Historic Belgian brewery Achel loses Trappist status
As reported by a number of Belgian news media yesterday, one of Belgium's historic Trappist breweries has just lost its Trappist status.
Even though Achel's production still takes place within the walls of Hamont-Achel's St. Benedict's Abbey (Belgium) and most of the proceeds go to charities, there are no longer any Achel monks to oversee the brewing. Indeed, as reported by Mediahuis, Nathanaël Koninkx of Westmalle Abbey says that "there hasn't been a living community in the Achelse Kluis for six months now".
To be entitled to use the Authentic Trappist Product trademark, a beer must meet all three conditions, therefore, following the disappearance of the last Trappist monk to keep an eye on Achel's production, the use of the Trappist logo on the beer's label is now no longer allowed.
Nevertheless, "much is not going to change for beer drinkers. At most, something on the label, on which the logo will no longer be displayed", claims Koninkx, as monks from Westmalle (a Trappist brewery itself) are still involved in Achel's brewing operations.
Without Achel, the International Trappist Association, which awards the Authentic Trappist Product trademark, now accounts for eleven Trappist beer brands: Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Westvleteren in Belgium; La Trappe and Zundert in the Netherlands; Spencer in the USA, Engelszell in Austria; Tynt Meadow in England; and Tre Fontane in Italy.
Achel was Belgium's least-known Trappist brewery and currently bottles four ales: Blond 8 (8%), Bruin 8 (8%), Extra Blond 9.5 (9.5%), and Extra Bruin 9.5 (9.5%).