Sometimes we don’t have the time to make dinner or lunch. That’s why fast food exists in the first place. Not because it’s cheaper. Not because it tastes better than home cooking. Fast food exists because in our fast paced lives we don’t always have the time to cook for ourselves, or we simply just want to relax for a day and are willing to pay extra for that leisure. I had a day like that recently.

Considering the beer culture, Rodenbach is a fairly new brewery in Belgium. The brewery itself opened in 1821. It wasn’t until later however, after buying gigantic oak vats or “foeders”, that they became known for their style of beer. Their beer is brewed from pale and colored malts, aged hops that are grown locally, and their Rodenbach mixed yeast culture. Aged hops lose their bitterness but retain their preservative properties. After brewing they lager the beer for four months, then transfer this beer to their gigantic oak vats to be aged for up to two years. Those oak vats have been used to age beer for over 150 years now. While the beer ages in the foeders, wild microorganisms in the wood make the beer sour. Between the sourness and the microflora created by the microorganisms, this beer is highly age-able. They then blend their older and younger beers together to achieve the style they want. Their Grand Cru is made mostly of aged beer blended with some young beer.

Thus far (especially if I have a coupon) a particular fast food joint is my favorite place to go for takeout hamburgers. Having a fast food hamburger with a Rodenbach Grand Cru might be considered sacrilege, but I didn’t want to make my own or drive all the way out to an impressive burger shack; treat yourself. Rodenbach beers in general are great with hamburgers, to include the Vintage. The slightly sour, rounded by the oak aging, hints sweetness and cherry aromas highlight the patty and condiments while contrasting with the non-tangy vegetables and bun.

tony gilmore