The Chimay Brewery

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nce and a while you come across a brewery that seems to have beer brewing down to a science. Chimay is one of these companies.

History The Chimay Brewery (“Bières de Chimay”) is a Belgian brewery founded inside Scourmont Abbey, in the Belgian municipality of Chimay in 1862. The brewery produces three widely distributed ales and a patersbier exclusively for the monks. (These are known as Trappist beers because they are made in a Trappist monastery.) The brewing plant was updated in 1988, and now produces 120,000 hectolitres annually (over 3 million gallons!)

The Beers: Ok enough with the history lesson, on with the beer! This trio of goodness comes in three outstanding concoctions –

·Chimay Rouge (Red), 7% abv. In the 75cl bottle, it is known as Première. It is a dark brown color and has a sweet, fruity aroma. The malt in this beer has a nutty character that goes well with the hints of pepper from the house yeast.

·Chimay Bleue (Blue), 9% abv darker ale. In the 75cl bottle, it is known as Grande Reserve. This copper-brown beer has a creamy head and a slightly bitter taste. Considered to be the “classic” Chimay ale, it exhibits a considerable depth of fruity, peppery character. The taste continues to evolve and develop with a few years of age, and is extremely popular with the Belgian population.

·Chimay Blanche (White…and our favorite), or Chimay Triple, 8% abv golden tripel. In the 75cl bottle, it is known as Cinq Cents. This crisp beer bears a light orange color, and is the most hopped and driest of the three.

Interesting side note about these beers is they actually are ok to age. Many beers do not age very well, but Chimay states that you can age the White and Red for up to 5 years and the Blue for up 15. Now that is a long time to wait for a beer!

While all three of these specially crafted Belgian beers are very good the White (Triple) is simply fantastic. While it follows in the tradition of other Belgian triples this one stands out due to its unique hoppy character and easy (sometimes too easy, $$) drinkability. The Bleue (blue) was our second favorite as it’s the classic Belgian Ale with tons of flavor and quality.

Where can I find: luckily, this beer is easy to find. We have found bombers of Chimay at our local supermarket. But, we warn you ahead of time…this beer is not cheap.

We hope you get to try this beer and experience this real Belgian beer, made by beer loving monks since 1876.

Cheers & Happy New Year!

Scott Foley