In the next article from our “Discover the Trappists” series on the world’s ten Trappist breweries, we’re looking at Westmalle. The beer is brewed by the monks of the Trappist Abbey of Westmalle in the province of Antwerp, Belgium. History The abbey was founded in 1794, but did not begin brewing until 1836. The monks at the abbey believe in “a life of prayer, a life in the community, and a life of work”. As you may remember from our article on Trappist beers, monks have always had a history of working and providing for the community, and a common way to do this was to brew beer, as it provided a safe drinking source for local people. In line with their beliefs, the brewery at the abbey is “deliberately kept to a small scale” and as such the beer is brewed in relatively small batches. The Beer Like St. Stefanus, Westmalle is refermented in the bottle. They are described on the abbey’s website as being “living beers whose flavours develop over time. Thus no two glasses are completely the same”. The monks brew three beers: the Westmalle Tripel, Dubbel and Westmalle Extra. Westmalle Tripel The Tripel is a clear beer with a golden colour. Characterised by a complex flavour and a fruity aroma with a hint of bitterness and hops, the beer is delicate and creamy. Westmalle Dubbel The Dubbel is dark brownish red in colour, with a large, foamy head. The flavour is rich, aromatic and fruity, with aromas of dark fruits and herbs. Westmalle Extra While the Tripel and Dubbel are brewed commercially, the Extra is the monks’ patersbier. This means that the beer is exclusively brewed by the monks for their own consumption. Have you tried any of the beers brewed by Westmalle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.