Following yesterday's Chimay Day, the 40b40 project's own Trappist and Regional Brewery Analyst, Seb, has sent along these additional notes about what we were drinking last night along with some additional photos of the occasion. The first photo here gives you a good view of the colour differences between the lighter Red Chimay and the darker Blue Chimay. Anyway, on to Seb's notes de terroir:
Produced in Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont, in the village of Forges situated at the southern tip of Hainaut province (Walloon region), Chimay beers are familiar to Belgian people as well as beer amateurs worldwide. Chimay is one of only seven Trappist beers bearing official recognition as such. Chimay abbey was founded in 1850, when Prince of Chimay invited Cistercian monks from Westvleteren to start a new abbey on his lands.
Today, the Abbey Chimay portrays the opening of brewery operations in Chimay as necessary to fund monastic life. But sure enough, those monks who had left Westvleteren must have been missing something down in Chimay. It took the beer-loving monks from Westvleteren only twelve years to start brewery operations in Chimay. Sure enough, they managed to create and perhaps recreate one of the tastiest trappist beers out there. The comparaison between Westvleteren and Chimay beers should be worth the detour.
A full third of Chimay beers are produced for export. Three sorts of Chimay beers are produced for the market: Blue, Red and White (aka Triple). A fourth lighter sort of Chimay, Chimay Dorée, is produced for the abbey and its monks and is sold only within the abbey.
Trivia: The river Oise, a tributary to the Seine that flows through Paris, has its source in Chimay.
Chimay also has a website.