Over the last while we have been significantly increasing our range of Belgium beer and while there are a mass of styles that are popular and unique to Belgium, there is one type that gets requested more than any other; Trappist Beer.
Truth be told, this is not a type of beer that is only found in Belgium, with eleven monasteries worldwide (six in Belgium, two in the Netherlands, with one each in Austria, Italy and the US) that currently brew beer and sell their beer as 'Authentic Trappist Product’.
The Trappist order originated in 1664, however beer has been brewed by monasteries since the Middle Ages. Originally the purpose was to supply beer both for the Monks and also to help feed the community. Nowadays within the Trappist order, the beer is brewed to fund the Monks’ work and to support good causes. To be called a Trappist brewery there are a number of strict conditions each must meet.
The beers brewed are typically high in alcohol and include the styles Dubbel (6-8% abv), Tripel (8-10% abv) and Quadrupel (above 10% abv), they are a light to strong brown in colour and are more sweet in flavour. To understand the differences check out our blog Double, Triple & Quadruple Definitions in Beer.
While over 171 Trappist monasteries exist, only eleven are allowed to carry the ‘Authentic Trappist Product’ logo. For the others they may call their beer an Abbey Ale.
Those breweries which can call their product 'Authentic Trappist Product' are:
From The Netherlands:
From the US:
St. Joseph’s Abbey (Spencer)
Tre Fontane Abbey
Mount St Bernard Abbey (Tynt Meadow)
Cerveza Cardena Trappist
Mont des Cats
Another Trappist monastery, Mont des Cats in France sells a 'Trappist' beer which is brewed under agreement at Chimay in Belgium.