Styles: Single, Dubbel, Tripel and Quadrupel
Defining qualities: unpasteurized, top-fermented, bottle-conditioned, made with no chemical additives
If there’s one thing most people identify with Belgian beers, it’s those men of the cloth who brew. The only quality that is required to label a beer as Trappist is that the beer was made within the walls of a monastery. Traditionally, monks would brew beer to help cover the costs of running the monastery, and all profits were for charity. The club is very exclusive and becoming a member of the International Trappist Association is a prize that several monasteries covet. Since 1997—when the designation was made official—only eight monasteries in Europe have been designated as “Trappist” from the 170 monasteries worldwide.
The six Belgian monasteries that brew beer for commercial sale and may lawfully attach the hexagonal Authentic Trappist Product logo include Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Westvleteren.
Jimmy remembers his introduction to craft beer was via Trappist ale. “The first experience I ever had with really great beer was Chimay.”