|Rochefort (abbey Our Lady of St Rémy)|
- History of the abbey - the brewery (2/2)
In 1949, with demand strong, Rochefort bought a larger truck for the delivery. At that same time, sales of the Trappist beer of Chimay were expanding. The agreements of distribution made by Chimay authorized the sale of their beer everywhere in Belgium, including on the territory of Rochefort. The abbot of Rochefort complained about this to his fellow-members in Chimay, who regretfully acknowledged that the distribution contract they had signed did not enable them to do anything about that… However, the monks of Scourmont offered to help manufacture a beer that might successfully compete with the famous beers of Chimay. Professor De Clerck of Leuven was consulted by the monks of Rochefort. He found that many aspects of the working methods - microbiological controls, hygiene, etc. - had to be improved. At the end of 1952, new materials were acquired.
Several brewer fathers followed one another. Brother Antoine took up his duties until 1997. Vital Streignard, a laic employed by the abbey, then replaced him.
To present itself under its current aspect, the brewery and all that depend on it have seen many modifications. Processes have been regularly adapted to modern techniques. The current materials are among the most powerful for a brewery of this size. The drawing machine is able to fill tens of thousands of bottles per day. The current brewing room was installed in 1960, but the facility was renovated in 1974. The annual production is between 13.000 and 15.000 HL, and remains limited to the strict needs of the abbey.
Currently, ten external collaborators contribute to the manufacture of beer within the abbey of Rochefort