Beer and BBQ Pairing: Rodenbach Grand Q a/k/a RodenQ

It was brought to my attention that I am neglecting the BBQ element of the blog. Fine. A couple weeks ago, I took off work, performed several Haybag mandates, and smoked a 4.5 lb pork shoulder in the Smoke2D2. I also tried out something I had been cogitating on: Rodenbach Grand Cru and BBQ. You heard me, people.shock

The Duchesse de Bourgogne pairing worked. Why not Rodenbach Grand Cru pairing AND sauce? More assertive and complex than the Duchesse, Rodenbach Grand Cru has flavors that are great with piggy: Cherries, sherry, soy, red wine and sherry vinegar, and oak. And the acidity and carbonation cut through the pork fat nicely.

But first things first. As always at beerbecue HQ, we need our blues. And today we have the Velvet Bulldozer, Albert King. Known for his signature upside down and backwards Gibson Flying V guitar, Mr. King is a little cleaner sound than beerbecue typically goes for. But his less-is-more style is a breath of fresh air in a forum marked by self-indulgence; and his aggressive, screaming bends heavily influenced Hendrix and especially Stevie Ray Vaughan.Albert king After some admonitions against a vinegar-based Rodenbach sauce from the Sauce Diva (the Haybag) and some experimenting (drinking), it was determined that Rodenbach Grand Cru stands up to and is a great complement to mustard. So, I threw together the following:

2 cups mustard
8 oz Rodenbach Grand Cru (this was all that was left of the bottle designated for sauce-making after “experimenting”)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 TBS brown sugar
1/4 cup tomato purée
1/2 tbs ground pepper
A couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1tsp salt
Dash of cayenne (held back to see just how much the beer came out)

BBQ sauce

I thought it was good. It does need some perfecting (two people found it a little too mustardy and two didn’t). I posted it anyway as an “open source” recipe. You could definitely taste the Rodenbach. And together with a glass of Rodenbach and the BBQ, I would say it was very good.

Next time, I’m upping the Rodenbach by at least 2 oz., adding honey or replacing 1/4 of the regular mustard with honey mustard, and adding 1-2 more TBS brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cayenne.

As for the piggy, the cook time was seven hours with hickory and apple wood, and it turned out great.Rodenq


On the whole, I was pleased. With a couple tweaks to the sauce, I think Rodenbach Grand Q can get the beerbecue seal of approval.

The Haybag: The problem with the sauce was that I didn’t make it. And isn’t it a little tacky to give your own sauce the beerbecue seal of approval?


23 thoughts on “Beer and BBQ Pairing: Rodenbach Grand Q a/k/a RodenQ

    • It is tasty. I can only get it in DC and only in the big bottles. Making a sauce with it (letting the sauce sit overnight) and drinking it with the BBQ would be much easier with those 33 cl bottles.

  1. Spectacular inspiration (and hysterical write-up)!

    For the most part, I stick to Stone Smoked Porter for BBQ sauces (and for boiling matzo balls – but that’s another story – though somewhat BBQ related because I also wrap them with bacon).

    Anyway, great post and ideas!


    • Thanks. I do like Stone Smoked Porter with BBQ. I can’t say that I have had it with matzo balls (or that I’ve ever had matzo balls, period). Are they still kosher when they’re wrapped in bacon? 🙂

  2. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at how well Flemish Reds like Rodenbach go with barbecue (given the flavor profile) and that sauce sounds fantastic. Thanks for posting the recipe! I’m going to have to try something like that one of these days. Of course, I have no fancy smoker and lack the requisite skills/motivation to make my own the way you did, but I’m sure I can figure something out.

    Also, it sounds like the Haybag is offering to make the saunce next time:p Though I do agree with her that giving the sauce your own seal of approval represents something of a conflict of interests!

    • I suppose there could be a conflict, even if I set up a Chinese wall…although that would make our 900 sq ft place a little cramped.

      You should give it a go. You could do it indirect heat on a regular grill, I think.

      And hopefully, one day, BBQ joints will get on board and put sours on their menu.

  3. Looks delicious! One question though: how much of the beer do I need to save? Does that mean I really can’t drink it? You’re asking a lot…

    • Thanks. And that is the tough part. I can only get the 750 ml bottles. So I “had” to get two bottles and tried not to drink too much of it making the sauce the night before. Then I had a full bottle to drink with the piggy the next day. I’m all disciplined and whatnot.

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