Showing posts with label Trappist ales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trappist ales. Show all posts

Monday, December 17, 2012

"Here’s what you can do with your Westvleteren," at

Thanks for reading my twice-monthly column at, and to reiterate, it is my hope to do more daily blogging there in 2013.

westvleteren12Give me that old-time religion, 
Give me that old-time religion, 
Give me that old-time religion, 
It’s good enough for me. 
The merits of old-time religion seldom are displayed to better and tastier effect than the delicious ales brewed on the premises of six Trappist monasteries in Belgium, which beer lovers typically identify by the names of the nectars they produce: Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Westvleteren in Belgium, and Koningshoeven in the Netherlands.
It bears noting that earlier in 2012, Engelszell Abbey in Austria was approved as the eighth Trappist brewing monastery, but of course we’ll have no idea what to make of its beers until Rate Beer and Beer Advocate tell us exactly what to think.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Office Hours for Monday, February 14: Trappists for my sweetie on Valentine's Day.

Not fruity Lindemans, no.

For tomorrow night's Office Hours, we'll be switching the agenda I announced some time back, but which I'd already been contradicting aloud because I had it in my head that Trappists were going to be on Valentine's Day. They are. This is final. Remember that Trappists fall into various BJCP style categories. For Monday night the 14th, we're going to drink Trappists, chat about Trappists, and dispense with the usual style sheets, although I'll make an effort to note where they usually are placed.

Monday, February 14
Certified Trappist Ale Night

Monday, February 21
Category 18 — Belgian Strong Ale (minus certified Trappists)
18A. Belgian Blond Ale
18B. Belgian Dubbel
18C. Belgian Tripel
18D. Belgian Golden Strong Ale
18E. Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finale of Office Hours before summer break: Abbey/Trappist Overview.

Tonight's "Office Hours with the Publican" will be the final installment for the spring term. I'll pick it up after summer break, perhaps early September. I appreciate the participation, and it has been quite enjoyable to assemble a group of "regulars" from week to week.

On the agenda for this evening is a quick overview of Abbey and Trappist ales from (and perhap inspired by) Belgium. Recall that certified Trappists must adhere to a three step program: Brewed in the monastery (although fermentation can occur elsewhere); monks actively involved at some stage of the process; and a percentage of the proceeds going toward charity.

Abbey ales rather generically describe all those styles similar to Trappist, but not officially certified. There may be a real abbey licensing its name to a brewer, or a contract brewer making beer for a real abbey, or a brewer in Guam making ale to style definition, or the ruins of an abbey down the road somewhere. Some are as good (sometimes even better) than registered Trappists. Others, not.

Price is the same: $5, and the tasting starts at 6:30 p.m., perhaps in Prost this week, or if not, just outside.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A bit about Trappist ale before tonight's Chimay 25th anniversary party.

As a prelude to tonight’s observance of the 25th anniversary of Chimay Trappist ales being imported to the United States (at the Public House, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.), here’s an important consideration.

Abbey ales are one thing, and Trappist ales something else. This isn’t to say that all Trappist ales are superior to similar Abbey styles. The overlap is considerable, and the only way to be able to chart the similarities and differences is to drink as many different varieties of both as possible.

That’s why it’s fun being a professional.

“Trappist” does not denote precise characteristics. Some are dark, some pale. A few are hoppy, and others sweet. "Trappist" is an accredited appellation of origin, nothing more, nothing less. The rest is up to the individual monastery brewing team, and results vary.

For certification as a Trappist brewery, the brewing operation must be located on the grounds of the monastery; monks must retain overall control of the brewing operation (secular brewers are permitted); and a portion of the profits accrued from the brewing must go to charitable purposes.

The six Belgian Trappist breweries that wear the badge of officialdom are Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren, and Achel. Koningshoeven, located in the Netherlands, is the seventh, and the only one I haven’t visited.

Interestingly, Wikipedia notes that there is an eighth member of the International Trappist Association (founded 1997): Mariawald, in Germany, which to my knowledge is not a beer producer. Since the Trappist appellation extends to all products emanating from member monasteries, perhaps Mariawald does cheese or wine.

At the tasting in Prost tonight, we have one case each of 11.2 oz Chimay Red, White and Blue. Tisha Dean from World Class Beverages will be pouring wee samples, and if you elect to buy a bottle, you may keep the special 25th anniversary glass (roughly 50 glasses on hand). Tisha is bringing cheese and chocolates, too.

No discounts for dressing like a monk.