Established in the hallowed walls of Westmalle Abbey in Belgium, Westmalle Brewery, or Brouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle, is a true exemplar of Trappist brewing excellence. For over two centuries, this sacred site has been the cradle of some of the world’s finest beers. The brewery is renowned for its unwavering dedication to traditional craftsmanship, producing three distinct and cherished Trappist beers.
Westmalle Brewery Origin Story
Westmalle Abbey’s brewing heritage began in 1836 when Abbot Martinus Dom decided that the abbey should brew its own beer. The inaugural brew took place on August 1, 1836, with Father Bonaventura Hermans and Albericus Kemps pioneering the process. The first beer, a light and sweet concoction, soon evolved into what we now know as Dubbel, the first of its kind.
The brewing tradition continued, reaching new heights when Father Ignatius van Ham joined the team. In 1934, Westmalle Brewery created the Tripel, marking the modern use of the term for this style. The brewery saw further growth and modernization in 1991, cementing its reputation for quality.
A Blend of Tradition and Innovation
Westmalle Brewery stands as one of only six Trappist breweries in Belgium, holding a hallowed place in the world of beer. It produces over 120,000 hectoliters of beer annually, exporting its celebrated brews to more than 50 countries.
The brewery’s production of three classic Trappist beers is a testament to both tradition and innovation:
Westmalle Tripel: The pioneer of golden strong pale ales bearing the name “Tripel.” With its complex flavor profile, it delights with notes of malt, fruit, and spice. A true classic.
Westmalle Dubbel: A dark reddish-brown ale, rich and malty, offering a slightly sweet finish and moderate alcohol content.
Westmalle Extra: A deep brown ale boasting a complex flavor spectrum that includes malt, chocolate, and dark fruit notes. With a high alcohol content and a lingering finish, it’s a brew to savor.
Westmalle Brewery Beer Collection
Westmalle Brewery have a collection of exceptional beers that have captivated the discerning palates of beer enthusiasts. Drawing on the insights from Untappd, here’s a closer look at the top beers from Westmalle Brewery:
1. Westmalle Trappist Tripel
Style: Belgian Tripel
First brewed in 1934, Westmalle Trappist Tripel is an iconic classic. It features pale candy sugar and a very pale color from light pilsener malts. The brew incorporates Styrian Goldings hops along with some German varieties and the classic Saaz pilsener hop. With a long secondary fermentation, this Tripel holds up well over time and seems to soften with age.
2. Westmalle Trappist Dubbel
Style: Belgian Dubbel
Rich and malty dark reddish-brown Trappist beer with a secondary fermentation in the bottle. It boasts a creamy head with the fragrance of special malt and leaves an attractive lace pattern in the glass. The flavor is rich and complex, offering herby and fruity notes with a fresh-bitter finish. This balanced quality beer has a soft mouthfeel and a long, dry aftertaste.
3. Westmalle Trappist Extra
Style: Belgian Enkel / Patersbier
One of the oldest beers of Westmalle Abbey, dating back to the brewery’s beginnings. This golden yellow Trappist beer combines a low alcohol content with a rich flavor. Enjoy its fruity notes and refreshing, thirst-quenching character.
These remarkable Trappist brews from Westmalle Brewery encapsulate centuries of tradition and devotion. Each sip is an homage to the craftsmanship of the monks who have mastered the art of brewing.
Westmalle Brewery stands as a testament to centuries of brewing excellence within the tranquil walls of the Westmalle Abbey. Their Trappist heritage and unwavering dedication to quality have yielded a revered collection of beers, from the iconic Tripel to the rich Dubbel and refreshing Extra.
These brews, with their rich flavors and unique brewing methods, offer a taste of monastic tradition. Visiting the brewery allows enthusiasts to immerse themselves in this time-honored craft. Westmalle’s exceptional beers continue to be a symbol of excellence and devotion in the brewing world. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the legacy of Westmalle Brewery.