After sale of Abbey of Hamont-Achel only five Belgian Trappist beers remain
The Abbey of Hamont-Achel was sold to a Kempen entrepreneur yesterday, writes De Standaard. As a result, Achel beer may not carry the official Authentic Trappist Product label (ATP) anymore. This means that only five Belgian Trappist beers remain.
Trappist beer is a Belgian tradition. It is a beer brewed by Trappists, monks of the Cistercian order. It is therefore not a type of beer, as is often thought, but a description of its origin. Throughout the past two hundred years, the abbeys of Westmalle, Chimay, Rochefort, Orval, Achel and Westvleteren have marketed their own brews. Until 1980, it remained an exclusively Belgian product. But after the departure of Achel, only five Trappist beers remain in Belgium, while there is new ones popping up in the rest of the world.
Anno 2023, there are 10 beer brands worldwide authorised to carry the official ATP label, half of them Belgian. Five in Belgium, two in the Netherlands, one in Austria, one in Italy and one in England. The conditions for being officially called Trappist is that the beer must be produced within the monastery walls 'by or under the supervision of' monks and that proceeds are earmarked for the needs of the monastic community. This is what makes Trappist breweries different from commercial counterparts, making profit is not the main goal.
Belgian Trappist beers Achel, Rochefort and Westmalle. 2019 © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK