Trappist Single

Hello there my beer-loving friend! Let’s talk today about Trappist Single beers – delicate but flavorful brews.

As the name suggests, Singles are one of the lower-alcohol styles made within Trappist monasteries, usually around 4-5% ABV. This makes them light and quite drinkable.

Flavors tend to be herbaceous and delicate, with fruity esters, peppery spice, and earthy European hops taking the foreground. The malt character is understated, providing just enough backbone without sweetness.

Well-known examples are Westmalle Single, St. Bernardus Extra 4, and specifications set by the International Trappist Association. Despite their modest alcohol, Singles carry the excellence of Trappist tradition!

These accessible yet nuanced ales pair well with lighter entrees like fish, white meats, salads and pasta. Their subtle flavors let the food shine. Of course, Trappist beers are divine on their own as well!

Certainly! Here are 10 popular commercial examples of Trappist Single beers, each with its unique characteristics:

  1. Westmalle Extra: Brewed by the Westmalle Trappist Monastery in Belgium, this beer is known for its light, refreshing taste with a subtle blend of spicy and fruity notes. It’s a perfect representation of the traditional Trappist Single style.
  2. Spencer Trappist Ale: From America’s first Trappist brewery, Spencer Brewery in Massachusetts, this ale offers a slightly more robust flavor profile with hints of honey and clove, balancing the traditional lightness with a touch of New World flair.
  3. Chimay Dorée (Gold): Brewed by Chimay, a famed Belgian Trappist brewery, this beer is noted for its slightly hoppy and spicy flavor, accented by touches of orange peel and coriander.
  4. Achel Blond: Brewed in the Saint Benedictus Abbey in Belgium, Achel Blond is a light, easy-drinking ale with a soft malt character, complemented by a mild hop bitterness and a clean, dry finish.
  5. La Trappe Puur: A product of the Netherlands’ Koningshoeven Brewery, this organic beer is crisp and light with a refreshing hoppy bite, embodying the essence of Trappist simplicity and purity.
  6. Zundert Trappist: Brewed by the Trappist monks of Maria Toevlucht Abbey in the Netherlands, Zundert is a slightly stronger and more amber-hued take on the style, offering a unique blend of herbal and fruity notes.
  7. Tre Fontane Tripel: From the only Trappist brewery in Italy, this unique beer blends the light, drinkable nature of a Single with the complexity of a Tripel, featuring unusual eucalyptus notes.
  8. Engelszell Gregorius: Produced by Stift Engelszell in Austria, this beer leans towards a darker, maltier profile, offering a different take on the traditional Trappist Single with its rich flavors and slightly higher alcohol content.
  9. Mont des Cats: Though not officially a Trappist beer (as it’s brewed outside the monastery), it’s affiliated with the Trappist order. Brewed in France, this beer offers a unique, slightly sweet and floral flavor profile, distinct from its Belgian counterparts.
  10. Tynt Meadow English Trappist Ale: From Mount Saint Bernard Abbey in England, this ale presents a divergence from the typical Trappist Single style, offering darker, richer tones with notes of dark fruit, chocolate, and licorice.

Ah, Trappist beer! It’s not just a drink; it’s a slice of history in a bottle. Have you ever wondered what makes Trappist Single so unique in the vast world of beers?

Well, you’re in for a treat. Trappist Single, often overshadowed by its stronger cousins like the Dubbel or Tripel, is a hidden gem in the beer world.

Let’s dive into what sets this beer apart.

Origins and History

The Birthplace of Trappist Breweries

Picture this: serene monasteries nestled in the European countryside, where monks have been brewing beer for centuries. Trappist breweries aren’t just breweries; they’re a tradition.

The story of Trappist beer begins in these monastic settings, dating back to the Middle Ages. But what about the Trappist Single? This style is relatively young, a lighter, more sessionable option compared to its potent relatives.

The Evolution of the Style

Change is the only constant, right? Trappist Single evolved over time, adapting to the needs of the monks and their guests.

