Since 1128, the Grimbergen Abbey has been destroyed three times by fire during wars and rebuilt by the Fathers every time.
Since after 1128, the Grimbergen Abbey has been destroyed three times by fire during wars, and rebuilt by the Fathers every time over.
The Phoenix symbolizes this inspiring heritage, and the almost nine centuries of brewing savoir-faire of Grimbergen.
In 1128, the Lords of Grimbergen asked Norbert van Xanten, founder of the Premonstratensian Order (or Norbertine Order) to build an abbey, and he granted them their wish. Shortly after, in the same year, the Fathers of Grimbergen Abbey began to brew a local beer.
In 1142, the Lords of Grimbergen revolted against the Duke of Brabant. This was the beginning of the war of Grimbergen. The abbey was completely ruined, but in the years following the war it was rebuilt, stone by stone.
In 1566, the abbey was destroyed for the second time during the religious wars. The Fathers fled to Brussels and could only return 30 years later to rebuild the community.
In 1629, the abbey was re-established in Grimbergen. From that moment on, the fathers and the community decided to adopt the phoenix as a symbol of rebirth in their coat of arms, alongside the motto “ardet nec consumitur”, which means “burned, but not destroyed” (but can have other translations).
With the phoenix lifting the spirits of the Fathers, Grimbergen beer soon began to flow again.
Yet a new danger was lurking: in the 18th century, during the French Revolution, all goods in churches and monasteries were sold. In 1798, the Fathers had to leave again. And the abbey with its brewery was destroyed for a third time.
As a fourth ressurection of Grimbergen, the return of brewing to the Grimbergen Abbey in 2021 marks a special chapter in our history. Crafting new limited edition beers inside the walls of the abbey for the first time in over 200 years is a great achievement for the Fathers, for the Grimbergen community and for all those who love Grimbergen beer.