La Trappe Isid'or
Belgian-Style Pale Ale
(Brouwerij De Koningshoeven, Berkel-Enschot Netherlands)
This beer looked beautiful poured into a tulip (appropriate being a Dutch beer, no?). This brewery is one of only seven in the world to be officially designated *Trappist*. What I think that traditionally meant was that it had to be made by Trappist monks in a brewery with the walls of an actual monastery. This brewery is by far the largest of the seven and the only one to have some outside help (the monks are getting old) . Another thing that defines Trappist beers is the brewery only exists in order to finance the monastery, not for profit or any other commercial reason.
That all said, this is good but not great. There were some very pleasant fruit flavors in the mix (apples and pears mainly) with a bit of caramel sweetness, hopped with Halletauer and Perle (grown right on the premises). The water for the beer is drawn from wells on the abbey grounds. The spent grain remaining after the wort is filtered from the mash is used to feed the abbey’s own herd of cows.