June 1, 2011
Doc shared a link to this story about the birth of a new Trappist brewery in France yesterday. Along with the link, he asked how we felt about those wine-snorting cheesemongers horning in on our beloved Trappist brews.
My reponse? Slap the Trappist logo on the Mont des Cats beers all you like, but they’ll always be knock-off abbey ales to me.
I’m old-school. I don’t accept La Trappe because they lost their Trappist designation back in 1999 after the monks gave up control of the brewing operations. And I don’t accept Achel because any brewery founded three years after Dogfish Head ain’t a Trappist where I come from. So what constitutes a legit brewery from the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance? I made up a simple rule which will shortly be voted into the Aleheads Code at this year’s retreat:
If it doesn’t start with the word West, end with the word Fort, have a fish for a logo, or have a name that is an anagram for Icy Ham, then it’s not a goddamn Trappist. Read the rest of this entry »
April 17, 2011
It’s a lovely Sunday so I’ll refrain from my usual verbosity and simply regale you with a couple of anecdotes that lead me to believe we have reached a tipping point when it comes to craft beer.
In my mind, the “tipping point” as it relates to the world of high-end beer is when said brews go from being considered “novelties” or solely the domain of beer snobs and are instead considered perfectly reasonable, accessible beverages for the masses. Perhaps we’ve been at that point for awhile now, but two striking things happened over the weekend that made this notion impossible to refute (for me at least). Read the rest of this entry »
May 8, 2010
If you’ve had only one Trappist beer, it was probably a Chimay. As the largest Belgian Trappist brewery*, Chimay’s offerings are fairly ubiquitous. You can get their beers in most high-end package stores, grocery stores, and restaurants.
*Koningshoeven, or La Trappe, is actually a bit larger, but it’s located in the Netherlands.
The 150-year old brewery produces three brews commercially, with a fourth beer, the lower-strength Golden or Dorée, served only in or near the abbey as a patersbier.* Read the rest of this entry »
May 5, 2010
Ask an Alehead to name the best beers on Earth, and chances are their list will be dotted here and there with Trappist ales. The Trappist beers are legendary in the brewing world for numerous reasons:
- They’re old (5 of the 7 currently operating Trappist breweries were founded in the 19th century and that’s just in their most recent incarnations…most have been brewing on and off for centuries).
- They have an intriguing mythology (all Trappist beers are brewed by the fairly strict Trappist order of monks who run their breweries as non-profit, charitable enterprises).
- They’re just really fucking good beers. Read the rest of this entry »