De Kloostergang in the Bierpassion Magazine!

Wim Swinnen had a look inside!

Wine from Spain and Coffee from Cameroon  

Trappist: much more than beer and cheese  

Wim Swinnen

- Culinary journalist and food pairing expert -

 Has everything not already been said and written about Trappist? No, on the contrary. At least Koen Naulaerts and Kenny Hermans are convinced of this. The enterprising young friends, both 25, gave up their jobs - in Dubai and at Coca-Cola respectively - to work together on a new project: Trappist Tribute. “We are already dreaming of establishments abroad.”


  Initially, the former classmates had big idea's inspired by for example The Heineken Experience, the Amsterdam museum in which visitors receive an interactive multimedia tour, they think in the direction of beer experience and virtual reality. They visit breweries and abbeys, are more impressed by the unique, authentic story of the Trappists and discover that the monks of the Cistercian order not only focus on brewing beer, but also make many other artisan products. The idea of a homage project is taking shape.


Naulaerts and Hermans are literally knocking at the door of just about all Trappist abbeys, from Austria to the US, and are warmly received with open arms. “The welcome at Saint Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts was unforgettable. We stayed there for four days and although we were complete strangers to the fathers, we were treated as guests of honor. ” The pair are gradually gaining the trust of the International Trappist Association who will ultimately cooperate with the initiative.

(International Trappist Association)

Trappist Tribute is initially an e-commerce company. From October, subscribers will receive a Tribute Box with a bottle of Trappist beer, the accompanying glass, another Trappist product and - under the motto 'A story to taste' - detailed information about the history of the Trappist abbeys, the philosophy of life of the Cistercian monks and an explanation about beer - and food pairing. Renowned Belgian beer chefs created some amazing Trappist and food pairing dishes for their Trappist Tribute project. 

Stefaan Couttenye (Het Hommelhof), Raf Sainte (De Gebrande Winning) en Alex Verhoeven, (Hert)       

Trappist dinners

In order to draw attention to their company, Naulaerts and Hermans opened the De Kloostergang pop-up in Aarschot in early July. In this atmospheric café you can appreciate almost all Trappists, including beers that are difficult to find, such as the refectory beer Westmalle Extra and the IPA Sinergia 19, a collaboration of the Italian Tre Fontane and the American Spencer brewery. You can also choose from an assortment of wines and liqueurs from the Spanish Trappist monasteries Monasterio de la Oliva and Monasterio de San Pedro de Cardeña. Even Trappist coffee from Koutaba in Cameroon is on the map. The hungry are optionally fed with bread, various types of cheese and charcuterie, muesli, jam and honey, all artisanally made in Trappist abbeys. For those with a sweet tooth, there are also Trappist cookies and chocolate.

 Finally, special events such as cheese and beer tastings, Trappist quizzes, Trappist barbecues and Trappist dinners are scheduled in De Kloostergang. “The response so far has been overwhelming. We have invested a lot of time and money in this project, and of course it is nice that it is going so well. We donate part of all proceeds to various charities. In the meantime, we are already dreaming aloud of foreign branches. Even in Japan this concept could score. ”

Odoo • Een foto met een geweldige onderschrift
The two close friends behind Trappist Tribute: Kenny Hermans (left)  and Koen Naulaerts (right)