Photos from the first-ever open brewery days at Chimay.

Brew tanks at the Chimay Brewery

Chimay yeast slurry

Lines at the Chimay Brewery + View of the Trappist Abbey

Last week we toured the Chimay brewery at the Notre-Dame de Scourmont Abbey in southern Belgium. This was the first year the Trappist brewery was open to the public. Honestly, not my favorite of tours, but what an opportunity have one of the first looks inside.

A limited number of tours were given; they were free and bookable online (only on the French and Dutch versions of the Chimay web site). I can’t say it provided any great insight into monastic life or brewing or really anything because, well, the tour was conducted in French. My high school French doesn’t take me far beyond “Parlez-vous anglais?” But it’s a brewery tour. What can they say that we don’t already know?

I had hoped to get to peek into the abbey, maybe see some monks like at La Trappe, at least visit the bottling line. Nope. The tour concluded with Chimay cheese and Spéciale Cent Cinquante. We received a 150-year-anniversary collectors glass as a souvenir of the visit and made our way to the restaurant down the street where they serve Chimay Dorée. The beer is good but the service is painfully slow (painfully slow by European standards and that means s l o w).

I did see a monk later…in the Carrefour parking lot.

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