Abbey beers use traditional recipes for brewing beer and may or may not be associated with an actual Abbey. In Belgium there are some marketing devices in place to help one determine if the beer is actually from an Abbey. The ones that aren’t typical brew the beer of a past abbey under license as the abbey may have ceased brewing sometime in the past.
The types of beer I am interested in discussing are Trappist beers. There are three strict conditions to be considered a Trappist beer:
- the beer must be brewed within a Trappist Abbey;
- the brewing must occur under the supervision and responsibility of Cistercian monks; and
- the majority of the revenue must be dedicated to charitable work.
This, to me, is a very intriguing list. Pair that with the fact that any beer geek can tell you that authentic Trappist beer are consistently some of the absolute best brews attainable…anywhere, and you have a very interesting conversation.
Take another read through that list and answer me something: how many other beer producers you know have any rules even remotely similar to this? All three of these points are going to have a pervasive effect on the beer brewed.