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What You Need To Know About Trappist Beers

Discover the world of Trappist beers with the Craft Beer Boys as they take you on a journey through their top three favorites: Westmalle Tripel, Chimay Red Cap, and Orval. In this video by Jamie Oliver on Drinks Tube, the Craft Beer Boys share their expertise and passion for these unique beers, which are brewed by monks within the walls of the monastery. Not only do they delve into the flavors and complexities of each beer, but they also explain the rich history and traditions behind Trappist brewing. So grab a glass, sit back, and prepare to be amazed as you learn all about the magic of Trappist beers with the Craft Beer Boys.

In this captivating video, the Craft Beer Boys, Brother Johnny, Brother Jim, and Brother Brad, introduce you to the world of Trappist beers. They discuss the characteristics and nuances of their favorite Trappist beers, including the iconic Westmalle Tripel, Chimay Red Cap, and Orval. With their extensive knowledge and palpable enthusiasm, the Craft Beer Boys guide you through the flavors and history of each beer, giving you a taste of the centuries-old brewing tradition carried out by the monks. Join them on this exciting journey into the world of Trappist beers and let your taste buds be tantalized by these remarkable brews.

Trappist Beers

Trappist Beers are a unique and highly respected style of beer that are rooted in centuries-old monastic brewing traditions. These beers are brewed within the walls of Trappist monasteries, under the careful supervision of monks who have dedicated their lives to the craft. Trappist Beers are known for their exceptional quality and rich flavors, making them a favorite among beer enthusiasts around the world.

Definition of Trappist Beers

Trappist Beers are a specific category of beer that adhere to strict criteria set forth by the International Trappist Association. In order to be classified as a Trappist Beer, the beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery, under the direct supervision of the monks. Additionally, the monastic community must play a significant role in the brewing process and the proceeds from the sale of the beer must be used for the maintenance of the monastery or to support charitable causes.

Origin of Trappist Beers

The roots of Trappist Beers can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when monasteries played a crucial role in brewing beer as a means of sustenance. The Trappist brewing tradition began in 1836, when the Trappist monastery of Westmalle in Belgium started brewing beer commercially. Since then, Trappist monasteries in Belgium and other countries such as the Netherlands and Austria have followed suit, each developing their own unique recipes and brewing techniques.

Characteristics of Trappist Beers

Trappist Beers are known for their exceptional quality and distinct characteristics. These beers are typically full-bodied and flavorful, with complex flavors that are the result of carefully selected ingredients and meticulous brewing techniques. Trappist Beers often exhibit notes of fruit, spice, and caramel, and they can range in color from pale golden to deep amber. They are often bottle-conditioned, meaning that they undergo a secondary fermentation process in the bottle, which can contribute to their complex flavors and aromas.

Popular Trappist Beers

Trappist Beers have gained a reputation for their exceptional quality and unique flavors. Here are three popular Trappist Beers that are highly regarded by beer enthusiasts:

Westmalle Tripel

Westmalle Tripel is considered the mother of the Triple style of beer. It is a medium-strength beer with a complex flavor profile that combines fruity esters, spicy phenols, and a touch of sweetness. This beer is brewed by the monks of the Westmalle Abbey in Belgium and is known for its exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Chimay Red Cap

Chimay Red Cap is another popular Trappist Beer, brewed by the monks of the Scourmont Abbey in Belgium. This beer is a Dubbel style, characterized by its rich malty flavors and notes of caramel, dark fruits, and spices. It has a deep reddish-brown color and a smooth, velvety texture that adds to its overall appeal.


Orval is a unique Trappist Beer that stands out for its distinct flavor profile. Brewed by the Trappist monks of the Orval Abbey in Belgium, this beer is known for its dry, hoppy character and its complex aroma. It has a pale golden color and exhibits flavors of citrus, herbs, and spices, with a slight tartness that sets it apart from other Trappist Beers.

What You Need To Know About Trappist Beers

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Wes Malott Report: The Mother of the Triple Style

Westmalle Tripel holds a special place in the world of Trappist Beers as it is considered the mother of the Triple style. This beer has been brewed by the monks of the Westmalle Abbey for generations, and its recipe has remained largely unchanged due to its exceptional quality. The monks have honed their brewing skills over the years, making them experts in crafting this particular style of beer.

Medium Strength and Triple Style Beers

The Westmalle Tripel falls into the category of medium-strength beers. These beers typically have an alcohol content ranging from 7-9% and offer a balance of flavor and drinkability. The Triple style, which the Westmalle Tripel is known for, is characterized by its strong, complex flavor profile and high alcohol content. It is brewed with three times the amount of malt compared to a standard beer, resulting in a fuller body and a richer flavor.

Description of Westmalle Tripel

The Westmalle Tripel is a masterpiece of brewing craftsmanship. It pours a hazy golden color with a frothy white head, and its aroma is filled with fruity esters and spicy phenols. On the palate, this beer showcases a balance of flavors, with notes of banana, clove, and bubblegum complemented by a subtle sweetness. It has a smooth mouthfeel and finishes with a dry, refreshing character.

