Trappist Brewery Koningshoeven, better known as La Trappe, is located in Tilburg, Netherlands. La Trappe was the first of two Dutch Trappist breweries that began brewing in 1884, following the tradition of the original French La Trappe. At 124,000 bbls a year, it is one of the largest of the world’s 12 Trappist breweries and produces a range of year-round and seasonal releases.
The Abbey Built on Beer
“When they live by the labor of their hands… then they are really monks.” That was written by Benedict, the “architect” of Western monasticism. According to his guidelines, monks should earn their own living.
The Trappists who came to Berkel-Enschot in 1881 began supporting themselves with farming and cattle breeding, but for the growing community, it quickly became obvious that the profits from the poor-quality land were inadequate to make ends meet. That’s why, in 1884, the monks decided to begin brewing Trappist beer.
Within 10 years, they had generated enough revenue from their delicious beer to build the abbey, which still stands today – a unique combination of an industrial and religious estate.
La Trappe is brewed according to traditional methods from recipes developed by the Trappist monks of Koningshoeven using only natural ingredients such as hops, barley malt and yeast. The brewery uses water drawn from its own well on abbey grounds.
The brewers utilize top-fermenting yeast, which is most active between 66 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The beer itself is bottled with yeast and sugar, allowing the fermentation process to continue in the bottle, giving La Trappe a unique aroma. Since 1997, the brewery De Koningshoeven B.V. (an independent subsidiary of Bavaria N.V. in Lieshout) has rented the buildings from the abbey and produces Trappist beer there under the authority and supervision of the monastery.
La Trappe is ale you experience and should be accompanied by products that can match that experience. The abbey gift shop on the Abbey’s grounds sells all ales from the La Trappe range, along with matching glasses and gift sets, as well as biscuits, chocolate, beer bread, sausage loaf, raisin bread and more.
In keeping with its spiritual alignment, the Koningshoeven Brewery contributes actively to a sustainable and socially oriented society. Its contributions include community workshops, locally sourced ingredients with a focus on green production, and charitable donations to poor regions of Uganda with the proceeds from its beer.
Here are the La Trappe products currently available in the United States:
La Trappe Witte Trappist – 5.5% ABV
A slight variation on the classic Belgian style, La Trappe Witte is an unfiltered wheat beer brewed for summertime enjoyment. The only Trappist Witte available! Available in 11.2 oz cans and 20 L keg.
La Trappe Dubbel – 7% ABV
La Trappe Dubbel is a deep reddish brown in color with a creamy tan foam. The aroma is of dried fruit and candy, with the faintest hint of hops. On the tongue, Dubbel is malty and slightly sweet with a fruity, soft character. La Trappe ales are all well-suited to the dinner table, but the Dubbel is a superstar with any kind of grilled or roasted meat or highly spiced food. It complements the flavor of many cheeses and is delicious with nuts. Available in 750 ml bottles, 11.2 oz cans and 20 L keg.
La Trappe Tripel – 8% ABV
A rich, brassy golden in color and sporting a slightly off-white foam, La Trappe Tripel is the hoppiest of the La Trappe range, displaying a beautiful balance of hoppy bitterness and full malt flavor. You will notice spices, fruit and hops in the nose. On the palate Tripel is slightly bitter, spicy and refreshing. The style “Tripel” generally means a beer that is golden in color and strong. Like most Belgian or Benelux ales, it’s also bottle-conditioned (as are all Koningshoeven ales), which means that living yeast are in each bottle and produce the carbonation in the package. Consuming yeast is normal and healthy, and they are also rich in vitamins and minerals. If you notice a thin layer of sediment in each bottle, it’s due to this yeast. Available in 750 ml bottles.
La Trappe Quadrupel – 10% ABV
Quadrupel sits at the top of the La Trappe range. At 10 percent alcohol by volume, it’s a big deep amber beer with a rich, warming flavor. Full-bodied and mild, slightly sweet and just a hint of bitterness round out the palate. In the nose you will detect fruit, a faint, pleasant yeastiness and just a touch of resiny hops. Although Quadrupel is delicious when consumed fresh, it can benefit from years of aging in a cool, dark place. The flavor of aged Quadrupel is reminiscent of port wine. We encourage aging of the smaller, capped bottles for best success. Available in 750 ml bottles, 11.2 oz cans and 20 L kegs.
La Trappe Quadrupel Oak-Aged – 10% ABV
What happens when you take La Trappe Quadrupel and age it in a variety of oak barrels? You get a beer that is complex, beautiful, sophisticated and very, very limited. The brewers at La Trappe use barrels previously used for wine, port, whiskey and sherry to impart a broad range of flavors and then blend these beers together at bottling to make a unique expression of Quadrupel that’s never to be repeated. Truly there is nothing like it on Earth. Trappist. Barrel Aged. Available in 375 ml bottles.
La Trappe Bockbier – 7% ABV
This unique seasonal product is the world’s only Trappist bock beer. Brewed exclusively with natural ingredients, it has a deep red color, an intensely rich taste and a malty aroma. Aromatic hop varieties and various types of burnt malt provide this beer with its delicate bitterness that blends surprisingly well with its slightly sweet undertone. A seasonal beer, available in the late winter/early spring in 750 ml bottles and 20 L kegs.
Brewery tours are available year-round, Monday to Friday at 2 p.m., and Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays at 1.30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. During a 45-minute tour through the brewery you will see all the aspects of the production process and all the characteristic buildings on the abbey premises before watching a short movie that will teach you everything about life in the monastery and the history of the brewery. At the end, you can taste the brewery’s delicious Trappist beers.
The La Trappe tasting room is named for the old building in which the monks tested their ales for aroma, flavor, clarity and quality. It is generally open November thru March.
The abbey is also connected to many biking trails, making it a great stop for a day trip.
For more information regarding tours, click here.
In the U.S., La Trappe beer can be found nationally. Look for La Trappe in local beer and liquor stores, both chain and independent, as well as specialty grocery outlets including Whole Foods and Total Wine.
+31 13 535 8147