A rare Belgian beer is making a comeback from a 16-year hiatus, and people in the world of craft brew are abuzz with anticipation. Rodenbach Brewery announced Tuesday it will re-release its Alexander beer this April, introducing the brew for the first time since 2000.
"We were inspired to brew Rodenbach Alexander over two years ago, due in large part to the popular requests among beer connoisseurs, bar owners and beer lovers throughout the United States," Rudi Ghequire, master brewer of Rodenbach, said. The concoction is a blend of two-year matured beer from oak standing Foeders and young ale, then macerated with sour cherries. It pays tribute to one of Rodenbach's founders, according to Ghequire.
Aaron Goldfarb, Esquire magazine's resident beer nerd, is thrilled. Upon learning the news, Goldfarb's reaction was: "It's about damn time!"
"I'm psyched to finally try Alexander, and even more thrilled to see a whole new generation of beer drinkers learn what every beer geek was coveting a decade-and-a-half ago," Goldfarb wrote. David van Wees, whose Latis Imports will bring the beer to the United States, says "it's an exciting time for beer lovers across this country." Commenters on the Beer Advocate forums are fans, with one person calling the brew "really reeeeeeeeeally good." Bottles on the black market apparently can sell for as much as $1,000.
Rodenbach Alexander is the first in a series of limited-edition beers that will be presented in the Rodenbach Limited Edition Sour Series this year. It checks in at 5.6 percent abv, and Goldfarb says it has a "complex, vinegary tartness" complemented by "a malty, red-ale backbone and hints of almond from the cherry pits."
The buzz around Rodenbach Alexander no doubt annoys mass-market beer producers such as AB InBev, which routinely pokes fun at craft brewing and its fans.