Renowned Belgian Brew Returning After 16-Year Hiatus

By Mike Pomranz |

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In today’s beer-crazed America, the names of hard-to-find brews are on the tips of every beer nerd’s tongue. Everyone’s got their favorite local brewery with limited distribution or seasonal release that’s only sold one month of the year. But typically, those beers have been brewed sometime in the last decade and half. So when Belgium’s Brouwerij Rodenbach announced they’re bringing back an acclaimed beer that hasn’t been made in 16 years, it’s a unique situation.

Rodenbach makes a number of well-regarded beers in their signature Flanders red style. The brewery’s Classic and Grand Cru, though not at a Bud Light level of ubiquity, aren’t hard to find. But people who were drinking Belgian sours back before the style was cool tell tales of a unique brew called Alexander – described by Aaron Goldfarb at Esquire as “a blended Flanders ‘foederbier’ (aged in giant oak tanks) macerated with sour cherries” – that has come to be regarded as one of the brewery’s greatest creations.

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Alexander was discontinued in 2000 not long after Rodenbach was taken over by Palm Breweries, but the exponential growth in interest of unique beers means that all these years later, the time for Alexander’s return has come. “We were inspired to once again 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,” said Rodenbach brewmaster Rudi Ghequire.

The long lost Belgian is set to hit shelves in limited supplies late next month. If you want to give the heralded beer a try, I’d suggest doing what you can to hunt down a bottle. Rodenbach may keep brewing the beer—though as they’ve proved in the past, they also may not.