In Belgium to discover the Achel Abbey (sint-benedictusabdij de achelse kluis)
Trappist monastery in Notre-Dame of Saint-Benoit in Achel is the smallest of the existing monasteries, however this Belgian abbey produces six types of beers.
The history of the monastery
The production of beer in Achel started in 1648 but it has been often interrupted because of the difficult history of the Abbey; in fact it was disrupted during the French Revolution, and rebuilt in 1844.
The brewery had another stop during the Second World War when the monks were forced to escape from the Nazis occupation. However in 1998 the production started again thanks to the passion of a monk and a brew master that used the original recipes of Brother Thomas, master of the Abbey.
The beer produced
These first beers are used only inside the monastery:
Achel Blond “5°” (5% vol.): trappist beer with a beautiful orange colour with thick foam and long-lasting characterized by a fruity and spiced aroma. The aftertaste is aromatic and sweet, slightly bitter. The monks commonly drink it during the meals.
Achel Bruin “5°” (5% vol.): trappist beer with a brownish-red colour that is possible to drink only drought inside the monastery. The perfume is hopped and reminds the toasted malt; the taste is slightly sweet and long lasting with notes of caramel and fruit.
Beers for sale are:
Achel Blonde “8°” (8% vol.): this trappist beer belongs to the Tripel type and it is characterized by a gold yellow colour and a medium-lasting foam. The perfume reminds to notes of honey, malt, fruit (grapes, pear) and yeast. The taste is sweet and slightly spiced and the aftertaste is pleasantly hopped.
Achel Bruin “8°” (8%vol): this Trappist beer belongs to the Dubbel type and it its colour is dark red with a thick foam not lasting. Its aroma reminds dark fruits; the taste is round and complex with notes of liquorice, nutmeg, malt and rhubarb.
Achel “Extra” Blonde (9,5% vol.): trappist beer with a beautiful gold colour with a creamy foam and a fruity aroma with notes of leaven and a spiced end.
Achel “Extra” Bruin: this beer has an amber red-brown colour with a clear beige foam, with medium consistency. The perfume is strong and the taste is sweet and spicy with notes of candied sugar, vanilla and citrus.
“Extra” beers are sold in bottles of 75 cl.
Today, the production of the monastery is around the 4500 hectolitres per year and the profit is used to finance charity or the management of the monastery.