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Westmalle brewery to open to public for first time in history

14:42 18/06/2024

The Westmalle brewery will open to the public for the first time in history for two days in September, against the wishes of its monks.

Online reservations open on Wednesday morning at 10.00 and 1,500 people are expected to visit the brewery on 25 and 26 September, between 8.30 and 15.30.

The price of admission is €12.50, with profits to go to Coda ASBL, which is active in palliative care.

The Westmalle brewery has been making trappist beer in the abbey since 1836. Locals and fans have asked to be able to visit the brewery, but the monks who reside there and run it have always resisted until now.

The Westmalle brewery produces 120,000 hectolitres of Extra, Double and Triple each year, a quantity that has remained deliberately stable for many years.

Around 50 laypeople work in the brewery under the supervision of the monastic community, which includes 17 monks.

Visiting a Trappist brewery is quite exceptional. In Belgium, only Orval Abbey offers a similar initiative.

The Orval brewery will also open its doors this year on 13 and 14 September, but that event is already fully booked.

Written by Helen Lyons