Achel is the smallest of the Belgian Trappist breweries, producing 4500 hl per year. Beer production here owes it’s origins to King Leopold I, who, in 1850, allowed the monks to brew for their own consumption. The monastery, however, dates back to 1686 but was destroyed during the French Revolution. In 1844 monks from Westmalle were responsible for the rebuilding; obviously a good basis for a new Trappist beer and in 1871 the monastery was indeed Trappist and beer brewing a regular activity. The story doesn’t end there; in 1914 the inhabitants had to flee the German troops and the the brewery was destroyed (copper was a valuable commodity!). It was only in 1998 that monks from Westemalle and Rochefort rallied to the cause of a new brewery. Today, two draught and three bottle conditioned beers are produced
Achel Brown is a typical Trappist beer; it looks good (although the imposing head shrinks fairly quickly, albeit with nice lacing on the glass), it has an inviting aroma (malt, dark chocolate ) and the taste doesn’t disappoint either (dried fruits and malt, semi smokey with a hint of licorice, followed by bitter chocolate). Smooth with just the right amount of alcohol (8%alc.vol.) and a medium follow through.
Not as good as Chimay blue, but a great beer nonetheless.