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CASTLE MALTING NEWS en colaboración con Spanish
26 January, 2023

Brewing news Belgium: Renowned Belgian beer Achel loses Trappist beer status

Renowned Belgian beer Achel will no longer be able to market itself as a Trappist beer, De Standaard has reported, leaving only five breweries of its kind in Belgium.

The news follows the recent purchase of the Saint Benedict Abbey of Hamont-Achel — better known as the Achelse Kluis — by Belgian entrepreneur Jan Tormans. The Achelse Kluis had previously belonged to Westmalle Abbey, another famous Trappist brewery.

Achel was stripped of its official Authentic Trappist Product (ATP) label in January 2021, after its brewing process ceased to be formally supervised by local monks — a prerequisite for being designated an ATP. However, given that the Achelse Kluis was still legally owned by Westmalle Abbey, Achel was able to continue to market itself as a Trappist beer.

"The concept and the ingredients will probably remain," said the Mayor of Hamont-Achel, Theo Schuurmans, on the De Ochtend radio show. He added that he suspected the "Achel" name will be retained, but merely without the "Trappist" label.

Only five official Trappist beers now remain in Belgium: Westmalle, Westvleteren, Chimay, Orval and Rochefort.

There are also two with official ATP labelling in the Netherlands, one in Italy, one in Austria and one in England. In May 2022, the only Trappist brewery in the United States closed its doors.

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