Yes! Today was a busy one. We started our morning at the Trappist Monastery of Notre Dame d’Orval.
I will have a separate post of our brewery tour (we were able to sneak in with a group of French students … the folks at Orval are wonderful!) Then we drove 3.5 hours to Westvleteren to visit the Abbey of Saint Sixtus — we thought their cafe would be open and we could sample some beers; however, the cafe was closed and the only way to get their beer is to make an appointment (I’ll have another post about this). I guess my friend and I looked sorry enough that the guy said he’d sell us four bottles (it was raining cats and dogs, we were wet, etc etc).
We then got in the car and headed for the Trappist abbey of Westmalle … and promptly got stuck in a huge traffic jam. What should have taken us under 2 hours took us 4 hours to drive. Wow! However, at the end, we had some cold trappist beer — probably too much! .
My beer for today is one from Westmalle — the special monk’s beer (the extra). They normally make two beers (more about that on another post), but we were fortunate to make the right connections and sample the beer the monk’s drink (see pictures). This beer has a lower alcohol content, but it is bottled the same–just not produced in high quantities. So far, we’ve been very fortunate on this trip…must be the blessings of the Holy Ale!
Wow, what a great time we are having. Look forward to providing the update for tomorrow!