Trappist beer is beer brewed by Trappist monks.
There are only seven functioning breweries in the world, six in Belgium and one in the Netherlands; Orval, Westmalle, Westvleteren, Rochefort, Chimay, Achel and La Trappe.
Evan and I love beer and by that I mean, good beer.
We have tried quite a few different types while in the Netherlands and I know that one of Evan's favorite things about Belgian beer, besides the taste, is that it always comes with it's own special glass.
For his birthday, I decided to buy the seven Trappist beers and seven beer glasses for him, to be consumed in over a week, not only on his birthday... (Heaven forbid)
Seven seemed somehow manageable...
Monday, Orval... First beer, first glass. Definitely an interesting flavor. Nice font!
Tuesday, Rochefort. FANTASTIC. The 10 was really amazing. Also, 11% or so. One bottle is more than enough for a party.
Wednesday, Westmalle. Very good, we have tried this one before. The Dubbel is tasty. Nice heavy, unbreakable goblet.
Thursday! Actual Birthday, Westvleteren. An 8 and a blond, which was very dry and refreshing. Very hard to find, we'd tried calling the brewery on the schedule but always get a busy signal. Argh.
Friday, La Trappe Quadrupel in the fancy bottles purchased in Belgium by our wonderful local beer shop, 500 Bieren. I love that place.
So, by the week's end, we were scoffing at anything less than 8% ABV, had no fear of cloudy, warm beer, I had broken the first Orval goblet and it was determined that we had to visit the Achel Brewery in person to get their glass.
It was lovely.
(But before we get there, a note about Westvleteren.
It is impossible to get their glass other than by ebay, and I have hope of eventually visiting the brewery, so it was put off. This made the collection sadly incomplete and made the trip to Achel even more necessary.)
We took our bikes on the train to Eindhoven, just under 2 hours, with a couple of good books to read. From Eindhoven, we followed the google mapped directions for "walking" to the Achel Brewery (Muddy sandy, but doable by bicycle). It was about 20K, barely over the border in Belgium. I had checked with my coworkers earlier in the week if I was going to be stopped for papers or thrown in Belgian jail for border crossing.
(I have no sense of scale about some things.)
Here are a few photos.
And finally, Sunday. Chimay. The blue label beer is delicious!!