Rodenbach Classic Belgian Sour Ale 500ml

John ShearlockMay 19, '22
Rodenbach... in a can… well that’s got to be worth a go right! It’s a name with a reputation that precedes itself, a bit like Thor perhaps. I remember once when the Grand Cru came on tap at my local store, I didn't feel worthy enough to fill a whole rigger with it (and it wasn’t exactly cheap either). But in a can, this king of beers just seems a lot more approachable.

Cracking one of these is a bit like serving yourself a slice of beer history. The Rodenbach family started brewing in the early 1800s and quickly became famous for their oak-aged mixed-fermentation sour ales such as this one. These ales have a second bacterial fermentation thanks to lactic acid bacteria which creates beautifully tart, wine-like flavours that need less hopping and go well with food (and at half the abv of wine to boot). So if you’re looking for another excuse to crack a can, then there you are - match it with food. 

The nose on this one is a real zinger with notes of candied ginger, red apples and Chinese five spice; funky but fresh. This continues into the palate which really is thirst quenchingly bright, light bodied but complex. There's a glorious balance of sweet and sour (carrying on with the Chinese theme) and a spicy kick at the finish that eventually subsides into fresh green apples.

I have a hunch that this could go really well served with oriental fare or otherwise with some classic Belgian food such as boudin or frites and mustard. But, to be fair, it really is immensely drinkable on its own. It's lighter than the Grand Cru in every respect and there really is no reason to fear it. So, go on, be brave and take one home… your only concern will be just how easily it slides down.