Today is the birthday of Regina Wauters (March 1, 1795-January 24, 1874). She was married to Pedro Rodenbach and the two of them bought out other family members to become sole owners of what would become known as Brouwerij Rodenbach in Rosalre, Belgium.
Here’s her Wikipedia entry:
Born in Mechelen, Regina Wauters was the daughter of a rich local brewer. She married Pedro Rodenbach in 1818 and moved to Roeselare in West Flanders, Belgium, where his family had a distillery.
In 1821 Pedro took along with his brothers and sister a brewery. The brothers agreed to a partnership for fifteen years. At the end of this period, Pedro and Regina bought the brewery from the others and Regina ran the business while Pedro served in the military during the Belgian revolution.
Rodenbach bought the distillery from his family in 1835. He died in Brussels in 1848. His family sold the distillery to Regina Wauters, Her distillery remained for a long time the only significant distillery in Roeselare. Regina extended it immediately after she bought it. Later she asked her eldest son, Raymond, to work in the distillery. Raymond Rodenbach would continue to run the distillery until c.1895. The distillery was later sold to Honoré Talpe who transformed it into a chicory factory.
Regina invested her money not only in the distillery of the Rodenbachs but also in their brewery. In 1836 the family Rodenbach sold the brewery in Roeselare with numerous other properties. Pedro Rodenbach would buy most of it with the money of Regina. Pedro had to sign legal documents to recognize her as sole proprietor of the brewery and any other property that he had bought from his family.
Regina immediately began to expand the brewery. Although she succeeded in building one of the largest distilleries in the region, she would fail to create the largest brewery in the city. She suffered from the fierce competition with Anna Gesquiere, who also ran a brewery in Roeselare.
In 1860 her son Edward Rodenbach came to work in the brewery and it was during his directorship that the brewery expanded outside Roeselare. In 1864 Regina sold him, at the age of 69, her brewery, her house and workshops, along with eleven bars she had bought. Regina Wauters would retire to live on her private means until her death in 1874.
And this is her entry from her Dutch Wikipedia page, translated by Google Translate:
Regina Wauters was a rich brewer’s daughter from Mechelen. She married Pedro Rodenbach in 1818 and moved to Roeselare. The family had a distillery in the Spanjestraat. In 1820, Pedro and his brothers and sisters took over a brewery in the street. In 1835 the family Rodenbach decided to sell the distillery that was still managed in community to Pedro. Pedro Rodenbach was also a soldier and since the Belgian revolutionhe could hardly be seen in Roeselare. He would die in Brussels in 1848. The family then sold the distillery to Regina Wauters, who acted by her husband’s proxy. However, it was Regina who provided the necessary money. She had the necessary documents drawn up, her husband acknowledging that she was the sole owner of the distillery and all other real estate. The distillery would for a long time be the only noteworthy distillery in Roeselare. She employed a lot of people. Regina would expand it immediately after the sale. Later she involved her eldest son, Raymond, in the case. Raymond Rodenbach would continue to run the distillery until about 1895. The distillery was later sold to Honoré Talpe who made it a chicory factory.
Regina Wauters did not only invest her money in the family distillery of the Rodenbachs. In 1836 the Rodenbach family, mainly represented by Alexander Rodenbach , sold her brewery in the Spanjestraat with many other properties. Pedro Rodenbach would buy the majority of that. However, he did this again with Regina’s money. Pedro also had to acknowledge once again in deeds that the brewery and all other properties he had bought from the family were now her property.
Regina Wauters immediately started the expansion of the brewery. She might have one of the largest distilleries in the region; she would not succeed in creating the largest brewery in the city. Before that she had too much competition from Anna Gesquiere, the widow Cauwe, who had a brewery on the Polenplein. There was a strong competition between the two ladies in the 1830s and 1840s. In this way they both strove to introduce the steam engine in Roeselare as soon as possible. Regina Wauters was known for the vigorous management of both her affairs. Her policy was particularly forward-looking. But she was also hardened in the small parts of the business world. For example, she was repeatedly suspected of circumventing the city tax on alcohol. She also had a lock placed on the Mandelbeek without a license,
Since 1848 she moved her sons Emiel and Florent to the brewery, but remained so in the background that they quickly noticed it. In 1860 her second son Eduard Rodenbach entered the brewery. He used to be a lineman manufacturer, but he was certain of being insecure during a flax crisis and decided to concentrate successfully on the beer industry. In 1864 Regina Wauters, now 69, her brewery, home and workshops, together with the eleven cafes she had bought, would sell to her son. From then on, Regina Wauters would retire until her death in 1874.
In 2004 a street in a Roeselaar industrial zone was named after her, the Regina Wautersweg.
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.