A Beer by Any Other Name: Trappist Ales
I guess I’ll keep the blog going in a pseudo-chronological order. At least somewhat. We started with sours because A) am biased, I love ‘em, B) everyone’s coming out with a sour right now, and C) there IS a Sumerian recipe from 3000 BC that details the making of a beer quite like modern lambic. ANYWAY
NEXT UP: monastic brews, or Trappist ales. Monasteries began brewing around 500 AD, and so, it is my next choice in the series. There are 8 Trappist abbeys: 6 from Belgium, 1 from the Netherlands and 1 from Germany. These 8 founded the International Trappist Association to prevent abuse of the Trappist name. A Trappist beer must be brewed within a Trappist abbey, by monks, and sales revenue must be directed towards assistance, not profit. Some of the profits go to maintaining the abbey, and the rest to charities of their choosing.
The Chimay Brewery is a phenomenal example of the Trappist style, as well as good practices. The water for the beer is drawn from a well within the monastery. They feed their cows the unused solids from the beer mash, and said cows make their cheese! That’s right, they do cheese too.
We have Chimay Red, Blue and White here at BSB (blue’s my favourite).Trappist beers tend to be on the pricier side, but you get what you pay for. Spend 6$ on bud light and chug that down, or spend double that, with double the percentage, drink from a chalice, enjoy every mouthful, and also get that nice fuzzy feeling of knowing that a portion of it is going to support some monks and their choice of charity! We also have Rochefort 8 & 10 from the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy, and with centuries of brewing experience, they know what they’re doing. The Rochefort 8 sits at just over a 9%, and is a sweet delight. The 10, sitting at an ever-powerful 11.3% plays the percentage down with a fruity scent, sugar and spice notes reminiscent of winter, less sweet than brother 8.
Your local BSB Brewnette