Brewery Orval

      1 product

      1 product

      Beer Orval 6.2% Orval | Brett
      Acide Belgique Bouteille En stock Luxembourg

      The Orval is considered the queen of Trappists.

      Both bitter and sour, it is suitable for aperitif and meal or after a long day of work.

      When you serve Orval beer you notice a beautiful amber colour filling your beer glass. The beer has a generous white foam. On the nose, you’ll get notes of the fresh hop, Brett, orange, savoury and malty aromas. The beer aroma reveals a slight acidity from maturing in the cellar. The taste of Orval beer is unique. Bitterness is rather strong, and you’ll taste wild yeast. The ageing process has added a fruity note to the taste. It has a nice spark to it and a bitter finish. The special taste comes from the quality of the water, hops and yeast. 


      One of the best beers in the world

      Orval beer is considered one of the best beers in the world for many reasons! The beer is very rare to start with. The strict traditional production methods set certain limitations, and thus, they cannot be mass-produced. Also, the demand for beer is higher than the production. And most importantly, it respects the Trappist tradition. Trappist beers are very rare, and only 12 monasteries in the world produce Trappist beers. It makes Orval a true gem, and the beer has become a reference for Trappist beers!


      How Orval beer is made

      Making Orval beer is not like making any other beer. The beer-making process is complex to guarantee quality. 

      The basic recipe and methods for brewing beer are starting with malting and then the actual brewing process. During the brewing process, the source of starch, often barley malt, is turned into simple sugars, which then are turned into alcohol. The resulting liquid is left to rest and then filtered. 

      For making Orval beer, the barley and hops need to be harvested first. Once the harvest is completed, the barley will be prepared by the malters. For Orval, pale malt and a small proportion of caramel malt are used. After the hops have been turned into pellets or extracts, the hops will be dried. When the malt has been cleaned, it is crushed by using the wet-milling method. During this process, water from the Mathilde fountain is added. The mash is pumped directly into the filtering tanks. The mixture is constantly stirred during mashing. 

      Sweet wort is obtained in just a few hours, and then it is brought to a boiling vessel where hops are added. When done, the boiling wort needs to be cooled down rapidly. The cooled wort goes to fermentation tanks where yeast is added. The fermentation lasts about four to five days. After the fermentation, the young beer is pumped into holding tanks for maturing for up to three weeks. Yeast is carefully added to the tanks. Orval beer referments to the bottle at 15 degrees celsius. Only two months after the beer has been brewed and checked several times for quality, the beer can reach the consumers. 


      How to serve Orval beer

      Serving Orval beer is a celebration itself. When opening the bottle, apply some pressure to the cap, so it stays on the bottle. You’ll hear some pressure getting out. Once the bottle cap is removed, pour the beer slowly into a special Orval beer glass. Keep the beer glass tilted and the bottle horizontally. Slowly straighten the glass until only one cm of beer is left in the bottle. And now you are ready for a tasty drink!

      The Orval beer glass is chalice-shaped. In case you do not have an Orval glass to enjoy your beer, use another chalice-shaped glass. A tulip-shaped glass will work as well, but still, the classiest way to drink Orval is from its proper glass. 

      The recommended serving temperature for Orval beer is the same as its storing temperature, between 10 to 15 degrees celsius. If it is served at colder temperatures, the beer colour is less bright. 


      How to store Orval beer

      Orval beer is like good wine and can get better at ageing. The beer label has a creating date on it. The beer drinker can decide either to drink it right away or to keep it in a cellar. If you do not want to drink your Orval right away, store it away from the light between 10-15 degrees celsius. Thanks to the Brettanomyces yeast, the beer can be stored for several years in a cellar. 

      The taste will change a bit depending on the age of the beer. The young beer tastes more like a bouquet of fresh hops. It has a lighter palate with fruity notes. Older beer has a caramel touch and slight acidity added to its flavour. 


      Orval beer bottle shape

      Even the shape of the beer bottle is special, a very round and curvy shape. It resembles a bowling keel. The special shape has the purpose to allow the bottle to resist the strong pressure the beer contains. 


