Trappist is a beer brewed by or under control of Trappist monks. Of the world"s 171 Trappist monasteries (as of April 2005), seven produce beer (six in Belgium and one in the Netherlands). Only these seven breweries are authorized to label their beers with the Authentic Trappist Product logo that indicates a compliance to various rules edicted by the International Trappist Association. The name "Trappist beer" is protected by law and can only be applied to beer brewed by trappist monks in their monastery. Among all Belgian beers only six are allowed to use the name of Trappist Beer: Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Westvleteren. Trappist beers are all ales, that is, top fermented, and mainly bottle conditioned. Trappist breweries use various systems of nomenclature of the different beers produced, which relate mainly to the relative strength of the beer in the range. Colours or numbers can be used to indicate the different types, dating back to the days when bottles were unlabelled and had to be identified by the capsule or bottle-top alone. The number system gives an indication of strength, but is not an exact alcohol by volume.
Originally the name of a monk of the Cistercian Abbey "La Trappe", which was reformed by the abbot de Rancé. Later on this name was given to the Cistercian monks of plenty of abbeys which followed this reformation.
- A Cistercian monk devotes himself entirely to God. He engages himself only to God en leads a monastic and contemplative life.