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  • Writer's pictureSpectrum Master Brewer

Trappist Tales: The Sacred Art of Belgian Beer Brewing

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Welcome to Trappist Tales, where we uncloak the mystique of Belgian Trappist beers, a divine chapter in the annals of brewing history. This journey takes us to the quiet cloisters of Trappist monasteries, where monks have been perfecting the art of beer brewing for centuries.


The story of Trappist beer is intertwined with the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, commonly known as Trappists. These monasteries, primarily located in Belgium, have been brewing beer since the Middle Ages. However, it was in the 19th century that Trappist breweries began to flourish, combining age-old monastic traditions with modern brewing techniques.


Trappist beers are not just beverages; they're a testament to a way of life. The brewing process is imbued with a spiritual dimension, adhering to the monastic principles of self-sufficiency, community, and contemplation. Each monastery brews its unique beer, often characterised by rich, complex flavours and a high alcohol content.


There are only a handful of Trappist breweries in the world, with the majority in Belgium. Each offers a distinct array of beers, from the strong, dark ales of Rochefort to the fruity, spicy notes of Chimay. These beers are revered not just for their taste but also for their craftsmanship and the monastic heritage they represent.


The Trappist beer label is a mark of authenticity and quality. To be labeled as Trappist, the beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery, under the supervision of the monks, and with profits used for the upkeep of the monastery or charitable work.


Today, Trappist beers stand as a beacon of traditional brewing in an age of mass production. They invite us to slow down, savor, and reflect. Each sip is a communion with centuries of monastic tradition, a blend of devotion, community, and the pursuit of brewing perfection.


So, as we raise our glasses to Trappist Tales, let's celebrate the sacred art of Belgian beer brewing. It's a legacy that transcends mere taste, offering a sip of history, a draught of tradition, and a toast to the enduring spirit of monastic brewing.

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