BMI met up with Rodenbach brewmaster Rudi Ghequire and Latis Imports co-founder David van Wees and others at a special tasting at the Belgian Beer Bar in NY last night.
The tasting featured top-rated Rodenback Grand Cru, Caractére Rouge, along with a session beer and limited edition Foeder Bier. The Grand Cru is aged in oak for 2 years, whereas the Caractére Rouge is aged an additional 6 months, adding cherries, raspberries and cranberries during that extra period. Both of these beers are complex and almost wine-like.
The brewery and brewmaster Rudi Ghequire have long histories with sour beer. Their West Flanders, Belgium brewery houses the largest storage of sour beer in the world – 294 vats.
Rudi's been drinking mostly sour beer since he was 11! Their sours have 2 year cycles, and are able to take advantage of "positive selection". The brewery produces 45K hectoliters, and has capacity for 180K hectoliters. Rodenbach is owned by Palm Brewery since 1998.