Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chimay Beers and Cheeses

The BIERES DE CHIMAY is a company is based in Chimay, a small town in the south of Belgium. It employs 75 persons and the turnover for 2002 was 23 millions euros. Bières de Chimay bottles and sells the Trappist beers of Chimay, brewed within the Abbey of Scourmont under the control and responsibility of the Trappist Monks. Since 1862 the monks have brewed their premium beer, known today under the name of " Première " (75 cl (25.4 fl.oz.)). The Chimay beers are authentic Trappist beers, since they meet the necessary three conditions :

*They are brewed within the Trappist Abbey.
*Under the control and responsibility of the religious Trappist community.
*The majority of the revenue generated from its sale is used for charitable purposes.

Quality has always had priority over quantity. The success of the beers has led, step by step, to a present production level of 123.000 hectolitres (2.706.000 gallons) per year.

The Trappist Beers of Chimay, positioned in a constantly growing speciality beer market, are available in more than 40 countries around the world. They are Chimay Red, Chimay Blue and Chimay Triple

Chimay is an authentic Trappist beer that is it is brewed within a Trappist monastery, under the control and responsibility of the monastic community. Only 6 beers in Belgium can carry the appellation "Trappist": Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren and Achel.

Chimay also produce 4 cheeses. They have a truly unique character born from secular know-how and they appeal to every sensitive palate. Covered with forests and pastures and crossed by numerous rivers, the countryside of Chimay has always been a livestock-rearing area. And dairy herds mean cheese!

Since 1876, the Trappist monks of Scourmont have known the secrets of making this semi-hard cheese made from good milk from their farm and matured in the vaulted cellars of the abbey. Today, Chimay cheese is made exclusively with regional milk and the Trappist monks have modernised their production equipment. Technology has combined with tradition for the greater happiness of the connoisseur and Chimay cheese has adapted itself to high consumption whilst retaining its authenticity.

All production respects the great monastic brewing tradition and takes place, even today, in the original abbey buildings in spite of a net increase in productivity.

Since its renovation in 1989, the brewery uses all its modern technology to back up its exclusive knowledge which dates back to 1862. Even though the brewery only operates from 07.00 to 16.00 out of respect for the schedules of the monastic life, it produces every day two batches of 250 hectolitres (52,850 pts) each.

How to drink Chimay?
From what type of glass should you drink your Chimay?
Whatever Chimay you are tasting, it is essential to have a perfectly clean glass, with no finger marks or traces of grease. The Chimay glass is essential: only this chalice-shaped glass (called a Gourmet in the 18 cl (6 fl.oz.) version) will permit you to experience the aromas and flavours of a beer on which scrupulous care has been lavished throughout its production.

At what temperature should you taste your Chimay?
Chimay Red and Chimay Blue are ideally drunk at the ambient cellar temperature: from 10 to 12°C (50 to 53.6°F); a temperature which gives Chimay Blue a great richness of body and soul!
Triple Chimay should be drunk cooler, between 6 and 8°C (42.8 to 46.4°F).
Note however that Chimay Blue and Red can also be drunk colder, at about 8°C (46.4°F), when they will be found to be particularly refreshing.

What is the correct way to serve a Chimay?
Tilt the glass slightly and pour the beer slowly. Be very careful not to touch the glass or the head with the neck of the bottle. Then pour the beer in one go being careful to leave one centimetre of beer in the bottle. Don't forget to hold the glass by the stem to avoid any fingermarks.

What should you eat with Chimay?
It goes without saying that Chimay goes perfectly with the 4 Chimay cheeses. But Chimay can also be used as an ingredient in many culinary preparations.

Source: Alan McCulloch's blog

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