The seven Trappist monastery brewery in Belgium and the Netherlands are, as you might expect, pretty conservative institutions, and so it’s seldom that we have game-changing news from the Trappist brewing world. Except for this week, however, when arose not one, but two tidbits of surprising Trappist-related info.
First, courtesy of the Flemish news website HLN.be, interpreted for me by my Belgian friend Joris, comes word that the renown Trappist monastery brewery at Westvleteren is in negotiations to sell their beers through one of the largest supermarket chains in the country, Colruyt. According to the story, the deal has not yet been finalized but appears to concern gift packs of the monastery’s ales, presumably one each of the three brands the brothers make, including the much, much, MUCH lauded Westvleteren 12.
This deal, if consummated, will immediately vault what are now some of the rarest beers in Belgium to the status of some of the most ubiquitous. As for what it will do to the abbey’s near-legendary status among certain segments of “beer tickers,” well, we’ll wait and see on that front.
Meanwhile, over in Austria, the national news reports that the Trappist abbey Stift Engelszell is pursuing the creation of a brewery to raise money for the restoration of one of their buildings. (My thanks to Chuma on the Burgundian Babble Belt for the foreign language interpretation this time.) Evidently, the monks are waiting only on approval of their use of the Authentic Trappist designation.
A potential eight Trappist breweries in three, rather than two, countries, and the ready availability of one of the most prized Trappist ales, now that’s a big news week in monastery brewing circles!