Photo: August 29, 2016
Let me start by saying I am not a beer drinker. I think part of that comes from the smell. But Paul is and this is one he enjoys. What I do like is a sense of history, of continuity and beer has certainly been around for a long time. This one claims it has been brewed since 1240. Their web site tells us that Notre-Dame de Leffe was an abbey of Premonstratensian canons (monks known for their hospitality). They must have known that water was not always healthy and they decided to build a brewery in order to serve the many pilgrims a "healthy, invigorating beverage". The boiling of the water as part of the fermentation process killed the germs so, though they probably did not understand why, they did think of beer as healthy. The abbey was closed during the French Revolution and was re-established early in the twentieth century. In the 1950s the abbot decided to resurrect the brewery, using the age-old recipe, the same recipe used since 1240.
You can learn more about the abbey here as well as about its beer-making history.