A beer made of memories

issue4-007The history of Rodenbach brewery revolves around one tough woman, and one enduring  beer. Alan Hope climbs the family tree

The Rodenbach family came from Andernach in Germany’s Rhineland to Roeselare in the late 18th century, but beer had nothing to do with it. The paterfamilias Ferdinand had been a military surgeon for the Austrian army, when he was captured and imprisoned as a POW in Lille in northern France. After his release he married a girl from Dentergem in West Flanders and set up house in Roeselare, where he practised medicine.