Monastic beers like Abbey and Trappist beers, unique in the world and even legally protected, offer premium products, with a wide range of flavours and colours, without compromising the quality and dedication, which is central to the way of life of these religious communities. It was actually the monks who were the driving force behind the development of the modern brewing techniques and high quality standards that many Walloon and Brussels brewers feel very strongly about. Originating from France, the Trappist monks especially used their expertise and knowledge of winemaking to brewing the local drink and as such provide work in poorer areas. Of the six Trappist monasteries in the world allowed to brew beer, three (Orval, Rochefort and Chimay) are situated in the Walloon region, with wonderful stories and beers that can rival the best of wines, each reflecting the essence of these monastic communities, who live from the divine fruits of their honest labour. These are top fermented, full-bodied beers, which are legally protected labels and strictly regulated. Great with Trappist cheese, or even dark Belgian chocolate.
Abbey beers like Leffe, Maredsous or St.Feuillien, are beers which used to be brewed in an Abbey, but thanks to that little French guy, Napoleon, are now brewed in commercial breweries under strict control of the Abbey.
Although there is a wide variety in various tastes and colours, we can say that they are all medium to full bodied, yet easy drinking beers, with a surprising soothing flavour and endless possibilities for food pairing.