Andrew and I went for a drive from the house we were staying in, in the Somme, up to Chimay for the day. Chimay is a small village in the southern area of Belgium with less than 10 000 inhabitants and is mainly an agricultural area. Chimay is famous due to the Trappist monks who established the Scourmont Abbey, where they also brew Chimay beer and make cheese.
We went to the Espace Chimay, a restaurant and bar for lunch and a beer tasting. The is the Poteaupre Inn set out like an indoor English bub and a Brassiere which has both indoor and outdoor seating, it was a beautiful sunny day, so we chose the outdoor picnic tables. The outdoor area also has extensive playground equipment for kids and there were quite a few families there.
The Poteaupre Inn serves a variety of cheese boards, tapas and a range of sandwiches. The brassiere has a large range of meals ranging from burgers to salmon or trout, rabbit in Trappist beer to pastas and a large variety of other meals. They also have a children’s menu.
The main purpose for a visit to the area would be to try the beer. When we visited they had four different beers, Chimay Gold, Chimay Red, Chimay Blue and Chimay Triple. They have a few different tasting options. Andrew tried the Chimay Gold, Blue and red, the Belgium’s no how to make beer. Along with trying the Trappist beer you can also try their cheese. The Trappist have been making cheese since 1876 they currently have four different types you can try. Chimay cheeses include the Grand Classic (made since 1982), a la chimay rouge, washed in the chimay rouge during the ripening process (made since 1986), Grand Cru (made since 1989) and La Poteaupre cheese (made since 2008)
The meals and beer were great and served in a relaxing atmosphere. As you leave there is a shop that sells cheeses, beers, fudges, chocolates and souvenirs.
The Chimay Experience
We did not do the Chimay Experience, but its a permanent exhibition on the production of the Trappist beer and cheeses. It also takes you on a walk through the Abbey’s garden, church and monk’s cemetery, you cannot access the brewery. It ends with a tasting of one of the Chimay beers.
The Trappist’s Abbey was built in 1850 and onsite is the brewery company and where the cheese is matured. The money raised from beer and cheese sales is used to support the monastery, while a majority goes to charities and community development. You can freely walk around the gardens, church and the monk’s cemetery, its a lovely location.
Tourist Information for Chimay:
Opening Hours for the Brassierie
- 7/5/2018 to 30/6/2018 and 30/9/2018 – 411/2018: Monday to Thursday 10 am to 6 pm, Friday to Sunday 10 am to 10 pm
- 9/2/2018 to 30/3/2018 and 5/11/2018 to 12/12/2018: Monday closed, Tuesday to Thursday 10 am to 6 pm, Friday to Sunday 10 am to 10 pm
- 31/03/18 to 06/05/18 and from 01/07/2018 to 02/09/2018: Open everyday 10.00 am to 10.00 p.m
- 02/01/18 to 08/02/18: Tuesday to Friday (only pub) 10 a.m to 5 p.m (drink menu only), Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 10 pm (pub+restaurant)
- 02/01/18 to 08/02/18: Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- 7/05/18 to 30/06/18 and 03/09 to 04/11/18: daily from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
- 31/03/18 to 06/05/18 and from 01/07 to 02/09/18 daily from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm, Sunday 10.00 am to 7.00 pm
- 9/02/18 to 30/03/18 and 05/11/18 to 12/12/18: closed on Mondays, open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
- 02/01/18 to 08/02/18: open Tuesday – Friday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (last entry 4.00 pm), Saturday and Sunday, open from 10 am to 5.00 pm (last entry 4.30 pm)
- 07/05/18 to 30/06/18 and 03/09 to 04/11/18): open daily from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (last entry at 4.30 pm)
- 31/03/18 to 06/05/18 and 01/07/18 to 02/09/18): open daily from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm (last entry 5.30 pm)
- 9/02/18 to 30/03/18 and 05/11 to 12/12/18): open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (last entry 4.30 pm)
Cost of Chimay Experience
- Adult – €6.50, without tasting €4
- Over 60 years, teacher or 12 – 18 years old – €5
- Under 12 years – free
- Groups of 15 or more – €5
Official Website: http://chimay.com/en/