St. Bernardus
St. Bernardus is a type of Abbey beer produced at Watou in Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...



In the late 19th century anti-clericalism
Anti-clericalism is a historical movement that opposes religious institutional power and influence, real or alleged, in all aspects of public and political life, and the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen...

 in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 forced the move of the Catsberg Abbey Community to the village of Watou in West Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, Belgium. The “Refuge Notre Dame de St.Bernard” was established, originally as a cheese production financed Abbey activities. In the 1934 it was decided to close the Belgian annex and return all monastic activities to France. Evarist Deconinck took over the cheese factory and built a first building at the Trappistenweg in Watou where the cheese was further developed and commercialised. After 1945, the Trappist
TRAPPIST is Belgian robotic telescope in Chile which came online in 2010, and is an acronym for TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope, so named in homage to Trappist beer produced in the Belgian region. Situated high in the Chilean mountains at La Silla Observatory, it is actually...

 Monastery St. Sixtus
Westvleteren Brewery
The Westvleteren Brewery is a Belgian brewery founded in 1838 inside the Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in the Belgian municipality of Vleteren, not far from the hops-producing town of Poperinge and the medieval city of Ypres. The brewery and its beers are usually referred to as...

 decided it would stop the sale of its beer.

An agreement was reached where inside the walls of the Monastery the monks would brew only beer for their own consumption but would sell to the public at the gates of the Monastery and also for a few taverns connected to the Monastery. Deconinck brewed and sold the Trappist Beers under license (for a period of 30 years). A new contract was agreed in 1962. In 1992, the agreement came to an end because the Trappist Monasteries (6 in Belgium and 1 in the Netherlands) decided that the qualification ‘Trappistenbier’ could only be given to beers brewed inside the walls of the Trappist Monastery. Since 1992 the beers brewed in Watou are sold under the new brand name of ‘St Bernardus‘.

The "St Bernardus" range is considered a close match in recipe and style to the St Sixtus beers, which can be hard to obtain outside the area.

Beers produced by St. Bernardus

7 beers are sold under the St. Bernardus label:
  • St. Bernardus Tripel (8% ABV
    Alcohol by volume
    Alcohol by volume is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in an alcoholic beverage .The ABV standard is used worldwide....

  • St. Bernardus Pater 6 (6.7% ABV)
  • St. Bernardus Prior 8 (8% ABV)
  • St. Bernardus Abt 12 (10.5% ABV)
  • St. Bernardus Witbier (5.5% ABV)
  • Grottenbier - Belgium Dark Ale (6.5% ABV).
  • Watou Tripel - Belgium Tripel (7.5% ABV)
  • St. Bernardus Christmas Ale (10% ABV); only available during the winter

External links

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