Trappists and beer

Trappists and beer

Like many other religious orders, the Trappists brewed beer in order to provide for their needs, and earn the income necessary for the current operations of the abbey and acts of charity.

Many of us know these famous belgian and dutch trappist breweries very well, but did you know that, during the 100 last years, several other Trappist breweries existed in Europe ? These breweries all are closed today. Luckily, we have records of the existence of many of these, as well as proofs of their former brewing activities.

So, what is a trappist beer exactly ? Although the question seems to be very simple, the answer is not so obvious, and deserves some further explanation : the definition of what is a “Trappist beer” evolved with time, in order to specify it and to better protect the name...

Currently, 7 trappist breweries own the right to have the beers they sell carry the “Authentic Trappist Product” logo. The wear of that logo can attest of their authentic Trappist origin, and their respect to precise rules defined by the international trappist association. These are the beers of the following abbeys:

    • Achel
    • Chimay
    • Orval
    • Rochefort
    • Westmalle
    • Westvleteren
    • The beers of Tilburg (La Trappe), carried the Trappist logo until 1999, when the monks themselves decided to remove it from their labels. After long negotiations, they finally gained the right to wear the logo again. An official press release was published October 2005, 7th.

In the next chapter, we will discover why this name was so coveted by non religious brewers, and what the monks did to protect it...

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