AUG/SEP 2006 | REGIONAL | INTERNATIONAL
||A Trio Of Trappist Temptations
By Chuck Cook
The Trappist beers of Belgium feature prominently on the
menus of many of the world’s great beer cafés.
In Belgium, these brews command respect and admiration among
beer lovers and average residents alike.
There are a number of Belgian cafés that have small
beer lists but specialize in offering brews from the Trappist
abbeys. I recently visited a couple of very special ones,
as well as a restaurant with delicious food and Trappist beer.
De Pandoerenhoeve café (known as “The Windmill”)
is located near Heist-op-den-Berg in a visually stunning setting,
just meters away from a functioning 17th century windmill!
The café building itself dates from the same period
and serves up 14 Trappist beers from all six of the Belgian
abbeys, along with a few other brews. There is also a bake
house here constructed in the style of those from the 19th
century, which was opened in 2002. A real stone oven is used
to bake delicious bread, which is served at the café
during its only open day, Sunday. Hours are from 2 to 10 p.m.
Other small snacks are served as well.
When the weather is nice, you can sit outside and enjoy a
Trappist brew while checking out the activity at the windmill,
which can be visited. It is three stories high, and there
are many historical items inside, such as old mill stones
and other equipment used to run windmills long ago. There
are people here who will show you how the windmill functions.
It’s sort of a living history museum.
In the winter, there will be a fire burning in the hearth
of the old Leuvense stove inside the café, which is
full of interesting historical items. Whether you visit in
summer or winter, your experience at De Pandoerenhoeve will
A visit to ’t Jagershof should not
be missed by Trappist beer fans, as all seven abbeys are represented
on the beer list.
If you would like to have a full meal while in the area,
Paquis Pastas in Westmeerbeek is an Italian restaurant that
has excellent pasta and meat dishes served in generous quantities.
My group had a great meal there. Paquis (also spelled Pakis)
stocks beers from five of the six Belgian Trappist breweries,
so it is a great place to eat and drink! Paquis is open from
11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
Another very special café is ’t Jagershof in
Waanrode, to the east of Brussels in Flemish Brabant. It has
been specializing in Trappist brews since 1995. A visit here
should not be missed by Trappist beer fans, as all seven abbeys
are represented on the beer list (yes, even La Trappe from
the Netherlands!). ’T Jagershof occasionally has a few
of the monk’s table beers, such as Chimay Dorée,
Petit Orval and Westmalle Extra, in its private collection.
Such beers are not really offered to the public, but if you
ask nicely and show serious interest in these brews, they
might let you try them if they have any extra bottles.
The excellent cheeses from Chimay, Orval and Westmalle are
also available here, and they pair superbly with the Trappist
brews (of course!). ’t Jagershof has Westmalle Dubbel
on draft as well as 75-cl bottles of Achel Extra, Chimay Blue
and Chimay White, along with other Trappist beers in 33-cl
bottles. There are also about 60 other brews on the menu,
so there is something for everyone here.
’t Jagershof has been one of the Orval “Ambassador”
cafés for several years, which is a mark of quality
given by Orval to cafés serving its beer in top condition.
Events are also held here, such as the weekend of Trappist
beer held each August (this year, August 5–7). See cafe-jagershof.be
for more information, and enjoy your visit!
For more info on Trappist breweries and specialty cafés,
Chuck Cook is a freelance writer living in
Richmond, Va. His passions are beer and travel, and he has
written for various beer publications. He can be reached via
e-mail at email@example.com.