Originally, it was a beer brewed for the monks themselves – something they could enjoy without the, let’s say, “intoxicating” effects of their stronger brews. It’s like the mild-mannered cousin at the family reunion who’s always a pleasure to be around.

Brewing Process

What Goes In?

Have you ever baked a cake and realized how crucial each ingredient is? Brewing Trappist Single is similar. It starts with four basic ingredients: water, malt, hops, and yeast.

But, it’s not just about throwing these together. The quality of the water, the type of malt, the choice of hops, and the specific yeast strains used by the monks – all these play a critical role in the final flavor.

The Art of Brewing

Now, let’s talk about the magic of brewing. Trappist brewing is an art form passed down through generations of monks. It involves precise temperature control, timing, and a balance of flavors that can only be achieved through experience.

What makes it special is the monastic touch – a combination of age-old traditions and a bit of divine inspiration, maybe?

How to Brew Trappist Single with Recipe

That Special Something

Ever heard the phrase, “It’s more than the sum of its parts”? That’s Trappist Single for you.

The brewing process in these monasteries isn’t just about following a recipe. It’s about a deep respect for the craft and a commitment to quality.

The monks aren’t brewing for profit; they’re brewing as a form of meditation and service. And that, my friends, is what gives Trappist Single its soul.

Flavor Profile

Have you ever taken a sip of a drink and felt like you’re experiencing a story? That’s what happens with Trappist Single. It’s not just a beer; it’s a narrative in a glass.

A Symphony of Tastes

Imagine a light, refreshing ale with a subtle complexity. The first thing you’ll notice is its pale, golden color, almost like a field of wheat under the summer sun.

Take a sip, and you’ll get a mild hop bitterness, a touch of earthy yeast, and a whisper of fruity esters – maybe a hint of green apple or pear. It’s like a gentle melody, each note perfectly in place.

Compared to the Choir

Now, if Trappist Singles were in a choir, they’d be the harmonious altos, compared to the deep bass of the Dubbels and the soaring sopranos of the Tripels. It’s the kind of beer that doesn’t shout for attention but wins you over with its understated elegance.

Serving and Pairing

Pairing food with the right beer can be like finding the perfect dance partner – it just clicks. And Trappist Single? It’s a versatile dancer.

How to Serve it Right

Temperature matters. Too cold, and you’ll miss the nuances; too warm, and it might not feel as refreshing. Aim for around 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit – cool enough to be refreshing, but warm enough to let the flavors sing.

And let’s talk glassware. A stemmed tulip glass isn’t just fancy; it helps trap the aroma, enhancing your experience.

The Perfect Pairing

Trappist Single is like that friend who gets along with everyone. It pairs beautifully with a variety of foods.

Try it with grilled chicken, a light salad, or even a creamy pasta. It’s also great with mild cheeses or a fruit tart for dessert. It’s about complementing, not overpowering – a harmony of flavors.

Major Trappist Single Breweries

Ever wondered where these divine brews come from? Let’s take a quick tour of some of the monasteries where the magic happens.

The Monastic Masters

Each Trappist brewery has its own personality. Like the Westmalle Abbey in Belgium, where they’ve been brewing since 1836. Their Trappist Single is a benchmark for the style – crisp, with a dry finish, almost like a whisper of the divine.

Or the Spencer Brewery in Massachusetts, the first Trappist brewery outside Europe, blending old-world tradition with new-world innovation.

Unique Features of Each Brewery

What’s fascinating about these breweries is how they reflect their surroundings. Take the Chimay Brewery in Belgium, surrounded by lush forests, or the Rochefort Brewery, with its medieval heritage. Each brewery adds its own local twist, making each Trappist Single a unique experience.

Pros and Cons

Like everything in life, Trappist Single comes with its own set of upsides and downsides. Let’s weigh them, shall we?

