The Westmalle Trappists launch their “little beer”
Westmalle Abbey now markets Extra alongside its two flagship products, the Double and the Triple. A little “more” for the cafes when they reopen.
After the Trappist monks of Rochefort, the brothers of the Abbey of Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur de Westmalle in turn launch a new product on the market. “New” for the trade, but not for the abbey, because it is about the “small beer” which the monks drink in its enclosure at the time of the lunch.
Until now, “residents and enlightened amateurs had the possibility of acquiring it in small quantities at the entrance to the abbey half a day a week”.
The “Westmalle Extra” is a light blond beer (4.8% alcohol), of high fermentation and strongly hopped, which the general manager of the Brasserie Westmalle Philippe Van Assche recommends in particular as an aperitif. Note the (involuntary?) Nod to Rochefort, whose new blonde launched last fall is called the triple Extra …
Until now, “residents and enlightened amateurs had the possibility of acquiring it in small quantities at the entrance to the abbey half a day a week – on Friday morning”, explains Brother Benedikt, one of the members of the Abbey. Trappist community of Westmalle. From now on, the Extra will be distributed via beverage traders and the hospitality sector (hotels, cafes, restaurants). “One way to support this sector strongly affected by the corona crisis”, underlines Philippe Van Assche. Beer will not be restricted to certain establishments, but available for all those who want to register it on their card.
Do not “bite” on the other two beers
The Westmalle Brewery which, like its sisters displaying the Trappist label, produced within the walls of the abbey, brews some 130,000 hectoliters (hl) per year, which makes it second Trappist production behind Chimay. She only brewed the monks’ small beer twice a year; last year, it produced 440 hl.
From now on, we are going to reserve around 2% of our capacity for brewing Extra“, specifies the general manager. This will represent a little more than 2,000 hl. The abbey and its brewery do not wish, a priori, do not do more, so as not to “bite” on the capacities dedicated to Westmalle Double and Triple, their two flagship products.
The new beer will also find the export path, in limited quantity given the volume of production. “We will export about 10% of what we will brew, to the Dutch and French markets above all, “adds Philippe Van Assche.