Trappist Monks, Beer, Belgium, Religion and History

Whether you drink beer or not you might still be interested in the Genesis of Beer in Belgium by Trappist Monks, the best known must be Chimay. The religious order actually has its roots in Burgundy and also Normandy.

I recently stumbled upon Trappist Beer, a Belgian site with a wealth of information on this and more.


Here are the main things I learned are from this expedition.

  First "The Cistercian monasteries are divided into two great Orders, of which one is historically attached to the Abbey of La Grande Trappe, in Normandy. From here originates the popular name of Trappists."

  Second, "In 2005 eight Trappist Abbeys – 6 Belgian (Orval, Chimay, Westvleteren, Rochefort,Westmalle and Achel), 1 Dutch (Tegelen) and 1 German (Mariawald) – decided to create the ‘International Trappist Association’ and offer their products under the joint, hexagonal logo of “Authentic Trappist Product”".

  Third, what makes these 'Trappist Beers' : "The Trappist beers adhere to 3 strict conditions: • the beer must be brewed within a Trappist Abbey • the beer must be brewed under the supervision and responsibility of the monks • the majority of the revenue must be dedicated to charitable work".

Be prepared to spend an hour or so if you want to cover the whole site as it is`quite detailed. Time well spent I think (illustration for this story comes from their site).

Recent Beer related excursions: Beyond Banking and Chocolate, Beer from Switzerland

plus Had 'Mother's Milk' for Lunch with Juicy Ribs

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