Living grounds. Hallowed ground.
One of the most beautiful abbeys in Belgium, the Abbey of Maredsous, was founded in 1872 by the Beuron Abbey in Germany under the guidance of Hildebrand de Hemptinne. He was a Belgian monk at Bueron, and later became abbot of Maredsous. The Maredsous Abbey is a member of the Annunciation Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation.
The overall abbey plan was modeled after the 13th century Cistercian Abbey of Villers at Villers-la-Ville in Walloon Brabant. The Neo-Gothic architecture, by Belgian master-architect Jean-Baptiste Béthune, is praised as a hallmark of the style.
The St. Joseph Centre within the abbey’s exquisite grounds welcomes pilgrims and tourists. Visitors are offered guided tours (also available in English) of the abbey and the pottery workshops.
There are three daily tours during July and August. Visitors also have use of a cafeteria, bookstore and gift shop.
Monastic brewing and the mists of time.
The recorded tradition of monastic brewing goes back at least to the sixth century, and St. Benedict, who encouraged monks to contribute to local communities, must have influenced the abbey brewing tradition. Beer (which required boiling) was a boon to communities where water-borne epidemics and diseases were common. Of course, abbeys also brewed low-alcohol beers to provide nourishment to fasting monks.
Abbey brewing lives on today in Belgium for two principle reasons: One was the birth of Belgium as a democratic Monarchy in 1830, rolling back the anti-religious policies of Napoleon and the French Republic, which had been especially destructive of abbeys. Another continues to be the influence of mother nature, giver of geography and weather highly nurturing of grain raised to brew beer, but much less maternal for cultivation of grapes for wine.
Divinely inspired ales.
Each Maredsous ale is brewed in gracious homage to the traditional methods of the Benedictine Monks of Maredsous.
The monks approve every step of brewing these extraordinary ales, including secondary fermentation in the bottle and cellaring for at least two months to fully develop the complex flavors and aromas.
Maredsous ales have always been revered for simple elegance, full flavors and velvety smoothness. Each style is also known for its unique tastes, aromas and hue.