Trappist Beer – What Is It and Who Do We Recommend?

We had a beer school on Belgian beer last week, which was lead by Heather. We discussed at length the great trappist beers of that region. Trappist beers are some of the most sought after and arguably some of the finest beers in the world. Steeped in tradition and heritage today, we discuss what exactly they are and what our favourites are here at Beer52.

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The first thing that needs to be noted is that ‘Trappiste’ is an appellation. This is basically a trademark, that means that people cannot brew trappist beer out with certain conditions. These conditions are that the beer must be brewed under the direct supervision of the monks at a brewery on the monastic property. Exclusive rights to the names Biere Trappiste and Trappistenbier were also legally won for the monks in 1962. So basically trappist beers can only be brewed by certain people in a select group of places around the world. At present there are 7 classic trappist breweries in the world.

Trappist ales reflect the beer traditions of the regions they are brewed in. As a group they are all superb and if you fancy yourself as a bit of a connoisseur then you cannot have a collection without the inclusion of at least a few of the monks prized ales.

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Our favourite Trappist breweries are;


Founded in 1132 but rebuilt in 1926 because it was abandoned after the French Revolution. Orval only produces one beer that is available to the public – a golden ale broadly in the saison style with a powerful punch of orange. It’s absolutely gorgeous.


Founded in the 1794, Westmalle is a less reclusive brewery but still only has an offering of three beers. An Extra which is available only to monks and their Tripel and Dubbel whose recipe was reworked in 1926. Again classics of the style get your hands on our selection in the bottleshop here.


Brewing since 1863 its practically youthful compared to its other brothers. Its current offering of beers was sculpted by the brewing scientist Jean DeClerck. All of their range is gorgeous but you can get some exclusives in the Beer52 bottleshop here.

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Hopefully this wets your appetite for some beautiful trappist ales. They are some of the most sought after beers around and we are fortunate enough to stock them on our bottleshop. If you have never tried them then you should head over to our bottleshop and you can grab 20% OFF our range by using the code TRAPPIST at checkout.

Thanks for reading!


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