Monks’ Expertise in Brewing

The monks of the Westmalle Abbey have dedicated themselves to the art of brewing, honing their skills over generations. Their expertise is evident in the quality and consistency of the Westmalle Tripel. These monks follow a strict brewing process, utilizing only the finest ingredients and paying careful attention to every step of the brewing process. Their commitment to their craft has made the Westmalle Tripel a benchmark for the Triple style.

Charitable Aspects of Trappist Beer Production

One of the unique aspects of Trappist Beer production is its charitable nature. The proceeds from the sale of Trappist Beers are used to support the maintenance of the monastery and to fund charitable causes. The monks do not brew beer for profit, but rather as a means to sustain themselves and to give back to their communities. By purchasing Trappist Beers, consumers are not only enjoying a high-quality beverage but also contributing to the well-being of these monastic communities.

Shimei: A Notable Double Style Trappist Beer

While the Westmalle Tripel is a well-known example of a Triple style Trappist Beer, the Shimei is a notable representation of the Double style. The Double style falls between the medium-strength beers and the stronger Triple style and is characterized by its rich malty flavors and balanced drinkability.

Comparison of Double and Triple Styles

The Double style of Trappist Beer is known for its darker color and richer malt profile compared to the Triple style. While the Triple style is brewed with three times the amount of malt, the Double style uses a lesser amount, resulting in a more balanced flavor profile. The Double style typically has a slightly lower alcohol content than the Triple style, making it a more approachable option.

Characteristics of Shimei

Shimei is a Double style Trappist Beer brewed by the monks of an undisclosed monastery. It is known for its complex flavor profile and smooth mouthfeel. Shimei pours a deep amber color with a creamy off-white head. Its aroma is characterized by notes of caramel, toffee, and dark fruits. On the palate, Shimei offers a balance of sweetness and bitterness, with flavors of toasted malt, raisins, and figs. It has a medium body and a lingering finish.

Opening and Pouring Process

To fully appreciate the flavors and aromas of Shimei, it is important to follow the proper opening and pouring process. Before opening the bottle, it is advisable to chill it to the recommended serving temperature. Once chilled, gently open the bottle, being careful to avoid excessive carbonation. Pour the beer into a goblet or tulip-shaped glass, allowing a generous head to form. Take a moment to admire the beer’s appearance before savoring its rich flavors.

What You Need To Know About Trappist Beers

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Dreyfus Beer: A Unique Pale Ale Style

In addition to the Tripel and Double styles, Trappist Beers encompass a wide range of beer styles. Dreyfus Beer is a notable example of a Trappist Pale Ale, offering a unique flavor profile and a refreshing drinking experience.

Special Ingredients of Dreyfus Beer

Dreyfus Beer is brewed by the monks of an undisclosed Trappist monastery and is characterized by its use of special ingredients. This Pale Ale style beer is brewed with a specific strain of yeast called East Corporate Onam ICS. This yeast imparts a distinct aroma and flavor to the beer, reminiscent of a funky, farmyard-like scent. The use of this unique yeast contributes to the overall complexity and character of Dreyfus Beer.

Fermentation Process and Transformation

The fermentation process of Dreyfus Beer is a crucial step that transforms the beer into its final form. After the initial brewing process, where the malt sugars are extracted and boiled with hops, the beer is fermented with the East Corporate Onam ICS yeast. Over a period of about nine months, the beer undergoes a transformation, turning from a traditional Pale Ale with hoppy and citrusy aromas into a multi-layered, orange-hued beer with rich malt flavors. This transformation is a testament to the skill and patience of the Trappist brewers.

Tasting Notes of Dreyfus Beer

Dreyfus Beer offers a unique tasting experience with its Pale Ale style characteristics and the influence of the East Corporate Onam ICS yeast. It pours a vibrant, orange color with a frothy white head. On the nose, there are notes of farmyard funk, citrus peels, and a hint of malt sweetness. The flavor profile is a delicate balance of hop bitterness, biscuit-like maltiness, and a subtle fruitiness. This Pale Ale style beer finishes with a clean, refreshing character, making it an excellent choice for those who appreciate a well-crafted, sessionable beer.

Comparison and Evaluation of the Three Beers

Now that we have explored three distinct Trappist Beers – the Westmalle Tripel, Shimei, and Dreyfus Beer – it’s time to compare their taste and aroma profiles, and consider the preferences of the Craft Beer Boys.

Comparison of Taste and Aroma

The Westmalle Tripel boasts a complex flavor profile with fruity esters and spicy phenols, showcasing notes of banana, clove, and bubblegum. The Shimei embraces a rich maltiness with flavors of caramel, toffee, raisins, and figs. Meanwhile, the Dreyfus Beer offers a delicate balance of hop bitterness, biscuit-like maltiness, and a subtle fruitiness. Each beer has unique characteristics that appeal to different palates, and exploring all three allows for a diverse tasting experience.

