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New Trappist Breweries In The Pipeline

Added: Wednesday, June 1st 2011

Two new breweries run by Trappist monks could be brewing soon. One brewery would mark the first monastic brewery in France in modern times, while the second in the Netherlands would bring the total of Trappist breweries in the Low Countries - Belgium and Netherlands - to eight.

Trappist monks at the Abbey of the Mont des Cats in the French Flanders region of northern France will launch their beer this year, with the support of Chimay, the most famous of the Belgian monastic breweries in the French-speaking region of the country. Beer from Mont des Cats was due to be launched on 16 June but the first brews will be produced at Chimay, with plans to move production to France by the end of the year. The recipe for the beer has been formulated by brewers at Chimay and the monks at the French abbey are characteristically tight-lipped about the beer, declining to say whether it will be light or dark in colour. Image courtesy

The International Trappist Association is slow to award to its symbol of authenticity to monastic products but it's likely the Mont des Cats beer will receive authorisation once the beer is brewed there and not at Chimay. The abbey already has the Trappist logo for its cheese.

The Trappist abbey of Maria Toevlucht at Klein-Zundert, south-west of Breda in the Netherlands (right), plans to begin brewing in 2012. Plans have been submitted to the local council for a brewhouse to be built within the walls of the monastery. According to the abbot, Brother Daniel, beer production is crucial for the survival of the monastery as a result of the difficulties monks face in recruiting new members to their strict, enclosed order.

"The precise plans have yet to be worked out," Brother Daniel said. "We have shared our plans so that we can consult with our community." He added that only small amounts of beer would be produced but the income would contribute to the continuity of the monastery.

The request for planning permission was welcomed by the mayor and aldermen of Zundert. More detailed plans have been requested before the council makes a decision.