Editors Note: Belgian Beer & Food magazine is an English-language publication about Belgium’s beer and food culture. I’ve written many articles for them over the last several issues. This article appeared in the front of the magazine as an introductory article into Issue #13’s theme of Trappist Breweries in the 21st Century. Belgian Beer & Food magazine is an excellent publication with wonderful writing and photography. If you have an interest in Belgian beer, you can’t go wrong with a subscription. Now they even offer a digital subscription which will send the entire magazine directly to your inbox!
by Christopher Barnes
The Trappist Order is a living link to history. For more than 400 years, thousands upon thousands of words have been spilled writing about their glorious halls and their ambrosial beers. The Trappists are still a popular topic with beer writers, with new books and articles continually being written. But where do the ancient Trappists and their age-old ways belong in the modern world of craft brewing and its consumers? With an-ever increasing sea of new breweries opening throughout the world, finding and keeping relevance with increasingly fickle customers is most breweries’ top priority. Brewers and marketing departments work on new recipes and ways to sell their beers, hoping to keep customers coming back to their taprooms and buying their bottles and cans at markets. As more breweries come into existence and markets become more local in focus, how do older and more traditional breweries stay relevant?
This is a struggle many of Belgium’s older breweries are going through, as traditionally strong export markets like the United States favour locally-brewed beers to imported beers. A major topic of concern with Belgium’s secular, for-profit breweries is how Belgium’s most traditional brewers, the Trappists, will deal with a 21st Century beer… (Continue Reading and Subscribe here)