BLOG | From brothers to brewers - A legacy of gold: AFFLIGEM


In the superb vineyards of France’s Champagne region, it is known as the méthode champenoise. In the unassuming environment of Affligem’s bottling plant, the same magical process takes place, transforming the golden beer into a truly delicious nectar. Affligem’s brewers call it double fermentation. Before fitting the caps on the bottles, they add small amounts of sugar and yeast to their beer. The yeast then flocculates – it clumps together and sinks to the bottom of the bottle, thereby making Affligem brighter and clearer than most double fermented beers. For those who prefer to consume body and soul together, a swift swirl will loosen the yeast. 

The mix of ingredients and the unique brewing process create a great variety of aromas and flavours. Affligem beer is a truly culinary brew.

Unique live yeast is the living soul of Affligem, responsible for its distinctive flavour. Affligem’s brewers continually feed the yeast with small quantities of wort so they can use the same fresh culture in every fermentation. They even keep a second culture at a nearby university in case the brewery is destroyed. Happy yeast management is crucial to a good beer, and imparts the characteristic banana aroma and a spicy, tingly ‘yeast bite’. 

It may seem improbable, but the peaceful Affligem abbey in Belgium was originally founded not by monks but by warriors, whose lives were transformed by the priest of St. Peter’s Abbey in Ghent. Repentant of their violent way of life, the knights returned home to the region of Affligem, all the while harbouring a dream to one day build an abbey of their own. With permission of Anno II, the Archbishop of Cologne, the knights founded their abbey in 1074. In 1083, the abbey church was erected, and in 1085, those erstwhile knights became monks of the Benedictine Order.

The secret of how to brew Affligem today was passed on by Father Tobias in the 1950’s through his Formula Antiqua Renovata. His visionary decision created modern Affligem and preserved the legacy of craftsmanship that defines the beer to this day.