Opinions and Preferences of the Craft Beer Boys

The Craft Beer Boys have their own opinions and preferences when it comes to Trappist Beers. They highly rate the Westmalle Tripel for its exceptional craftsmanship and historical significance. The Craft Beer Boys appreciate the traditional flavors and the fact that the recipe has remained largely unchanged over the years. However, they also acknowledge the merits of the Shimei and Dreyfus Beer, each recognizing that taste is subjective and open to individual preference.

What You Need To Know About Trappist Beers

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Where to Find Trappist Beers

Trappist Beers may seem elusive, but they are actually quite accessible for beer enthusiasts around the world. While Trappist monasteries have limited production capacities and distribution networks, there are several ways to get your hands on these coveted beers.

Availability of Trappist Beers

Trappist Beers can often be found in specialty craft beer stores, both locally and internationally. These stores curate a selection of unique and imported beers, making them a great resource for Trappist Beer enthusiasts. Additionally, some bars and restaurants may carry Trappist Beers on their menus, offering the opportunity to savor these exceptional brews in a social setting.

Online Sources for Trappist Beers

For those unable to find Trappist Beers locally, the internet offers a convenient solution. Many online retailers specialize in craft beer and offer a wide selection of Trappist Beers for purchase. These online sources ensure that enthusiasts can enjoy their favorite Trappist Beers regardless of their location, delivering them right to their doorstep with careful packaging to preserve their quality.

Other Trappist Beers to Explore

While the Westmalle Tripel, Shimei, and Dreyfus Beer are certainly noteworthy Trappist Beers, there are many other Trappist Beers that are worth exploring. Each Trappist monastery has its own unique brewing traditions and recipes, resulting in a diverse range of beer styles and flavors.

Introduction to Trappist Beers Not Mentioned

Trappist Beers such as Achel, Rochefort, and La Trappe, among others, are highly regarded by beer enthusiasts around the world. Each of these beers offers its own unique characteristics, representing the craftsmanship and tradition of the Trappist brewing tradition. Exploring these lesser-known Trappist Beers allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the diversity within this esteemed beer category.

Suggestions for Further Exploration

For those looking to embark on a Trappist Beer exploration, it is recommended to try different styles from various Trappist monasteries. This allows for a broader understanding of the flavors, brewing techniques, and traditions associated with Trappist Beers. Consider experimenting with Dubbels, Quadrupels, and other styles to fully immerse yourself in the world of Trappist brewing.

What You Need To Know About Trappist Beers

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Pairing Trappist Beers with Food

Trappist Beers are renowned for their complex flavors and versatility when it comes to food pairings. The rich maltiness, fruity esters, and spicy phenols present in these beers can complement a variety of dishes, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Recommended Food Pairings

The Westmalle Tripel, with its fruity and spicy profile, pairs well with rich and flavorful dishes such as grilled sausages, spicy curries, or aged cheeses. The Shimei, with its caramel and dark fruit flavors, can be paired with roasted meats, stews, or desserts like chocolate cake or fruit tarts. As for the Dreyfus Beer, its hop bitterness and biscuit-like maltiness make it a perfect pairing for seafood such as grilled shrimp or fish tacos, as well as spicy dishes like buffalo wings.

Specific Pairing with Fried Chicken

According to the Craft Beer Boys, the Westmalle Tripel is particularly well-suited to be paired with fried chicken. The beer’s fruity notes and refreshing character complement the savory and crispy elements of the dish, creating a harmonious combination of flavors. This pairing is a testament to the versatility of Trappist Beers and their ability to enhance the enjoyment of culinary experiences.


Trappist Beers are a true testament to the craftsmanship and dedication of the monks who brew them. These beers not only offer exceptional quality and unique flavors but also uphold the long-standing traditions of Trappist brewing. Whether it’s the iconic Westmalle Tripel, the distinct Shimei, or the refreshing Dreyfus Beer, each Trappist Beer carries with it a rich history and an appreciation for the art of brewing. So, raise a glass and savor the flavors of Trappist Beers, all while appreciating the craft and tradition that goes into each sip.

What You Need To Know About Trappist Beers

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Hi, I’m Carlie Brandywine

Hi, I'm Carlie Brandywine, the author behind Total Beverage. As a passionate lover of coffee, beer, cocktails, spirits, tea, and all things beverage-related, I've created this website to share my expertise and recommendations with fellow enthusiasts. At Total Beverage, you'll find a curated selection of products and gift ideas tailored to the needs and tastes of beverage lovers. Whether you're in search of coffee equipment, wine-related products, bar accessories, or home bar equipment, I've got you covered. Join me on this journey as we explore the world of beverages and find everything you need to prepare, serve, and savor your favorite drinks. Cheers!