In the early 1800s, a group of Trappist monks settled in the small Belgian town of Westvleteren. The monks founded an abbey and, soon after, a brewery. The Westvleteren Brewery has been in operation ever since, making it one of the oldest breweries in the world. For most of its history, the brewery has been closed to the public; however, in recent years, the brewery has begun to open its doors to visitors.
The Westvleteren Brewery is best known for its beer. The brewery produces three types of beer: Westvleteren Blond, Westvleteren 8, and Westvleteren 12. All of the beer produced by the brewery is bottle-conditioned, meaning that it is unfiltered and unpasteurized.
After 75 years the Trappist abbey brewery of Westvleteren decided to reintroduce labels on the beer bottles in order to comply with regulations as it was impossible to put all the required information on the crown cork. But be assured. The iconic bottles and wooden beer crates have not changed.
In addition to selling its products to individual customers in limited quantities, the monastery also supplies food and drink to a few local businesses. The monastery has a contract with a local café to supply them with bread and beer.
If you're ever in Belgium, be sure to pay a visit to the Westvleteren Brewery. It's a unique place with a long history. And, of course, don't forget to try the beer! Cheers!