenbach Classic, the more complex Rodenbach Grand Cru, the refined Rodenbach Vintage, and the fruit beers these are turned into: Fruitage by Rodenbach Fruitage and Rodenbach Alexander.
The Rodenbach beers were born for large and small gastronomy. What is the secret of this successful marriage? First and foremost it is the nice taste of the beer. Moreover, it is a healthy product with relatively little alcohol. Finally, the acids ensure a better taste absorption. Rodenbach is a great aperitif. The slightly sour beer stimulates the appetite and promotes digestion. The beer goes well with beers because there is no bitterness in it.