authentic trappist beer

Trappist breweries sick of U.S. brewers using ‘Trappist’ in beer names

The fact that a number of breweries in the USA are using the word Trappist to describe beers that are clearly not produced by Trappist monks has drawn the attention of the International Trappist Association, or I.T.A. The Association considers it a growing problem. For one thing, they don’t like the idea that a consumer might mistake a commercially brewed American beer for an Authentic Trappist brew.

There are many guilty parties according to RateBeer (just search ‘trappist’…

Full story >> Internationale Vereniging Trappist: Nieuwsbrieven.


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15 thoughts on “Trappist breweries sick of U.S. brewers using ‘Trappist’ in beer names

  1. Who is confusing American made “trappist-style” ales for something brewed by monks? The ITA has legal standings, as silly as it seems to enforce them in this case, so why not utilize said standings? I thought the “authentic trappist” label was created for such issues, which is the soul indicator to us, the easily confused public?

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  4. I have seen “Trappist Style” included on some labels and I wondered to myself why would they label it like that…..makes no since except for the fact that it can confuse people. If I wasn’t very educated about beer and not know about the few Trappist breweries around I would easily fall for this.

  5. Ummmmm… and with a little more education you will know that almost every Trappist Brewery no longer has a monk that brews their beers, just that the breweries are located on the grounds of the brewery.

    Which begs the question: How can you call it Trappist if a monk no longer brews it?

    And what else would you call it besides Trappist Style if it isn’t made at the monestary. It isn’t misleading because they are telling you that the beer they made is based upon the Trappist beers, giving them credit for the style.

  6. “Trappist” is a specific term, not a style. “Trappist-style” is as nonsensical as “pregnant-style.” IMO, people who use the term “Trappist-style” are either making an honest mistake or trying to steal mojo. (Disclosure: I work for an imprter of Trappist ales.)


  7. John: Trappist breweries meet three criteria:
    1. Located inside the grounds of a Cistercian monastery.
    2. Brewery is owned by the monks of the order.
    3. Profits to charity.


  8. Craig: …. I understand that… I have read up on this subject before, although most of my information comes from “Brew Like a Monk” by Stan Heironymus

    All I am saying is that there are Three styles of beer… Tripel, Dubbel and (what americans have deemed) Quadrupel (there are a few others but these are the primary ones) … that have become popular Trappist beers, thanks mostly to CHIMAY (with their color labels) … These are TRAPPIST BEERS so I don’t see it as nonsensical or a point of angst to call representations of these beers as Trappist-Style … Its the same to me as the people from Koln, Germany being mad that breweries make Kolsh beers outside of the region, or that wineries can’t call something Champagne and have to call it Sparkling Wine.

    It is alright to call it Belgian-Style … but then you get into the same trouble… cause there are numerous styles of belgian beers, just accordting to BJCP … would you call Budweiser, American Style?

  9. Cheers, John. I like Stan Hieronymus’ book. His definition of Trappist is on p. xvi: “The designation of a beer as ‘Trappist’ is defined neither by the workforce that makes it not the the style in which it is brewed. It is a legal definition.”
    Personally, I think sparkling wine from outside of the Champagne region should *never* be called “Champagne.”

  10. There are several Quadrupels brewed by the Trappists, and the “americans” had/have nothing to do with it. I don’t understand the comment that the “americans” deemed it…the monks did. I lived in The Netherlands for the last decade and was frequently at the monestaries in Belgium. There are still monks brewing beer!

  11. John said, “Which begs the question: How can you call it Trappist if a monk no longer brews it?”

    And was answered by how it can be called Trappist if monks don’t brew it. They were never required to brew it by definition, which is what you asked.

  12. The term “Abbey Style” as used by Leffe, for example has been, for years, a way to call something that is brewed in the style of one of the Trappist breweries’ products. What’s wrong with that?

    The trouble with “Belgian Style” is that there are more styles than Trappist Ales in Belgium (e.g. Lambic & Wit).

    Spare a thought for micro-brewers in New Zealand, where “Radler” has been trademarked by a major brewer there, and unfortunately it bears only a passing resemblance to a true Radler.

  13. Thank goodness I now know there are “three styles” of Trappist beer. I’m sure the good monks at Orval will be delighted to learn this, too.


    Abbey-style is clumsy, but abbey-style double or abbey double at least doesn’t stomp on the Trappists’ toes.

    Next: misuse of Kölsch. Discuss.

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