Belgian Monks to Brew Beer Again 200 Years After France Ransacked Their Abbey

Left, a glass of Grimbergen blonde is seen. Right, Grimbergen Abbey is pictured.

By Published on May 23, 2019

Belgian monks from Grimbergen abbey plan to rebuild their brewery that was destroyed over 200 years ago and begin producing beer again.

A local council in Belgium approved the plan to rebuild the brewery Monday, according to Reuters. These Belgian monks produced beer from their brewery in Grimbergen since the 13th century, but French troops destroyed it in 1795. The abbey itself was founded in 1128.

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“For us, it’s important to look to the heritage, to the tradition of the fathers for brewing beer because it was always here,” Father Karel Stautemas, who lives at the abbey, said.

Monks will take a course at the Scandinavian School of Brewing in Copenhagen to prepare, and the brewery is expected to begin producing ale in 2020, Reuters reported.

“Brewing and religious life always came together,” Stautemas said.

The monks will follow the rules of the Trappist order regarding beer. They will brew only at the abbey, control the brewing themselves, and use the profits gained from the beer for abbey maintenance and charity.

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“We will keep the same yeast, which will bring all the fruitiness and spiciness and we will start to dig into more innovations, such as barrel-aging, dry-hopping,” said Marc-Antoine Sochon, the project’s brewmaster and an expert at Carlsberg.

Sochon said the rebuilt brewery will make limited editions of beer sold under the Grimbergen name.


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