Villers Abbey beers
Since 2016, the abbey’s micro-brewery has been brewing four organic beers on-site using traditional methods. These include a revival of the monks’ beer Abbaye de Villers V and a triple Abbaye de Villers IX, voted best beer in 2014 by a panel of women from the magazine “Femmes d’Aujourd’hui”.
Beer inspired by the 18th century: a thirst-quenching beer
To compensate for its low alcohol content, the brewer has added raw hops. This is a beer in the purest tradition of abbey beers. It is served cool. According to the brewer, Authentique is an ideal beer to serve as an aperitif or to enjoy after a sports session.
The monks’ beer is produced using information found in the abbey brewery accounts archives dating back to 1720-1721 and 1766-1768. It is thanks to these archives that the proportion of barley, spelt and hops used in the process is known.
Three 18th century beers
In the 18th century, three beers were brewed at Villers, with very different gravities: a strong beer for the monks, a second lighter beer for the guests and a final beer, which was much lighter, for the servants and workers. Nowadays, in abbeys, the monks keep the lightest beer for themselves and the stronger beers are marketed!
A light triple
In addition to the 5% Authentique (Abbaye de Villers V), the abbey offers a 9% triple (Abbaye de Villers IX). The triple is a speciality beer. It is an ideal accompaniment to a meal. Unlike other triples, it is not too heavy: the brewer has added cane sugar to enhance the gravity of the wort and make the beer more thirst-quenching. It has an average bitterness (27 BU) and is served at cellar temperature.
The Brotherhood of Hostieux Monks of Villers Abbey offers a brown ale (La Ténébreuse, 8%) and a light ale (La Lumineuse, 6.5%). These beers make reference to the abbey’s motto: post tenebras, spero lucem (after darkness, I hope for light).
These four beers are brewed on-site by the company Abbey Beer. Their aim is to establish and run traditional breweries in the heart of existing or former abbeys. Thanks to the experience of managers, Bruno Deghorain and Gabriel Smet, Abbey Beer has expertise in the fields of beer production and marketing, in Belgium and abroad. The ingredients they use are organic.
Aside from the Trappist monks, Villers Abbey is the largest producer in Walloon Brabant and the fourth largest producer in Belgium, after Val-Dieu, Aulne and Brogne, to brew its beers on-site. The micro-brewery can brew up to 550 hL per annum. The beer is traditionally brewed, using a traditional wood and metal “fourquet”, a tool used to mix the malt flour and water in the mash tun.