Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
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Active Beers: 12
Beer Ratings: 1,122
Beer Avg: 3.7
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Ratings: 3 | Reviews: 3 | Display Reviews Only:
3.36/5 rDev -9.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3
Easter Monday 2001 was spent in Wallonia. After a trip to the Vervifontaine Brewery in the morning, and a spot of lunch at the Boule Rouge Café in Verviers, we headed North to the Val-Dieu Brewery.
The Brewery is located at the site of the 13th Century Val-Dieu Cistercian Abbey. It is not run by the monks, but rather by a lay partnership that just leases the buildings from the monks. Being Easter Monday, it was very busy. The Brewery is just across the Courtyard from the Tasting Café. Opened in 1997, they have some seriously top rate brewing equipment that looks very impressive. They bottle all of their own beer and export to the UK, USA, Canada and most European countries, this is a serious operation.
They brew three staple Val-Dieu beers, which are always available in the Tasting Café just across from the Brewery, plus a Val-Dieu Xmas beer once a year. In addition to these home-made offerings, they brew beers under contract for several other companies. The contract beers include La Ploquette (ex- Ruwet), Farnières & Houyeux. They make a commissioned beer called Merveilleuse de Chevremont, which is described by Tim Webbs Guide as like Duvel with a squirt of lemon squash, having tried this at the Big Ben Café in Huy recently I absolutely concur. The best of the Val-Dieu contract beers for me is the rather marvelous high strength Genever-containing Rademacher (available at the Vagant in Antwerp)
After the pre-arranged Brewery Tour, we all headed to the large Tasting Café-cum-Restaurant called the Casse-Croûte, which opens daily, and is a good place to sample the Breweries offerings. Its one of those large Restaurant style places where you stand in line, walk down a self-service row of hatches, select any of the food on offer and plonk it onto your tray. At the end of the line you can pick-up a drink which includes a choice of the three staple Val-Dieu beers. The Café had the Blonde (6%), Brune (8%) and the Triple (9%) on sale when we visited.
This is a large place that can easily accommodate well over a hundred people. Long rooms have many bench-like tables that can seat large separate groups. The beers were above average in quality, the food was also quite good but this is really only worth for a few tasty samples after a visit if you are going to tour the Brewery to be honest.
Last Visit: Monday 16th April, 2001
06-20-2003 17:50:19 | More by TheLongBeachBum
United Kingdom (England)
3.45/5 rDev -6.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
Stopped at the complex to pick up some beer while travelling through the area, as we left Germany for Southern Holland and decided to pop into the bar as the ladies needed the loo.
It is not really a beer bar, more a self-service cafe with long tables and plenty of chairs.
Hot and cold food, coffee etc, plus all the normal 3 beers available.
Have a look if visiting, but don't make a huge detour just for the cafe, the shop isn't fantastic either, but it is a 'tick-in-the-box' if you are collecting brewery bar visits.
07-02-2007 20:51:40 | More by BlackHaddock
4.29/5 rDev +15.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | $$
This is a brewery that is located in an old Cistercian Abbey founded in 1216. Yeah, 1216. Pretty mind boggling how old things are over in Europe! Apparently the valley was called The Valley of the Devil by locals, but was renamed the Valley of God (or Val-Dieu) by the monks. This was the only Belgian abbey that wasn't sacked during the French revolution. The beer is not brewed by monks and this is not considered a Trappist brewery, but the beer is really brewed on the grounds of the abbey. Supposedly the beers are based off of old recipes from when the monks really did brew their own beer. The brewing water used comes from springs that supply many of the bottled water companies in Belgium, and we drank plenty of that on our trip!
We were able to get a few peeks into active brewing areas. It was quite odd to see a modern stainless steel fermentation tank sitting right next to or within a building that was hundreds of years old.
We eventually found ourselves in an old mill building that has been converted into a taproom/restaurant and were able to try all of the beers. The mill equipment and the external water wheel have all been preserved and this was a cool space to drink! There was also an outdoor patio out back for nicer weather drinking. In short succession we shared the Val-Dieu beers amongst our group. The Blonde, Bruin and Tripel were all very clean and ended dry and refreshing for increasingly higher alcohol content. The overwhelming winner was the Grand Cru though, with deep complexity but still maintaining a dry finish. This was actually one of the overall best breweries we visited for overall beer quality.
05-22-2014 18:37:20 | More by Jackofallbrews
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu in Aubel, Belgium
- out of 100 based on 3 ratings.