St. Bernardus Brewery

  • Learn more
    Single
    330ml
    $10.50
    4 Pack
    4 x 330ml
    $37.00
    $42.00
    Case
    24 x 330ml
    $195.00
    $252.00
    Double Case
    48 x 330ml
    $370.00
    $504.00
  • Learn more
    Single
    330ml
    $9.00
    4 Pack
    4 x 330ml
    $29.90
    $36.00
    Case
    24 x 330ml
    $155.00
    $216.00
    Double Case
    48 x 330ml
    $290.00
    $432.00
  • Learn more
    Single
    330ml
    $9.00
    4 Pack
    4 x 330ml
    $29.90
    $36.00
    Case
    24 x 330ml
    $155.00
    $216.00
    Double Case
    48 x 330ml
    $290.00
    $432.00
  • St. Bernardus Pater 6 Belgian Dubbel
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  • St. Bernardus Chalice Glass
    Back soon!

let's tap into their story!

In the early 1900s, the Trappists fled the Mont des Cats in France to Watou, Belgium in order to avoid paying tax on their revenues. There, they took up residence at the Patershof farm, also known as Courtewyle, which was just a stone’s throw away from the current St. Bernardus brewery. The monks renamed their new home Réfuge de Notre Dame de St Bernard - a fitting name for a place that warmly welcomed others to take refuge in - and started making cheese.

In 1930, France started to become more tolerant towards religious communities, and so the monks of Mont des Cats decided to return. Their vacated dairy was taken over by Evariste Deconinck and later became the property of the Bruges Public Centre for Social Welfare.
Not long after the Second World War, Deconinck was invited by the Trappist monks at Westvleteren to brew and market their Trappist beers under licence, originally covering a 30-year period. A new brewery was soon established right next to the cheese workshop and under the guidance of Brewmaster Mathieu Szafranski, the Réfuge started brewing Trappist beers.

In 1959, the cheese-making business was sold, and the brewery was the sole focus of the Réfuge. In the 1960s, Deconinck’s son-in-law Guy Claus managed to convince Westvleteren Abbey to renew the brewery’s original 30-year licence agreement, and a new 30-year deal was signed to keep the beer flowing till 1992.

When the deal expired, the brewery preserved all the recipes that it had brewed but the beers were marketed under the St. Bernardus brand name. This period was marked by uncertainty as the brewery had to revive its fortunes while creating a reputation for its new branding.
In 1998, Hans Depypere took over the brewery and slowly managed to put it back on the map; the brewery sales grew from a few hundred thousand litres to an overwhelming 4 million litres under his care! Of course, this meant that the brewery needed an expansion as well as huge investors to keep up with the demand, so it opened an entirely new wing in 2018. This new wing included space for additional warehousing, a new brewery shop, a new reception area for brewery tours, new venues for meetings, conference, and parties, and to top it off, an impressive 360° rooftop bar that also serves as a tasting room!

St. Bernardus beers

St. Bernardus initially produced 4 Trappist beers: Sint-Sixtus 4, 6, 8, and the Abt 12. These beers were all recognisable by the bottles they came in; more specifically, by the all-too-familiar logo which features a smiling monk holding a glass.

Each beer had its own distinctive background colour and were brewed using the original recipes back then, but of course, the brewery has made a few changes. The brewery now uses water from different sources and a different yeast strain that originates from Westmalle instead of the propagated strains of the original Westvleteren yeast.
In addition, the label itself has carried several different names. The label started initially with “Trappist Westvleteren”, then “Sint-Sixtus”, followed by “Sint-Sixtus & St. Bernardus”, before finally settling on St. Bernardus from 1992 onwards. The brewery now produces a range of beers that follows the original recipes and brewing traditions, with the exception of a few changes.

The brewery’s most prized and respected beer is the Abt 12, with it accounting for more than half of the brewery’s total production. The Abt in Abt 12 stands for abbot, which refers to a title for the highest-ranking monk in an abbey. It is therefore no wonder that the creamy dark brown quadrupel is widely regarded as one of the best beers in the world. You can expect to taste a complex yet balanced combination of flavours, ranging from fruity to slightly spicy notes alongside a hoppy, malty, and bittersweet flavour.
Another popular brew of St. Bernardus is the Belgian Tripel - a traditional abbey beer that follows the classic tripel style. The pale gold-amber beer has a sophisticated flavour profile of spice, orange, grass, and warming alcohol. Oh, and how can we forget its delightful floral and banana-like fruity notes!

St. Bernardus - a former Trappist brewery - has a rich history of how it came to brew high-quality, complex, and flavourful beers despite facing a multitude of challenges. The brewery’s name, as well as its beers, are very much grounded in the Trappist tradition. After all, it’s no coincidence that the brewery can be found on a street called “Trappistenweg”!

By keeping to its traditions, the brewery continues to produce authentic Belgian beers that are loved and respected by beer enthusiasts all over the world!
 

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