The Bright Side

  1. Flavor Complexity: Despite its lightness, Trappist Single is a tapestry of flavors. It’s a beer that can surprise you with its depth.
  2. Drinkability: It’s the perfect middle ground – flavorful yet not overwhelming, making it a great session beer.
  3. Tradition and Authenticity: Drinking a Trappist Single is like sipping on a piece of history. There’s something special about enjoying a brew that’s made with centuries-old methods.

The Flip Side

  1. Availability: Depending on where you live, getting your hands on a Trappist Single can be a bit of a treasure hunt.
  2. Price: Authenticity and quality come at a cost. Trappist Singles can be pricier than your average beer.
  3. Variability: Since each monastery brews its own version, there’s a variability in taste, which might not always align with everyone’s palate.


In the digital age, online reviews and ratings are the new word-of-mouth. Let’s see how Trappist Single fares in the world of web ratings.

A Toast to Online Reviews

Generally, Trappist Singles enjoy high ratings. Beer enthusiasts appreciate the balance and craftsmanship. Sites like RateBeer and BeerAdvocate often show scores above 3.5 out of 5, with many praising the subtle complexity and refreshing nature of the beer.

Comparing with Other Styles

When stacked against heavier, more intense Trappist beers like Quads or Tripels, Trappist Single might seem like the underdog. But it holds its own, especially among those who prefer a lighter, more sessionable ale.


  1. What Makes a Beer a Trappist Single?
    Trappist Single is a pale, top-fermented monastic beer, brewed by Trappist monks. It’s characterized by its lower alcohol content and a balanced, subtle flavor profile.
  2. How Does Trappist Single Differ from Other Trappist Beers?
    Compared to its Trappist siblings, the Single is lighter in both color and alcohol content, offering a more sessionable and subtly complex flavor.
  3. What Are the Common Ingredients in Trappist Single?
    The core ingredients are water, malt (often Pilsner malt), hops, and yeast. The simplicity of ingredients belies the complexity of the final product.
  4. Can Trappist Single Be Found Outside of Trappist Monasteries?
    Yes, though authentic Trappist Singles are brewed within the walls of Trappist monasteries, there are commercial versions inspired by the style.
  5. What Foods Pair Well with Trappist Single?
    Its light and versatile nature makes it great with poultry, seafood, light pasta dishes, and even some desserts like fruit tarts.
  6. What Is the Alcohol Content in Trappist Single?
    Typically, it ranges from 4.5% to 6% ABV, making it one of the lighter options in the Trappist beer family.
  7. How Do Brewing Methods Affect the Flavor of Trappist Single?
    The traditional brewing methods, including the specific yeast strains and fermentation techniques, impart a unique flavor profile that’s hard to replicate.
  8. Are There Any Seasonal Variations of Trappist Single?
    Generally, Trappist Singles are brewed year-round, but some monasteries may have seasonal variations or special editions.
  9. What Is the Best Way to Store Trappist Single?
    Store it upright in a cool, dark place. It’s not a beer meant for aging, so it’s best enjoyed relatively fresh.
  10. How Does the Flavor Profile of Trappist Single Change Over Time?
    Unlike some beers that develop with age, Trappist Single is best enjoyed fresh to appreciate its delicate balance of flavors.


So, what’s the final word on Trappist Single? It’s a beer that tells a story – a story of tradition, craftsmanship, and a dedication to quality that has stood the test of time.

In a world where beers often compete on intensity and bold flavors, Trappist Single takes a different path. It’s the quiet conversation in a room full of shouting, the subtle melody that lingers long after the music stops.

The Timeless Appeal

Trappist Single may not be the headline-grabber in the beer world, but it’s a classic. It’s a testament to the fact that sometimes, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

For those who appreciate the finer nuances and the history behind their glass, Trappist Single is a perfect choice.

Looking to the Future

As craft beer continues to evolve, there’s a growing appreciation for styles like Trappist Single.

It’s a style that bridges the gap between past and present, appealing to both traditionalists and those new to the craft beer scene. Its future seems as enduring as the monasteries where it was born.