Time for another beer post from David!:
Trappist beer – brewed by Trappist monks, those of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, formerly the Order of Reformed Cistercians of Our Lady of La Trappe – is widely recognized and revered (certainly by us) as some of the world’s best. The name “Trappist” originates from the La Trappe abbey located close to Soligny in Normandy, France, where this order of reformist (i.e., more restrictive) monks was founded in 1664.
Currently, fourteen monasteries produce Trappist beers under the official recognition of the International Trappist Association. Six are in Belgium, two in the Netherlands, and one each in Austria, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Spain and the U.S.A. Twelve of the fourteen (excluding those in France and Spain) also qualify for the Authentic Trappist Product label, which certifies that the beer is made within the abbey, by (or under the direction of) Trappist monks, and that profits are solely for the needs of the monastery and its community or for charity and social projects.