Established in 1839

Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus

Microbrewery in Westvleteren, West Flanders, Belgium 🇧🇪

Donkerstraat 12

+32 70 21 00 45

The abbey was established in 1831. Already in the early days beer was brewed in small quantities, not for sale but just for their own consumption. In May 1839, the Abbey received a brewer’s licence signed by king Leopold I on April 19, 1839. Most likely a first test brew was produced the same month. In June 1839 the first official brew was produced.

Around 1860 a vast complex of buildings for amongst others sheds, a guesthouse, barns and a second brewery, was built. It remained however a small domestic brewery for personal use. Only from 1878 on production increased due to a good turnover of the tavern ‘In de Vrede’. Between 1886 and 1896 a third brew house, fully operational as from 1896, was built.

On 20 March 1922 the monks started the expansion of the brewery. On 27 October 1927 for the first time steam was used to brew in the modernised, fourth brew house. This brew house was operational till 5 January 1990.

In 1976 a fermentation room with six open yeast vessels and a laboratory were installed. Fermentation in open yeast vessels, a method that is used very rarely, is essential for the ester profile of the Trappist Westvleteren.

The present brew house was officially put into operation in 1990. The new bottling plant was put into operation in 2013. Since 2014, two brews are made per brewing day. This meant a considerable saving in terms of energy consumption and man-hours.

The lagering cellar and the fermentation chamber were modernised and automated, but because the capacity did not change, production also remained unchanged. The production amounts to approximately 6,000 hectolitres annually, spread over 42 brewing days. In 2016 a new secondary fermentation unit with storage space was built.


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Brewery Stats
Score 7.96