Fans of sour beer will not want to miss the chance to meet Rodenbach brewmaster Rudi Chequire as he visits DC to celebrate the release of three seasonal draft specialties, one of which has never been available in this country. Rodenbach Brewery, from Roeselare, Belgium, was founded in 1821 by four brothers. The brewery is well-respected for its sour beers, many of which are often aged in large wooden vessels known as foeders (pronounced food-ers). Rodenbach proudly boasts the world’s largest collection of the upright wooden vats, with 10 different cellars, or foederzaals, as they are referred to in Belgian.
Sours are more popular now than ever in the United States. “It is very exciting to see. Sour beer is growing rapidly,” says Rodenbach regional brand developer for the Mid-Atlantic, Orest Mryszuk. “America’s pallet is evolving and maturing quickly. Also, for brewers, making a good sour consistently is the Holy Grail. It takes decades to perfect the art.” But what makes a true sour? A sour, Orest continues, is “…a beer that has been acidified (one of the most traditional ways of preserving beer) and has been aged on wood.” Keep an eye out for the following Rodenbach brews in the upcoming months:
Vintage 2013 has been aged for two years in a single foeder (number 149 for the curious). At 7% ABV, it is a rich unblended beer.
Caractere Rouge is the classic Rodenbach Vintage with fresh cherries, raspberries and cranberries that have been macerated for six months. Maceration is a process typically used in winemaking in which color and flavor are leached from fruit through soaking or fermentation in a sealed chamber saturated with carbon dioxide.
Foederbier has never been sold in the U.S. It is a blended beer that has been aged in a foeder for two years. Unfiltered with low carbonation, this 6% ABV brew is not to be missed.
Be sure to catch Rudi on his upcoming visit to this region to pick up a signed bottle or try one of the rare beers on draft. The brewmaster will be in Northern Virginia on October 5, in DC on October 6 and in Baltimore on October 7. To learn more visitwww.rodenbach.be