Netherlands: Two Trappist breweries

Netherlands: Two Trappist breweries

La Trappe and Zundert Trappist

On our way to Zundert Trappist brewery De Kievit we couldn't resist to pay a quick visit to that other famous Dutch Trappist brewery, La Trappe.

Out of all Trappist breweries which exist in the world, two can be found in the south-west of the Netherlands, not far from the Belgian border. Trappist monks of the Order of Cistercians in France looked for shelter in the Netherlands during the period of the French revolution. Near the city of Tilburg in the south of the Netherlands a first monastery was founded in 1881.

Outdoor sign La Trappe brewery & taproom

Onze Lieve Vrouw of Koningshoeven Abbey

The Onze Lieve Vrouw of Koningshoeven Abbey (Abbey of Our Lady of Koningshoeven) in Berkel-Enschot might be better known for the beers of La Trappe Trappist that are brewed within the walls of the abbey. To provide an income the monks started brewing beer and in the late 19th century a brewery with a distinctive malt tower was built.

Taproom and Malting Tower La Trappe

With the profits of that brewery it became possible to fund the contruction of the abbey. These two unique buildings are still standing tall as of today.

La Trappe taproom

La Trappe Trappist

In the 1930's a bottling plant was built in the brewery and in the 1970's it had become a medium sized brewery. The brand name La Trappe was created in 1980 with the presentation of of a Dubbel and a later on with a Tripel beer. The brewery now produces nine different Dutch Trappist beers. The commercial business is managed by Swinkels Family Brewers, formerly best known as Bavaria.

Quite unique for a Trappist brewery is the fact that it has a tasting room and a gift shop within the walls of the abbey. This beautiful and quiet place is only a 10-minute bus ride from Tilburg's Central Station. In case you travel by car, the abbey provides free public parking.

Public Transportation bikes (OV-fiets) at La Trappe taproom

Maria Toevlucht Abbey

Not too long after this first monastery was founded a second one arose in Zundert that was elevated to the status of an abbey in 1938, Maria Toevlucht Abbey. The piece of land that was given to the monastery came in hand to derive an income from intensive dairy farming. Later on a switch was made to ecological cattle farming. Because of the farming being too labour-intensive, the communtiy decided to end it and to opt for a small brewery to generate some extra income.

Abdij Maria Toevlucht in Zundert

Zundert Trappist

The brewery was built in 2011 and named Brouwerij De Kievit. “Zundert Trappist” beer was introduced in December 2013 to become the second one to bear the label of “Authentic Trappist Product” in the Netherlands. In 2018 a second beer was presented, the Zundert 10. The original Zundert Trappist has been renamed Zundert 8. As you might have guessed, the numbers refer to the alochol percentage.

St. Arnold, patron saint of breweries

Visiting the brewery is not possible, but the abbey has a small giftshop where the beers are sold. Along the Rucphenseweg, a country road from Rucphen to Zundert, there are several cafes that serve Zundert Trappist on draft, just look for the distinctive purple colored signs! Drinking on the premisses of the abbey is not permitted.

Zundert 10

 Author: Johan de Ligt

Laatst bijgewerkt: 30-11-2023