We had our final class at Vintage Estate on the Terrace. The subject was Trappist beer. We tasted several to include the Rochefort 6,8,and 10, Orval, and Westmalle Dubbel. I am very intrigued and impressed by the Trappist beers.
There are only 7 active Trappist Breweries in the world. Orval, Chimay, Westvleteren, Koningshoeven, Rochefort, Westmalle and Achel. All are made in Belgium except for Koningshoeven which is made in Netherlands.
To be considered a Trappist brewery, there is very strict criteria. 1. The beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery. 2. It must be completely controlled by the monastic community. 3. The economic purpose of the brewery must be directed toward assistance and not for profit.
There are many reasons these beers are so excellent. The main reason is that they have been doing it for centuries. Orval is the oldest of the brewing monasteries, founded in the 11th century. Achel is the youngest of the brewing monasteries. They have been brewing since 1656. So, all the other reasons for producing incredible beer are a result of centuries of experience. The secrets that are kept amongst the Monks have long been admired. I guess it might be easy for them to keep a secret since they vow to silence.
If you haven’t tried any of these incredible beers, do yourself a favor and taste a Trappist beer. I think you will be enlightened.