Orval Abbey, “Gold Valley”
The Orval Abbey, which name means “Gold Valley”, was founded in 1070 by some Benedictine Monks coming from Calabria and it has a long history tied with our territory.
The French troops destroyed it in 1793, for this reason it was closed. In 1926 the ancient Abbey was re-built thanks to the work of the Monks of the French Abbey of Sept-Fons. In 1931 the present Orval Brewery was annexed; it was designed by Henry Vaes with the aim to support the Monks and the reconstruction activity selling beer. The building has been finished in 1948.
The legend of Orval
At the core of the name Orval and its label, there is a legend regarding the foundation of the Abbey. The widow Matilde di Canossa was visiting that place, when she lost her wedding ring in a river. After having prayed to find it again, a trout appeared on the surface carrying the ring in its mouth, and Matilde said: “This is really a Gold Valley!” Orval.
Orval produces two kind of beers:
– Orval Trappist Ale, alcoholic volume of 6.2%. Is was produced for the first time in 1931, its colour is dark amber with orange shades, dry taste, pleasantly bitter and an intense taste which reminds fruit (plums) and aromatic herbs. This Trappist is perfect paired with savoury foods like blue cheese, meat and smoked or roasted fish.
– Petite Orval, light Trappist beer with an alcoholic volume of 3.5%. It is produced just for the consumption of the Trappinst Monks and their guests.