Onze Lieve Vrouwe van Koningshoeven

From Tilburg's soil: La Trappe

For many people, it is a surprise when they hear that the Trappist Ale ‘La Trappe’ comes from Tilburg’s soil. This post is written by B&B Tilburg Gust van Dijk, to inform you about this history. Here in Tilburg the first Trappist monastery of the world was established. This Trappist monastery is called Abbey Our Lady of Koningshoeven. The origins of the brand name ‘La Trappe’ lies with the founders of the Abbey, the monks of the monastery ‘Notre-Dame de la Grande Trappe’ from French Normandy.

The name “Trappist” is derived from “La Grande Trappe”. The Abbey of Notre Dame de la Grande Trappe belongs to a strict order – ‘Strict Order of Reservance’. This monastic order advocates separation from the world, renunciation of the use of meat, restoration of hands labour, dedication to a life of prayer and penance. One of the most important features is continuous silence. The Trappist order originated from the Order of Cistercians. They were not recognised as an independent order until 1892 under Pope Leo XIII.

Book your room with us
B&B-Tilburg La Trappe Abbey beer

La Trappe Monastry

During the French Revolution (1789 – 1799), the French La Trappe Abbey was the only monastery to escape total destruction. Encouraged by political developments, the order founded new communities and Abbey’s outside France in Belgium, Austria, Germany, and also in the Netherlands.

This is how these French monks order ended up in Tilburg, where they started brewing beer in 1884. The growth of the Congregation meant that there was a need for new economic activities. The conditions for setting up a brewery were favourable. In fact, one of the fathers was the son of a German brewer, who had sufficient knowledge of the brewing process. In addition, very pure well water was available in Tilburg.

In addition to the economic benefits, there was also a public benefit. At the same time, the beer introduced by the monks promoted the general health of the population. Because of the rise of the industrialization of the textile industry, the Tilburg factory workers lived in poor conditions. The surface water was polluted by the factories and contaminated by the unhygienic conditions, associated with urban development. Making ‘germs free’ beer available was a step forward in the fight against the common diseases.

B&B-Tilburg, Proeflokaal La Trappe in Spring

From Tilburg (NL) to Spencer (US)

Only ten “real” Trappist breweries in the world are:
 In the first place La Trappe, of Abbey OLV van Koningshoeven from the Netherlands. In addition to the Netherlands, the Trappist Order is strongly represented in Belgium:
– Chimay, of Abbey Notre-Dame de Scourmont
– Orval, of Abbey Notre-Dame d’Orval
– Rochefort, of the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy
– Westmalle, van Westmalle brewery from Belgium
– Achel, from the Trappist brewery the Achelse Kluis
– Westvleteren, of Saint Sixtus Abbey (brewery since 1838)
There are two international misfits:
– Engelszell, from Stift Engelszell from Austria
– Spencer, from St. Joseph Abbey in the U.S.

Recently the 10th Trappist brewery was opened in Zundert, Netherlands, by the Abbey of Maria Toevlucht. In the meantime, the Trappist ales have grown into the well-known specialty beers with their own taste and character. The original goal of brewing this beer has of course changed. To make a suitable ‘drink’ available in order to fight disease for the people and to provide economic support for the Congregation was the first step. And nowadays, Trappist beer is brewed with an extra added value that connects the original ‘monastic values’ with our present times. Besides brewing tradition, the craft of brewing special beers with rich flavours, these abbey beers refer also to the life of the Trappist monks. Concepts such as quality, cleanliness, regional, sustainable, refined taste, tranquillity, and contemplation play an important role in this.

B&B-Tilburg Abbey shop Koningshoeven La Trappe

Stronghold of Regional Product

In addition to beer, Trappist Abbeys also produce regional delicacies with distinctive characteristics such as cheese, bread, jam, honey, and other traditional products. Near the Schaapskooi, the tasting room of the Abbey of Our Lady of La Trappe, you’ll find a shop with a tempting selection of products – also from other monasteries.

B&B-Tilburg klooster-brouwerij La Trappe

Internationaly speaking

To your convenience, we speak Dutch, English, French, and German. Therefore we can address you in a language that is easy for you to communicate in. In this way, you quickly feel at home and at ease in our B&B. We are just 250 meters from Tilburg’s main music venue Popcentrum-013. The lively street near 013, the Korte Heuvel. has sunny terraces cafes and restaurant. In the immediate vicinity of 013, you’ll find the creative quarter, companies such as AVEC, Live-Wall, Faxx, Qlubhouse, Duvelhok as well as SEA Foundation which characteristic resonate to the economic fiber of the surrounding Veemarktkwartier, the cafes, restaurants and bars.

The Trappist beer brewing monastery is within easy reach. Book your stay Tilburg by using the booking system on our website, and opt for one of the attractive and comfortable rooms in our cosy home. And yes we do have City-bikes on loan. Check the inserted map at the bottom of this page. You’ll see for yourself that the Abbey is just a short bike ride from Bed and Breakfast Tilburg. A feast for real beer lovers, to check-out themself the Trappist brewing traditions. Enjoy a beer tasting at Proeflokaal De Schaepskooi. La Trappe comes in at least 5 flavours: Blond, Dubbel, Tripel, St. Isidor, Quadrupel.

Brewed by Monks

Trappist beer can only bear the name Trappist when the beer has been brewed by monks of the Order of the Trappists. Trappist beer is, therefore, a description of the origin of the beer and the conditions under which it is produced. The beer must be produced within the walls or in the immediate vicinity of the abbey according to the rules of the Trappist order. According to the current rules of the International Trappist Association (IVT), the conditions for using the name “Trappist” and the associated logo “Authentic Trappist Product” are the following: The product must be produced within the walls or in the vicinity of the abbey and must be produced by or under the supervision of the monastic community. In such cases, the exploitation is subordinate to monastic life. The proceeds must be used for the livelihood of the monks and for the maintenance of the monastery. What remains must be spent on social work.

Four Gold Medals

Recently, in November 2018, La Trappe wrote history with four gold medals at a prestigious beer festival in Germany. The brewery from De Koningshoeven won four gold medals at the European Beer Star Awards in Nuremberg, Germany. Four beers from La Trappe were awarded a gold medal. La Trappe Blond, La Trappe Double, La Trappe Tripel, and La Trappe Quadruple all received the medal. So … are you ready to taste these jewels for yourself?

Ready for a Cycle Trip?

The big reward for Gust –after doing groceries- is to walk through the “Vrouwen-tuin” (Women’s garden) to the “Proeflokaal” (Tasting Room) to enjoy a Trappist beer. The tasting room is an exact replica of the improved sheepfold, as it was introduced by the monks in the 19th century.

When you are in the Proeflokaal at La Trappe Abby in Tilburg, we from Bed and Breakfast Tilburg Gust van Dijk, suggest that apart from tasting the brew in small glasses, you also order lunch with bread and cheese from the monastery. It is a relaxed place to stop by when you are discovering the Brabant country lanes and cycle paths.  Actually, several “La Trappe cycle routes” have been mapped. Ask for them when you stay with us.

Brewery Onze Lieve Vrouwe van Koningshoeven and the Trappist monastery have a rich history. There are daily guided tours where you can get acquainted with life in the abbey and the brewery. B&B Tilburg Gust van Dijk advises to book the tour in advance, Book the Abby tour here.

B&B-Tilburg La Trappe Proeflokaal Schaapskooi
B&B-Tilburg La Trappe special beers
    It’s only a short 40 minutes walk
B&B-Tilburg Wandelroute naar Abdij Koningshoeven