The folks at Merchant du Vin are moving the official date for Orval Day to Saturday Oct. 3, 2020.
About Orval Day
On March 26th, 2016; March 25, ’17; March 24, ’18; and March 23, ’19, devotees of Orval Trappist Ale – and some folks who hadn’t tried it yet – convened upon their favorite bar to celebrate one of the world’s unique and highly-respected beers. Orval was the first Brett beer to land on US shores, and has become the favorite beer for many star American brewers. ( “Brett” – brettanomyces – is a yeast variety that adds appetizing, sharp acidity and dryness.) Orval sells one beer, brewed to exquisite perfection within the walls of Notre Dame d’Orval Monastery in Belgium. It’s delicious when it leaves the brewery, but also evolves in the bottle for five years or more.
Each year we make a donation to charity based on US sales of Orval on Orval Day, and participation and sales have grown each year. (Last Orval Day, 2019, we had over 600 accounts participating, across the USA.) If you drink, buy or sell an Orval Trappist Ale on Orval Day – thanks!
Our charity partner for 2020 is again Safe Water Network, helping to bring clean, sustainable water to communities in Ghana and India. After we tally up Orval Day 2020 sales, Merchant du Vin will donate 50 cents to Safe Water Network for every bottle of Orval sold.
Orval Trappist Ale
Orval beer is a high fermentation beer. The ageing process adds a fruity note, which strikes a subtle balance between the beer’s full-bodied yet complex flavour and bitterness.
The beer was first brewed in 1931 and owes its unparalleled taste to the quality of the water, the hops and the yeast used. The brewery has selected very aromatic and unique hop varieties, which hark back to the first brewmaster of Orval, who hailed from Bavaria. The beer’s aromas are very pronounced while maintaining the right level of bitterness thanks to the English method of dry hopping.
The various stages of fermentation – combined fermentation with the original yeast and with wild yeast, followed by fermentation in the bottle – mean the beer must age for some time and requires numerous quality controls.
The History of Orval
The Abbey of Orval is located near Florenville, Belgium in the provence of Luxembourg. The present brewery was completed in 1929, at which time the skittle (pin)-shaped bottle and Orval chalice were introduced. (Brewery, bottle, and chalice were all designed by architect Henry Vaes.) In the middle ages, Orval was famous for producing its iron decoration as well as beer. The abbey was gutted by fire in 1252 & repaired, then was destroyed during the French Revolution.
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