A special bottling of Chimay ale, marking the 150th anniversary of the Trappist brewery’s founding, is expected to hit U.S. markets in September, but availability will be limited, according to brand ambassador Luc “Bobo” Van Mechelen of Manneken-Brussels Imports, the Austin,Texas-based importer.
The beer, called Chimay Spéciale Cent Cinquante, the first new brew from Chimay in a little more than a decade, will be a blonde ale of 10 percent abv.
Only 2,500 cases are being sent to the U.S., Van Mechelen said, with distribution starting on the East Coast. The shipment is expected to reach the U.S. shore in August
“I asked for 10,000 cases,” Van Mechelen told CorksCapsandTaps.com during a July 26 interview at New York City’s Beer Authority bar. “Twenty-five hundred cases are enough to piss people off.” He said some key markets, such as Philadelphia and Texas, would see none of the beer.
Restaurants and beer merchants who want the beer will have to request it, and it will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis, Van Mechelen said.
Union Beer Distributors, the Brooklyn-based distributor for New York City, will receive just 165 cases, each 12 bottles. RED Dacquel, Chimay brand manager for Union Beer, said his customers have already ordered150 cases, leaving him with just 15.
Here’s how Chimay describes the beer on its web site:
“This special edition is a full bodied and distinctive strong beer developed within the abbey to celebrate and honour the 150th anniversary of the brewery. Produced with 100% natural ingredients, its pale golden robe and champagne sparkle is topped by a rich white head of foam. The distinctive bouquet evokes the rich fruity and complex notes of the Chimay yeast in harmony with a delicate spicy note and the fragrance of fresh noble hops. At 10% alcohol, the flavour is full bodied and complex with a slight but refreshing tang note and a crisp hop finish that will delight the palate.”
Espace Chimay, a Belgian blog about Chimay, showed a photo of beer with a wooden box. It reported the package would sell for 15 Euros (US $15.50).
Chimay currently produces just four brews, three of them bottled.
● Chimay Red Cap or Première, which was the first beer brewed at the Notre-Dame de Scourmont Abbey by the Trappist fathers in 1862.
● Chimay Blue Cap, also known as Grande Reserve, is a dark Trappist beer first brewed as a Christmas beer in 1948 and renamed in in 1982.
● Chimay Tripel, labeled Cinq Cents, is the newest of the Abbey beers. It was created in 1986. A draft version was introduced in 2001.
Chimay beers have been made since 1862 by the Cistercian Trappist monks to support their monastery, the Notre-Dame de Scourmont Abbey. The monks also produce a range of Trappist cheeses. Chimay is one of the six Belgian beers that can carry the logo, “Authentic Trappist Product,” of the International Trappist Association. That means that it is brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery under the control and responsibility of the community of monks, and whose revenue is devoted to social service.