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Abbey and Trappist

Trappist beer is made by Trappist monks associated with the breweries at eight monasteries in the world.  As Trappists, one of the vows undertaken is that each monastery will beself-supporting, so the brewing of beer, making of cheese etc. has historically been one of the income streams used to fund the monastery’s good works.

A whopping six of the breweries are in Belgium, with another in Netherlands and the last one in France, meaning only beer brewed by Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren, Achel, Koninghoeven, Mont des Cats can be officially proclaimed Trappist.  Abbey beers on the other hand are beers brewed in the monastic style but don’t quite achieve the official status.

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It isn’t possible to pigeonhole all Trappist/Abbey beers within one style or range as they produce such a varied selection however all of them produce Blonde, Dubbel and Tripel with the odd Quadrupel being produced.

  • Blonde  - A derivation from a pale ale.  Light and fresh usually with a lush, creamy head and brewed to circa 7% abv
  • Dubbel – A dark beer with more roasted malts and chocolate, spicy flavours, brewed stronger to 8-9%
  • Tripel – An extra strength version of the blonde, brewed to 10%, hoppy  and bursting with flavour
  • Quadrupel – Again stronger thanTripel, but sweeter with a viscous caramel texture.  One for savouring