Posted in Meet the Brewer, Orval Brewery, Rare Opportunity

Meet the Brewer – Francois de Harenne, Orval Brewery. TONIGHT!

Orval glass
While meeting a brewer of a beer can be a bit of a rare opportunity — here is one a bit more rare. Orval Brewer Francois de Harenne will be at 5 Seasons Westside Skybar today only.

Orval Brewery (Brasserie d’Orval) is a Belgian Trappist Brewery located in Villers-devant-Orval, Belgium. Now you may have seen the term “Trappist” used in the titles of various beers. Many people aren’t entirely sure what that means. Basically — the beer is brewed under control of Trappist monks. These monks are a branch of Cistercian orders, Roman Catholic, and follow the Rules of St. Benedict. (The spirit of this rule? Summed up in the motto – Ora et Labora or Work and Pray.) There is more to the Benedictine rules and this order (73 chapters), but at one point you need to stop reading my site and get back to work.

Since Orval is a Trappist brewery, you may have figured it is located on the grounds Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Orval . (Monastery.) Orval produces 2 Trappist beers.

Orval Trappist Ale — 6.2% ABV. First produced in 1931. Unique taste due to the unique yeast strain.

Petite Orval — 3.5%, ABV. Brewed solely for the monks at the monastery. AKA “Patersbier” or “Father’s Beer”

While there are more than 170 breweries that make Trappist Ales, only 8 are brewed under the control of Trappist Monks, and carry the “Authentic Trappist Product” logo on the bottle. Those breweries include Orval, Chimay, Westmalle, La Trappe, Rochefort, Aschel, Westvleteren, Koningshoeven (according to the Trappist Assoc. website.)

History of the Orval Brewery dates the earliest brewing around the year 1628. The current brewery was built in 1931, corresponding with Orval Ale’s first production. Another interesting fact about Orval. You may have noticed, or will today, that the logo has fish on it. In the fishes mouth — a ring. This logo explains the story of the founding of the Abbey.

Matilda of Tuscany (AKA Matilda of Canossa born in 1056) , a widow visiting the site of the Abbey, lost the wedding ring of her lost love. Saddened by this loss, Matilda prayed for the return of the ring. As an answer to her prayers, a trout appeared with the wedding ring in it’s mouth. In her excitement, Matilda announced “Truly this place is a Val d’Or!” (French for “Valley of Gold.”) From than statement, Orval is derived. The logo is the coat of arms for the brewery. To show her gratitude for the ring’s return she founded a monastery on the site. The spring in which the trout rose from the water still provides water to Orval for brewing.

Francois de Harenne of Orval Brewery will be at 5 Seasons sky bar from 4-530 pm. Special thanks to Craig at Hop City, and 5 Seasons Westside.

5 Seasons West
1000 Marietta St
Atlanta, GA 30318