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Historic Beer Birthday: Pedro Rodenbach

Today is the birthday of Pedro Rodenbach (June 8, 1794-January 20, 1848). He was a military officer and fought in the Battle of Waterloo. When he left the army in 1818, he married a brewer’s daughter, Regina Wauters, who was from Mechelen in Belgium. After Pedro’s father died, he and his brothers, Alexander, Ferdinand and Constantijn, bought a brewery in Roeselare. When their agreed-upon partnership ended after fifteen years, Pedro and Regina bought them out. It was originally called Brasserie et Malterie Saint-Georges, but later became known as Brouwerij Rodenbach.

This is a translation of his Dutch Wikipedia page:

Pedro Rodenbach was the youngest brother of Alexander and Constantin Rodenbach. Like his older brothers Ferdinand Constantin and he enlisted in the French army. He joined there in February 1811 as a volunteer the Imperial Guard. He made the disastrous Russian campaign note (1812), and was second lieutenant in the 14th regiment of cuirassiers under in March 1813 Colonel About that last action came during the Battle of Leipzig (1813). Back in Belgium, he joined as a lieutenant (Belgian) carabineers, which were integrated into the Dutch army and battled in the Battle of Waterloo (1815).

Rodenbach took in 1818 resigned from the army. He married that year in Mechelen Regina Wauters, a rich brewer’s daughter. After the death of his father in 1820 he began working with his brothers Alexander and Ferdinand and his sister a company which included a distillery and a brewery.

In preparation for the Belgian revolution made by Pedro name to King William I to hand over a petition in June 1829, drawn up by his brother Alexander, the release of Louis de Potter and other political prisoners. At the outbreak of the revolution he was in the front row, he founded the “Reunion Central”, a revolutionary club including Rogier, Chazal and Ducpétiaux. He took charge of a company of volunteers, and drove at the September day gallop to Lille to the exiled Louis de Potter back to Brussels to accompany.

Pedro Rodenbach joined the new Belgian army as a colonel and was tasked to organize the 1st regiment of hunters on horseback. From August 1831 to February 1839 he was the military commander instead of Brussels.

In 1836 he bought the fortune of his wife Regina, his brothers share in the joint venture over. It was renamed Brasserie et Malterie Saint-Georges, later known as Brouwerij Rodenbach. However, he continued to live in Brussels, after his discharge from active military service in June 1839, and the effective management of the company was owned by his wife in Roeselare.

And this is the history currently on the brewery website:

The Rodenbachs moved from Andernach am Rhein to Roeselare in West Flanders. The Rodenbach line boasted numerous military men, poets, writers, brewers and entrepreneurs, as well as pragmatic revolutionaries and politicians.

Pedro Rodenbach took part in Napoleon’s Russian campaign and was instrumental in the Belgian revolution in 1830, which led to an independent Belgium. Three Rodenbachs were members of the constitutional congress when Belgium was founded. Constantijn Rodenbach was the author of the “Brabançonne”, the Belgian national anthem.

In 1836, Pedro Rodenbach, together with his entrepreneurial wife Regina Wauters, founded the brewery. However, it is Eugène Rodenbach whom RODENBACH has to thank for its unique quality and masterful character. Not only did he study the vinification of beer, but also optimised the maturation process in oak casks, or “foeders” (maturation casks). The world-renowned cask halls with their 294 oak casks, some of which are 150 years old, are protected as part of the industrial heritage of the Flemish Community.

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