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 From Knights to Monks

The year is 1074. In a time of kings, conflict and cruelty, six Belgian knights decide to exchange their swords for monk’s robes and dedicate their lives to peace. Believing in the dignity of work, the repentant knights establish a monastic order under the adage ‘Felix Concordia’, meaning happy in harmony. 

Their first task? To build an abbey in the Belgian town of Affligem…

From Brothers to Brewers

Ten years later, the battle-scarred monks complete their abbey. They immediately set out to brew the one beverage safer to drink than medieval water: ale. But not just any ale. Behind the hallowed walls of their newly built abbey, the monks begin to brew Affligem beer.

For centuries, the abbey flourishes while the monks enjoy peaceful lives. Little did they know, war was looming…

The Abbey: Against All Odds

The following centuries are full of conflict.

First, the abbey is destroyed during the Succession War. Then, in 1580, the troops of William of Orange raze the structure to the ground. Both times, the monks patiently rebuild their abbey.

Against all odds, the memory of the abbey survives. In 1887, it’s restored to its former glory by two monks unwilling to give up.

But during World War II, disaster strikes again. The abbey’s copper kettles are stolen by the German army, and for 15 years, not a single drop of Affligem is drunk.

In 1956, Father Tobias feels forced to make a historic decision…

The Legacy Continues

Rarely written down, beer recipes are normally handed over from brother to brother. But after World War II, Father Tobias decides to pass his Formula Antiqua Renovata on to an independent brewer.

Thanks to Father Tobias’ decision, Affligem’s brewing traditions live on. A range of beautiful beers, steeped in history, can be enjoyed to this day.

At Affligem, we still work together with a group of monks, ensuring the abbey’s 1000-year history continues. We also represent the monks’ story in our logo. Depicting the sword of Saint Paul and the cross keys of Saint Peter, the logo symbolises Affligem’s knightly and monastic traditions.

From the brewing process to the bottle you hold in your hands, Affligem is steeped in history.



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