Beers from St Bernardus currently at the Mayor:Abt 12
In the late 19th century anti-clericalism in France forced the move of the Catsberg Abbey Community to the village of Watou in West Flanders, Belgium. The “Refuge Notre Dame de St.Bernard” was established, originally as a cheese production financed Abbey activities. In the 1934 it was decided to close the Belgian annex and return all monastic activities to France. Evarist Deconinck took over the cheese factory and built a first building at the Trappistenweg in Watou where the cheese was further developed and commercialised. After 1945, the Trappist Monastery St. Sixtus decided it would stop the sale of its beer.
An agreement was reached where inside the walls of the Monastery the monks would brew only beer for their own consumption but would sell to the public at the gates of the Monastery and also for a few taverns connected to the Monastery. Deconinck brewed and sold the Trappist Beers under license (for a period of 30 years). A new contract was agreed in 1962. In 1992, the agreement came to an end because the Trappist Monasteries (6 in Belgium and 1 in the Netherlands) decided that the qualification ‘Trappistenbier’ could only be given to beers brewed inside the walls of the Trappist Monastery. Since 1992 the beers brewed in Watou are sold under the new brand name of ‘St Bernardus‘.