When the family business has been going for 80 years, there’s really only one way to celebrate the anniversary. Drankencentrale Rotsaert was started in Zedelgem in West Flanders by Robert Rotsaert in 1934, delivering drinks from door to door by horse and cart. Eighty years on, brothers Patrick and Filip still do the same, supplying wholesale clients like restaurants, factories and offices by more modern transport techniques. They also have a function suite on the premises, a wine-tasting room and a shop with more than 3,000 products.
For the 80th anniversary Filip had the bright idea of brewing a special beer, named Quercus 80, made with the help of Marc Limet, master brewer of Kerkom brewery at the other end of the country in Sint-Truiden in Limburg. The beer is brewed – in the Sint-Jozef brewery in Opitter near Tongerlo in Limburg – using four hops from West Flanders: Challenger, Goldings, Brewers Gold and Target.
The beer is a dark golden colour with a creamy head. The hops are strong in the nose, but balanced out in the tasting by a softer, honey-like note. The finish is dry, grassy, slightly floral.
“We made about 200 cases. It’s a limited edition,” says Filip. And it’s a one-off. “We have no plans to brew anything else for the time being,” he says. He may change his mind when the centenary comes around.