Rondje Roodbruin / Red-Brown Ale Trail

Rodenbach Brewery

The best-known brand of red-brown ale, Rodenbach is brewed by Rodenbach Brewery in Roeselare. No trouble or expense was spared to restore this architectural gem of industrial heritage, which can normally only be visited by groups.

The sublime Rodenbach ale is brewed in a 19th-century setting. After brewing and several weeks of maturation, it is transferred to one of the 294 oak foeders, where it matures for at least 18 months. The oldest foeder in the imposing foeder hall dates from 1836.

The smallest foeder has a content of 10,000 litres, the largest a content of no less than 65,000 litres. So you certainly will not have to be thirsty!

RODENBACH undergoes two fermentation stages before it obtains its mildly sour flavour. The first fermentation stage is unique since top-fermenting yeasts coexist with lactic acid bacteria: the so-called mixed fermentation. Only after maturation in oak foeders does RODENBACH get its fruity bouquet which is incomparable to that of any other beer. The foeders are crucial to the process. The brewery’s cooper still makes every foeder in exactly the same way as in 1821. No wonder that the selection of wood needs to be performed as carefully as all other activities in the brewing process. Only the finest wood without any knots or other imperfections is suitable. Not a single nail or screw is used in the process. The cooper slides reed between the staves to make the foeder watertight (or rather beer-tight). Finally, the foeder is bound together with iron hoops.

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