The name La Trappe originates from the French abbey Notre-Dame de la Grande Trappe in the Normandy Soligny-la-Trappe, also known as La Trappe.
Establishment of Onze Lieve Vrouw of Koningshoeven Abbey
French Trappist monks found refuge in Berkel-Enschot in the province of Brabant, consisting of some moorland with farmhouses and a sheep barn. The farmhouses were named the Koningshoeven (meaning the king's farmhouses in Dutch), after the former owner King Willem II. On the 5th of March 1881, the first Holy Mass was celebrated in the sheep barn, which was temporarily converted into a monastery. This became the official establishment date of the abbey.
Establishment of the Trappist brewery
The Trappists needed a source of income to support themselves and fulfil their charity duties. That is why they decided to brew beer. To this very day, beer is brewed according to the rules of the Trappist within the walls of this abbey.
Building a new brewery
In order to pay for the construction of an abbey, the monks began building a new brewery. They also built the malt tower, which to this day dominates the view of the brewery.
Building a new abbey
The construction of a new abbey was paid for by the profits from the beer. To this present day, the brewery and abbey are a unique combination of an industrial and religious estate.
Introduction La Trappe Blond
‘La Trappe Blond’ is introduced, a blond and underfermented ale with 4% alcohol.
The brewery began bottling its own beer: the machine could bottle 6000 bottles per hour. Bottles with lightening stoppers as well as crown caps. The crown cap replaced the bottles with lightening stoppers and allowed the Trappists to pasteurise beer.
Development of lemonade factory
After the Second World War, the entire brewing world suffered from a shortage of raw materials. The monks even considered closing the brewery. In order to supplement the decreasing income of the brewery, a lemonade factory was established. The soft drinks that were produced were sold under the brand names Ariston and Whist.
Collaboration with other breweries
The brewery grew into a medium-sized brewery with dark, Pilsner, Dortmunder, Super and Bock beer. Due to the increasing demand, the brewery looked to collaborate with Stella Artois.
Creation of the brand name La Trappe
The collaboration with Stella Artois ended and the monks took the brewing process back into their own hands. They introduced to the market a high-fermentation beer under the name La Trappe: the Dubbel. In that same year, the Tripel was also introduced.
Modernising the brewery
At the end of 1989, the first beer was produced in the modernized brewery. More than 100 old, open yeast fermentation tanks and lager tanks had to be removed for that purpose.
Introduction of La Trappe Quadrupel
Introduction of La Trappe Quadrupel. The strongest variety of La Trappe (with 10% alcohol). Initially, it was only brewed in the winter, but due to its great success, it was soon brewed all year through.
In 1999, La Trappe began collaborating with the Bavaria Brewery in Lieshout. A new bottling plant was purchased to ensure the quality of the beers also in the future.
Introduction of Witte Trappist
In 2003, Witte Trappist was introduced: the first and only Trappist wheat beer.
Introduction of La Trappe Bock beer
In October 2004, La Trappe reintroduced its traditional Bock beer. The recipe from the 1950s was the basis for the beer. La Trappe Bock beer is still brewed seasonally.
New tasting hall
More and more visits to the brewery were organised in the canteen. That is how the canteen became the tasting hall of the Trappist beer. Since 1984, the number of visitors grew so much that a new Tasting Hall was necessary. The Tasting Hall was designed like a sheep barn, where it all started.
Introduction of La Trappe Oak Aged
The brewery reinstated an old tradition: ripen La Trappe Quadrupel in wooden barrels. This created a unique and complex flavour that varies per type of barrel.
Introduction of La Trappe Isid’or
In 2009, on occasion of the 125th anniversary of the brewery, a special once-only jubilee beer was brewed. Named after Isidorus, the first brewer of the Onze Lieve Vrouw of Koningshoeven Abbey. Isid’or beer was received so well that it was decided to include this Trappist beer in the standard collection.
Introduction of La Trappe PUUR
The brewery introduced La Trappe PUUR: a fresh-hoppy, light-flavoured Trappist beer with 4.7% alcohol. Made from high-quality, organic ingredients.
The recipe for La Trappe PUUR arose from a combination between continuous striving for top-quality and a passionate devotion to beer, in which good stewardship of God’s creation is the main focus.
La Trappe Jubilaris
This unique Trappist beer of La Trappe was brewed especially and once-only on occasion of Dom Bernardus’ 25th anniversary. On the 20th of August 1988, Dom Bernardus took his vows at the age of 20.