Monks and beer - the abbey beers (3/3)

The abbey beers belong to the great family of monastic beers. These beers are not necessarily recent creations. They can result from existing abbey breweries having transmitted their manufacture to laic interests. Some abbey beers can be a source of royalties for an abbey that in fact has never had a brewery. Or, they can be the result of the imagination of a brewer wanting to have, in his range of products, a top fermentation beer being sold as a monastic beer.

To help the beer amateur, we propose the following classification:

  • Monastic beers of abbey with a name of an existing abbey. Examples are Leffe, Maredsous, Tongerlo, Corsendonk, Postel, Floreffe, Grimbergen, Affligem, etc. These are generally brewed by a laic brewer outside of the abbey, but are sometimes still brewed in the abbey, and sometimes even directly by the monks or nuns (example: Val Dieu, and some German abbeys).
  • Monastic beers with the name of a disappeared abbey or an abbey having ceased any activity.Examples are St Idesbald, Vieille Villers, Cambron, etc.
  • Beer with monastic consonance (evoking, in their name or their image, monks or abbeys) Examples are Sanctus, Moinette, Witkap Pater, Pater Lieven, Triple Moine, Het Kapittel, St. Bernardus, etc.

All these beers experienced a significant development in the years 1920-1930, when many of them started being brewed. Additional details are accessible in the “Monastic Beers” chapter.

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