Tilburg (abbey of Our Lady of Koningshoeven)

The brewery of the abbey of Our Lady of Koningshoeven (2/2)

In 1983, Father Godfried was named director of the brewery, and a significant expansion followed. The brewery was renovated in 1989. Brewing tanks came from Germany, with the largest 4.60 meters in diameter. It had to be hoisted and transported with special machines; indeed, some of them did not pass the door of entry of the abbey!

In recent years, the brewery of Tilburg produced many different beers, including a pilsener. The main brands made there included Bernardiner Bräu, La Trappe, Koningshoeven, and De Schapskooi, but there were many others, such as Goudsch Kuyt, Breda' S Begijntje, Waldhorn Pilsener, Van Geffen' S, Sloth, Taxandria Pilsener, and more. Currently, mainly the La Trappe brand remains, directly inspired by the original monastery of Our Lady of La Grande Trappe, in Normandy (France).

In 1998, the monks, following an existing cooperation agreement with the Dutch brewery Bavaria, decided to withdraw from the obligations of managing the brewery, in the face of an aging community.

It appears that the monks of Tilburg, at that time, wanted to withdraw the hexagonal logo “Authentic Trappist Product” from their products. But shall we imagine that some other members of the International Trappist Association (ITA) also asked them to remove it ?

That did not prevent the abbey of Tilburg to remind us, that their beers were still real Trappist beers, even if they didn’t wear the hexagonal logo. On a legal point of view, they were right.

Specific interests may have been at work here, although this did not answer the criteria of the International Trappist Association.

My personal conclusion was simple: the beers of Tilburg had the right to be called Trappist without being an Authentic Trappist Product. It was a legally correct vision of things while the International Trappist Association probably had a more ethical vision.

A few years later, the monks of Tilburg reconsidered their position, and decided to do their best to fulfill the requirements that were needed to wear the hexagonal logo again. Negotiations were initiated with the international trappist association, and since October 2005, 7th, the beers of Tilburg have the right to be designated as an "authentic trappist product" again. (information given by Brother Bernardus - Abbey of Tilburg, October 6th)

This confirmed my point of view : the display of the logo “Authentic Trappist Product” remains the best proof of the total respect of the name.

The attentive reader should meditate on these remarks…

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