There are 21 Trappist Abbeys, however, not all of these produce Trappist beer.
While Trappist Beers are generally known to come from Belgium, they are not exclusive to Belgium and there are other abbeys that are also producing Trappist beers as well. However, that doesn’t mean that there are a lot of Trappist breweries as the requirements are very specific. First, the abbeys need to be part of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (also known as “Trappists”). Second, the Trappist Beers need to be brewed by the Trappist Monks themselves or the Trappist Monks must oversee the brewing process.
Currently, there are 21 Trappist Abbeys, however, not all of these produce Trappist beer. Instead, some of the Abbeys produce and sell bread, honey, biscuits, ceramic objects, olive oil,… and many other Trappist products. All of these products are made within the abbey walls by Trappist monks and thus they are called Trappist products, but it can go one step further…
Some Trappist beers carry the Authentic Trappist Product (ATP) label, this is a label awarded by the International Trappist Association. In order for a product the receive the label, the Trappist Abbey and production rooms are being inspected and the traceability of all ingredients is being reviewed. Furthermore, the Trappist beers can only be sold with the primary focus of sustaining the monks’ life, any profit needs to be donated to good causes to help the community and people in need.
As a result of the very specific requirements, there currently are only 14 Trappist breweries, of which 11 currently carry the Authentic Trappist Product label. All equally good beer of course, the Trappist beers have won countless of awards!
List of Trappist breweries
- Achel, Belgium (ATP)
- La Trappe, Netherlands (ATP)
- Chimay, Belgium (ATP)
- Rochefort, Belgium (ATP)
- Westmalle, Belgium (ATP)
- Westvleteren, Belgium (ATP)
- Zundert, Netherlands (ATP)
- Stift Engelszell, Astria (ATP)
- Mont des Cats, France
- Spencer Trappist, United States (ATP)
- Tre Fontane, Italy (ATP)
- Cardeña, Spain
- Mount St. Bernard, United Kingdom
- Orval, Belgium (ATP)
Got thirsty reading, maybe consider a Trappist Beer?