Tweet Forgive me for stating the obvious, but...
TRAPPIST IS NOT A STYLE
Dear micro brewer, unless you are a member of the said monastic order, your beer isn't "Trappist", nor it is "Trappist style" because, besides the fact that you can't even call it "Trappist", TRAPPIST IS NOT A STYLE.
"Abbey" is not a style, either. In some cases, it is only a little more than a label, like "craft", but in the case of the so called Erkend Belgisch Abdijbier, it referes to breweries that are subject to certain regulations, which, as with the Trappist, do not concern the quality or kind of beer that is brewed. In other words, and quoting my friend "Thirsty Pilgrim": "Westvleteren could make a farty filtered lager and it would still be Trappist beer."
The reason why Abbey and Trappist breweries don't make a Pils is the same reason why Czech industrial breweries don't make a Tripel.
And since I'm in the realm of the clearly obvious, and in response to some messages and comments that I've received or read here and there:
If you want to understand a beer, you must drink it.
Style guidelines are utterly useless. Books, magazines, blogs, articles, reviews can, at most, be good to have some additional information (something that's always welcome) and to help us know where to spend our money (which is even more welcome). But if you really want to understand a beer, you must drink it. And I mean drink it, not "taste", sharing a 0.33l bottle with four friends, but to sit down and drink a full portion of that beer (ideally, it should be as close to its source as possible, immersed in the beer's own culture, but that's something most of us can't do that often).
So drink, pay attention, compare with other similar beers you might have drunk, think, drink again (and maybe you'll finally realise how silly it is to call "Abbey" or "Trappist" a beer brewed in Argentina, Chile, Australia or Canada)
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