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Podcast Episode #32: Rodenbach’s Rudi Ghequire: Tradition, Time, and What’s Wrong With Some of Today’s Sour Beers

Rudi Ghequire, the brewmaster of Rodenbach recently sat down with senior editor John Holl to share his thoughts on the sensation of balance. They also discuss tradition, time, and what's wrong with some of today's sour beers.

John Holl 5 months ago

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Balance in beer can mean different things for different people. Rudi Ghequire, the brewmaster of Rodenbach recently sat down with senior editor John Holl to share his thoughts on the sensation of balance. They also discuss tradition, time, and what's wrong with some of today's sour beers.

A few great quotes from Rudi:

“We drink now 10,000 years beer. But we only use 1,000 years hops. So (hops) are only 10% of the story of beer making.”

“3.5 is a very important pH. Not only in beer, but also in wine. At 3.5 pH, you can preserve your beer by acidity, but at an acceptable level. It’s why our style of beer is closer to wine. When I describe our beer, I will say “this is the missing link between beer and wine.” You have the refreshing of beer, and the complexity of wine.”

“Fruit was always used in this style of beer to mask off flavors or to give more flavor to the product.”

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“To be honest, I don’t always find a very good balance in beers. Too much modern brewers try to make sour beer in three months, while you need at least two years. Why do they do that? To earn money? Maybe. But in the end, it will be the consumer who will be the final judge.”

“I think it’s even more difficult to make a sour beer, than a bitter beer. If you make a sour beer, take your time, do it well, and make a good beer. I think a lot of accidental infected beers came on the market as sour beer. This is not how you have to do it. If I taste sour beer with dry hopping notes in it, this is not normal. Bitterness and sourness doesn’t go together. This is why I think it’s an accidental infection, and they tried to sell it. But in my opinion, this is not good for the sour beer business.”

“We are in a movement of slow food. And at the same time I see people will make beer in 2-3 months. They will make every month a new beer. Not even the consumer can follow the speed of bringing all these new beers on the market. There is too much stress and competition to bring new beers on the market. Do it slower, do it good, and do it better.”

“Let us be quiet, let us be relaxed, let us make good beer, and enjoy a good beer.”

John Holl is the Senior Editor of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email tips and story suggestions to [email protected].