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Abbaye Bier (Abbey Beer) refer to monastic beer brewed by monks. And there is almost Trappist beer brewed by monks but specifically from Trappist monasteries.

But what is the difference in terms of brewing process, resulting product and historically, why are they different?

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Trappist beer is a designation of the origin of the beer, rather than a designation for the style. That is, it must come from one of the ten Trappist monasteries recognised by the International Trappist Association. There are similarities between the styles produced by these monasteries, but if one decided to make something in a completely different style it could presumably still be called a Trappist beer.

In contrast, the term abbey beer is used to refer to any beers produced in the style of the Trappist monasteries. It isn't necessarily produced by a monastery, and some beers produced by major breweries could be described as abbey beer.

It is kind of like the difference between "Champagne" and "sparkling white wine".

  • 100% correct and well stated. – audiFanatic Apr 16 '14 at 6:35

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