      The story of the Orval beer logo

      The logo of Orval beer is recognizable anywhere. It is an image of a trout holding a golden ring in its mouth. The legend has it that Mathilde, the countess of Tuscany, once lost her wedding ring, her only memory of her deceased husband, into a fountain in the valley. She immediately started to pray to God when a trout appeared with a golden ring in its mouth. Mathilde exclaimed that truly, this is a golden valley! To be thankful, she decided to build a monastery in the valley. The Orval beer’s logo carries out this legend. 


      Which foods go well next to Orval beer?

      Orval beer goes well with strong cheeses, red or white meat, poultry, fish and vegetarian dishes. You can even pair it with desserts to balance the bitterness.


      In French, do you say “un” Orval or “une” Orval?

      Well, that is a heated debate that beer drinkers like to discuss. We’ve written a full article on how to order Orval beer correctly


      Thirsty for an Orval beer? Buy Orval beer online and add it to the cart! You may also find Orval beer in one of our beer boxes or discover it with our beer subscription

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      Brewery Orval

      The Orval brewery was set up in 1931 within the abbey of the same name, to finance the reconstruction work. This was the beginning of an adventure that the monks did not necessarily expect.

      Wanting to distinguish themselves from the Trappist browns, the monks trusted the first brewmaster who added hops he had already used in Bavaria to the recipe and was thus inspired by English methods by doing a raw hopping during fermentation.

      The second specificity of the Orval beer is the yeast used, it is in fact a mixture of classic abbey yeast and wild yeast. It is this wild yeast which gives this small acidity at the end of mouth and this fizz with big bubbles.

      The third and last particularity of Orval is that the brewery sells only one beer, whereas the other Trappist abbeys have a wide range of beers. Of course, they brew a second recipe, the green Orval, but this one is close to the first one and is only served on the spot and on the cask.


      One of the few breweries brewing Trappist beers

      There are only twelve breweries in the world that brew Trappist beers. One of them is the Orval brand, which makes their beer also a rarity. The brewing activities are governed by the wishes of the monastic community and follow the criteria of the “Authentic Trappist Product”. The criteria are that the product must be manufactured in a Trappist abbey, the monastic community must be involved, and part of the revenue generated by the sale of its products goes to charity.


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      The legend of the monastery

      There is a story about how the monastery started. The legend states that a countess of Tuscany, Mathilde, once lost her golden ring in the stream of the valley. After this accident, she started to pray to God. God answered her prayers, and a trout appeared with the golden ring in its mouth. Thus to be thankful, she decided to build a monastery right in the valley. 


      Staying true to tradition

      When Orval beer was created, no one could expect that it would be followed by such fame. This was not in the mind of the monks when they hired their first brewer. The first master brewer was a German by the name of Martin Pappenheimer, who is now buried at Villers-Devant-Orval. Martin was the one who invented the beer recipe for Orval. 

      Though it is one of the most sought after beers, the brewery wants to remain true to its values. The production focuses only on quality and keeping the same brewing tradition. Thus, it remains a rare product. 

      Even though the brewery wants to stay away from mass production, they still manage to produce over 22 million bottles every year. Most of the beers are sold in the Belgian market. 

      With such demand, the brewery still wants to improve its brewing activities. Thus they continue to invest in equipment that guarantees better control and production. The goal of the brewery is to satisfy the demand but still stay loyal to the monastic community.

      Photo: Brasserie Orval

      The Ambassador Orval label

      A committee with representatives from the brewery was formed to honour individuals and establishments that showcase one of the 12 Trappist beers in the world. The Ambassador Orval label requires cafes or restaurants to meet three criteria of Presence, Service and Knowledge. So if you ever see a restaurant or a cafe that has an Orval trout on a steel background, you know that the place has earned the label, and you can get Trappist beer there. 


      One of the best beers in the world

      Orval beer is even considered one of the best beers in the world. The beer has a very distinctive taste and is a reference to bitter beers. 

      Find the beers of Brewery Orval collection in one of our beer subscriptions