In 2016 UNESCO named Belgian Beer Culture to their  “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.” According to the organization’s website, “making and appreciating beer is part of the living heritage of a range of communities throughout Belgium. It plays a role in daily life, as well as festive occasions.” No one brand embodies this more than the beer brewed by the Trappist monks of Scourmont Abbey, Chimay. 

 

For many Belgians the grounds of Abbeys served as a place for a family stroll on Sunday. This is often followed by a late lunch at a nearby restaurant that presents Trappist beers with expert care in their proper chalice. According to their founding charter, Trappist monasteries were erected in areas that needed both social and economic support. That is why over 90% of the proceeds from the sale of Chimay goes directly to charity. The activities of brewing, as well as cheese making have helped restore local farming in their region. 

 

Chimay is a heritage brand revered by both connoisseurs and brewers alike in Belgium, but a beer cannot reach world-wide acclaim merely by being old. The monks at Scourmont Abbey have been committed to the same principles for over a century. Placing the virtues of quality and sustainability ahead of profit led the brewery to send the monk, Father Theodore, to learn the latest in brewing technology at University of Louvain after WWII. Alongside Professor Jean De Clerck he was able to isolate the yeast strain that is still used today to make Chimay beers. Still on the cutting edge of brewing technology Chimay has set a gold standard for the use of wind and solar energy. 

 

In a market full of endless product offerings of variable quality, Chimay brews five beers executed to perfection and they serve as a timeline of the brewery’s rich history.
Chimay Première (Red) 7%

This amber colored ale was the first beer released to the market by the Abbey in 1862.

Grande Réserve (Blue) 9%

Released in 1954 as a strong-dark Christmas Ale. It’s popularity led to it becoming a full-year offering and is the brewery’s #1 selling beer today.

Chimay Cinq Cents (White) 8%

This triple was brewed in 1966 to honor the 500th Anniversary of the Principality of Chimay,  which donated a portion of its land for the construction of the Scourmont Abbey.

Chimay Dorée (Gold) 4.8%

Always brewed for the personal consumption of the monks at mealtime, this sessionable beer was released to the market in 2013.

This summer Chimay releases their first new beer in nearly a decade, Chimay Cent Cinquante (Green), a 10% strong golden ale, with a pronounced floral and herbal aroma that ends with a dry finish. This beer commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Scourmont Abbey in Chimay, Belgium.