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Stbernardus Product

Grottenbier by St. Bernardus Brewery

Tripel, 6.5%

An Abbey-tripel bottle conditioned in the same way as Champagne for a clean, richly fruity, dark amber beer.


The live tasting of this beer was on 24th February 2022 #BeerBods

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The Story

Based in Watou, Belgium, St Bernardus have been brewing their now world-famous Trappist beer since 1904. Originally, St Bernardus was set up as a refuge for monks coming from the Trappist abbey of Mont des Cats, located less than 10 kilometres away, just across the French border. Its name actually refers to Mont des Cats's church, St. Bernardus, which is sited right on top of the French Flanders' hill.

In 1934, when the Mont des Cats abbey was reconstructed following the war, the Watou refuge of St. Bernardus shut its doors, to the spiritual path at least. Instead, the site became home to a noted cheese-maker, Evarist Deconinck, who started a cheese dairy on its grounds. There the story might have ended, but Evarist was rather good friends with the then abbot of Sint-Sixus, in Westvleteren.

After the Second World War, the abbot asked him if he would like to brew and market the monks' Trappist beer. While the monks had been selling their own beer throughout the region, they felt that these commercial-scale endeavours were too much of a distraction from their religious activities. Evarist was pretty keen on the proposal, and negotiated a 30-year licence with the Trappist abbey. The monks would use the revenue from these beer sales to renovate their abbey, while Westvleteren’s brewmaster, Mathieu Szafranski, joined the Deconinck brothers, Evarist and Antoine, in partnership. St. Bernardus began to brew.

Stbernardus Lifestyle1

St. Bernardus initially produced four Trappist beers: Sint-Sixtus 4, 6, 8 and the Abt 12. Before long, the familiar logo would make its appearance, featuring a monk holding a glass and with a different background colour for each type of beer.

Now St. Bernardus offers its own range of abbey beers, ones that many consider to be genuine heirs of the Westvleteren Trappist beers. In addition to these abbey beers, there are the St. Bernardus Wit, St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, the Watou Tripel and tonight’s beer, The Grottenbier.

The Grottenbier was created by one of the greatest Belgian brewers, Pierre Celis. The aim of Grottenbier was to see what the influence of a constant low temperature, such as in a cave, does to the evolution of a beer taste. In 2002, Pierre sold the beer (name and recipe) to Brouwerij St. Bernardus, where it was commercialized for the following ten years. When Brouwerij De Kazematten was founded by Hans Depypere (CEO of the St.Bernardus Brewery), St. Bernardus immediately saw a new home for the Grottenbier. Using the cool casemates or basements, within the walls of the city to brew and store the Grottenbier.

Grottenbier, is a classic dark Belgian beer, with earthy notes, complementing the dark caramel sweetness. Its name means 'cave beer' because originally the beer would mature in a cave for two months before being sold. The result is an Abbey-tripel bottle conditioned in the same way as Champagne for a clean, richly fruity, dark amber beer.

 

Keep up to date with St Bernardus on their Website, Instagram and Facebook.

 

Live Tasting

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