Other so called "trappist" beers #2

- Confusion over the term "trappist" : an old story -

The abusive use of name Trappist goes back many, many years. Documents show that the fame of Trappist beers had spread well beyond the Belgian borders. The year 1912 was the beginning of a period of more than 50 years during which “Trappist” confusion was maintained.

It was especially during the years of war and right up until the beginning of the 1960’s that some brewers, particularly in Belgium, used the denomination "Trappist" or a derivative to promote their beers.

The monks did not refrain from seeking to protect their products. Thus, in 1932, the ASBL Abbaye of Westmalle deposited the name "Trappistenbier". In 1935, a disagreement emerged between the religious community and a brewer of the Antwerp area who sold a beer known as "Trappist". The Trappist fathers sued this brewer for unfair competition, claiming 250.000 BEF in damages. The commercial court of Antwerp, which had to judge, estimated that :

puce the "Trappist" name is not a special mark, but applies to several beers, manufactured in various convents of Trappists;
puce the Trappist monks are not tradesmen and thus cannot claim unfair competition with a true tradesman.

This was one of the reasons why non-monastic breweries could, until 1962, use the word "Trappist" to name their beers.

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