Val-Dieu Abbey was erected in 1216 by Cistercian monks in search of a spiritual retreat. Although the brewery opened its doors much later, it is not wrong to imagine that the monks were already brewing.
Indeed, these orders are known to have an in-depth knowledge of fermentation and its workings. Anyway, it is a place steeped in history that houses this quality brewery, which has evolved with the times.
Today there are no more monks on the site, the last having joined larger communities in the kingdom. That said, some of the recipes remain ancestral; like the brown and the grand cru.
But even without monks, Val-Dieu beers are the last Belgian abbey beers produced in an abbey. Since the departure of the last monks in 2001, the production of beer like that of cheese has been carried out by non-believers but this does not change the taste of beer or that of cheese.
The strength of the Val-Dieu brewery lies in two points. The first is unquestionably water; we often forget that it is the main ingredient of beer. The abbey owns two springs on the estate.
The second force is yeast, cultivated for centuries by monks. The tradition continued with the new owners of Val-Dieu beers. This guarantees the sustainability of production.
The place is magical and very well preserved, a visit with family or friends is highly recommended if you are in the region.