For the first time in its almost 200 year history, Brouwerij Rodenbach is going to collaborate with another brewery on a beer. Their chosen partners? Delaware’s iconic, pioneering craft brewery, Dogfish Head.
The key to the entire endeavor, it would seem, is Dogfish Head’s fantastically successful SeaQuench, a session sour ale that has capitalized on multiple market trends at once: lower-ABV beers, calorie consciousness and the rise of sour beer styles in the USA. Unsurprisingly, given the Rodenbach portfolio, the collaboration beer the two companies create will also be a sour.
“This is a historic moment for our brewery,” said Rudi Ghequire, Master Brewer of Rodenbach Brewery. “Not only is the time right for this partnership as sour beer has become more popular than ever before (thanks in large part to Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale), but we found an incredible partner and kindred spirit in Sam Calagione and the Dogfish Head brewing team. Though centuries and an ocean apart, our breweries share many similar values and principles. From our independent and family-owned brewery to the spirit of collaboration among the people at our respective organizations, our shared appreciation and respect for quality ingredients, and how the coast influences both of our beers. We couldn’t have found a more perfect partner in our first collaboration voyage, and we’re excited for the journey ahead.”
Calagione, of course, was not to be left out of the commentary, as any U.S. craft beer fan familiar with Dogfish Head would no doubt expect.
“I have been a huge fan of Rodenbach beers since the early 2000’s when legendary beer writer, Michael Jackson, turned me on to them at the Brickskeller in DC. Rodenbach are the global pioneers in sour and wild beers production. Dogfish Head is proud to have the number one selling sour beer in America. So we have a lot to learn and explore together—and getting to know Rudi, David and the Rodenbach team has been rewarding and fun. I am confident we are going to make a beautiful, unique beer together,” Calagione said.
Unfortunately, we really don’t know quite what that beer is going to look like just yet. The pair (Calagione and Ghequire) met last year following a panel discussion at the Craft Brewer’s Conference in Nashville, TN, and have apparently been brainstorming ever since. Ghequire has already paid a visit to Dogfish Head’s brewery in Milton, DE, and Calagione will travel to Belgium in the future, where the collaboration beer will be planned.
“We intend to take our time and get it right for a beer of this magnitude, and in order do that we have to go to where it all began—to Roeselare, Belgium,” Calagione said. “The brainstorming will continue overseas, as Rudi and I explore the region together, explore the area’s culinary influence and experience the legendary brewery and cooperage which undoubtedly will serve as a huge inspiration behind the beer we create.”
That’s about all we know for now, with the first press release saying that the beer will be brewed and blended in the U.S. in 2019, for an early 2020 release. Expect to hear quite a bit more on this particular collaboration once we get closer to the date.