Maredsous is an abbey beer brewed by Benedictine monks in the Walloon region of Belgium. The beer is, imo, just okay. Perfectly acceptable, not exceptional. It’s the sort of reasonably priced, solid Belgian I’ll drink when we move back to the states. But for now, with 21 cases of the best beer in the world in the basement and a choice of Cantillon, why bother with something unremarkably “decent.”
While the beer isn’t my favorite, Maredsous is a place I’d visit again on a sunny Saturday afternoon or lazy Sunday or a Tuesday (or whatever). This area of Belgium is lovely, and the Maredsous visitors center has plenty of outside seating and nice playground for the kids. Inside they have a bookshop, a giftshop and a cafeteria-style restaurant. That took some figuring out. The system is a bit different; you order and pay for your food then take the ticket to the appropriate counter to pick it up. One counter for beer, one for hot food, one for cold food, etc. Free parking, free bathrooms and the church is free.
They do offer guided tours which sound interesting. The web site site promises a look into the life and work of the monks—taking you behind the walls to monks cemetery, ceramics studio, etc. Only one problem: They’re only given in French and Dutch. While the tour is cheap (2.50€), probably one you don’t get much out of it unless you speak the language.
I should have taken a picture. In the gift shop, they sell hand-thrown pottery including the traditional Maredsous chalice in very untraditional colors—pink, kelly green and navy. They’re really beautiful; I just couldn’t justify spending 10€ on one when I’ve never used the (mass produced, 50 cent thrift shop) one we have. Although, if someone said they wanted one, you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to get me to go get it for you.
M O R E P H O T O S
From Maresdsous Abbey. Shot September 1, 2012 in Maresdsous, Belgium