(Baileux, BELGIUM) – Bières de Chimay, S.A., maker of Chimay Red, Triple and Blue, is pleased to announce a very special release for this year’s 150th anniversary of the founding of the Chimay brewery. To honor this momentous occasion, Chimay has created its first new beer in 46 years (only the fourth commercial beer in its history). Named Cent Cinquante (“one hundred fifty” in French), this golden ale boasts a hefty 10% ABV and comes bottled in a collectible screen printed 750ml bottle with an illustration of the abbey where each Chimay beer is still brewed.
Chimay is named after a small, pastoral village in Belgium, part of the southern French-speaking Walloon region, whose rich soils and rainy skies have supported agriculture for millennia. Chimay is home to a community of Trappist monks who have brewed the same ales, in the same monastery, since 1862. The Trappists were the pioneers of Belgian ales and each of their beers is invested with this expertise.
These ales are all natural—no filtering, no pasteurizing, no artifice—just handcrafted beer made of five essentials: water, barley, wheat, hops and a renowned yeast strain whose lineage dates back to 1948. The first cells of this strain were painstakingly isolated by a Father Théodore in the wake of the total destruction of the brewery during WWII (and the subsequent loss of the original yeast). Chimay’s water is sourced exclusively from the monastery’s two wells, the barley and wheat from small family farms in France’s fabled Loire Valley and the hops from as near as northern Belgium and as far away as Washington state’s Yakima Valley.
Though there are 174 Trappist monasteries worldwide, only eight of them brew beer in accordance with rules set out by the International Trappist Association. Of those eight breweries, six are in Belgium, one is in the Netherlands and the newest is in Austria.
In order to obtain official Trappist certification, monastic breweries must obey three cardinal rules: 1. all beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery; 2. brewery operations must be overseen and monitored by the entire Trappist community; 3. the majority of profits from the sale of each beer must go to charitable causes around the world.
In Chimay’s case, 90% of the profit goes directly to charities they oversee, with the remaining 10% going to operating costs and the upkeep of the monastery itself.
After 150 years in the business, Chimay has been able to extend its reach to over 40 countries worldwide, including all fifty U.S. states, and has donated millions of dollars to its philanthropic causes. Join us this year in celebrating this historic brewery. Santé!