In addition to my visit to Brussels and Brugge in Belgium, I made a visit to the cities to my beloved namesake beers: Rochefort, Orval and Chimay
My initial plans were to also visit the Abbey of Saint Sixtus, which makes Westvleteren, but I think you have read about my failed attempt.
I rented a car in Brussels and made the trip to all the abbeys on the same day. It’s easy to do everything in one day, and from what I can see, there is not much to do in these cities apart visiting the monastery / brewery / pub.
All of them are set in remote areas, almost rural, so do not expect to get there by public transport easily.
Rent a car with GPS and be happy.
My itinerary was:
1 – From Bruxelas to Rochefort
2 – From Rochefort to Orval
3 – From Orval to Chimay
4 – From Chimay to Bruxelas
I chose this route mainly because all these cities stand in southern Belgium, and it is easier to do everything in one day.
Arriving in Rochefort
From Brussels to Rochefort is around 120km, and it took just over 1h and 40m to get there.
Talking a little about this beer, I remember the first time I experienced a Rochefort 10. A quadrupel beer, dense, full bodied, a gift from the monks. I dreamed of that beer that day. Seriously.
Since the first time I saw the beers of Rochefort, the simplicity of its label caught my attention. Its simplicity and reliability are a sense of maturity, of a product made in detail, without haste, driven to perfection.
They achieved perfection.
It’s even hard to put all the sensory experiences of the Rochefort beers, even the 6 which is “simpler”, has an intense aromatic sensation, very strong.
Drink all of them that will understand what I mean.
The visit to the abbey
I didn’t got much information about the opening hours of the abbey, I just got the address and went there. Guess what ?
IT WAS CLOSED =/
In fact, according to the monk, the brewery is never open for visitation, but in that day even that abbey was closed. The only possible thing for me to do was to buy some beers and the trappist chalice. As I had already bought some Rochefort beers, I just bought the trappist chalice that was given by the monk himself.
The abbey stands in a beautiful place, surrounded by several trees. Take a look at the video:
At the end of december, a problem in the energy generators caused a fire at the abbey, but luckly, just a little part of the 15th century monastery was compromised.
In front of the abbey, after discovering that I wouldn’t be able to visit the brewery
Even without being able to get a closer look to this abbey, it was a great time talking to the monk who spoke only French.
He was very gentile, did everything to make us feel good, actually the Trappist patience reigned
At the front chapel
I’m glad that I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful place before the fire.
In the next post, visit to Orval!