Belgium, Abbey, Trappist Beer

Nov 1, 2012
2012 / November 2012

A country that traces its beer-making history back to the time of the Crusades, Belgium today is considered the most diverse beer producer in the world. Among the many stylistically individual beers it produces are abbey and Trappist beers.

Basically, Trappist beer must be brewed in a Trappist monastery, with the monks playing a role in its production. These beers tend to be strong-flavored. There are currently eight beer-making Trappist monasteries, all but two in Belgium.

Abbey beer can be made by any non-Trappist monastery — the Benedictines and Cistercians, for instance — and today are usually made by a commercial brewery in the style of abbey beer. They are similar to Trappist beers although usually less intense.

For centuries, all monastic beers were called abbey beer. Then, in 1997, the International Trappist Association announced the designation “Trappist Beer” could be used only for beer made in a Trappist monastery. Two years later, the Union of Belgian Brewers introduced the designation “Certified Belgian Abbey Beer.” At present, there are 18 certified abbey beers brewed in Belgium.

A fine example of abbey beer is produced by Brasserie de L’Abbaye du Val-Dieu in a centuries-old Cistercian monastery near the town of Aubel. A private family owns the brewery; the last Cistercian monks left the abbey in 2001. This is the only abbey beer actually brewed in an abbey.

Its three most popular beers are known by their color. Val-Dieu Blonde is fresh, delicious and pale with 6 percent alcohol. The 8 percent Val-Dieu Brune is chocolate brown, dense and piquant. Val-Dieu Triple, 9 percent alcohol, is aromatic, full-bodied and memorable.

A fine example of Trappist beer is Rochefort. While the name of the monastery is Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy, its beer is named after the nearest town. The Trappists began making beer here in the 1500s, and today their three best known are named by numbers. Rochefort 6, with 7.5 percent alcohol, is the softest, a copper-shaded beer with a light, fruity aroma. Rochefort 8 is golden brown, 9 percent alcohol and boasts a more forward aroma and more robust flavor. Rochefort 10, at 11 percent alcohol, is a dark brown, full-bodied beer, firm and rich with a complex aroma reminiscent of fruits and chocolate.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Sep 18, 2019

Joint Venture between American Airlines, Qantas Gets Green Light

Three years after an initial rejection, in mid-July the U.S. Department of Transportation approved a joint venture between American Airlines and Qantas Airways.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

eFlyer Deals
Sep 18, 2019

New Delhi Package Offers

This New Delhi property offers visitors four options to pass the time.

eFlyer Deals
Sep 18, 2019

Family Get Together in Malaysia

The Hotel Jen Johor Puteri Harbour has excellent offers for families who need to make some quality time on the road.

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

eFlyer Deals
Sep 18, 2019

Get a Short Stay in Marrakech

Guests staying in Marrakech for two nights should take advantage of this offer.

Daily
Sep 18, 2019

New Loft-Style Villas Coming to Four Seasons Resort Maldives

Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.

TAP Air Portugal Adds 15 Flights Each Week From U.S., Canada

TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020,  a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.

eFlyer Reviews
Sep 17, 2019

Cebu Review

Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.