700 years ago, in 1295, the Augustijner-abbey of Gent was created with the help of the ruling Borluut family. That's the reason why 1295 is printed on every bottle of our delicious AUGUSTIJN Abbey Ale. The origin of our Augustijn goes back to this abbey, where today only 7 monks are left. More than 20 years ago the monks licensed the recipe and the century-old yeast-string for that delicious beer to Brewery Van Steenberge, situated a few miles north of Gent in a small village, called Ertvelde.

In 1295, the Augustijner abbey of Gent was the first abbey of the Augustijner-order in the Netherlands. Modern Holland and the Flemish part of Belgium and France were one nation at that era and were called the "Netherlands". The abbey of Gent became one of the most important religious, political and cultural centers of Europe in the 14th and the 15th century. In 1582, the abbey was completely ruined by the Calvinists (Protestants). But shortly after that revolution, the abbey resurrected and became again an important religious and cultural center, until the French revolution, when the monks were expelled and the abbey was sold to the highest bidder.

Napoleon, the French dictator or Emperor, needed the money to pay for all his wars and he found and stole the money from the wealthiest power at that time: the Catholic Church. After the revolution, the abbey was reestablished but it never gained it importance back. In 1995 and 1996, the abbey is open for the public and shows all its artifacts. Important celebrations and exhibits are taking place all year round.

Where comes the name Augustijn from?

In 354 a man called "Augustinus from Hippo" was born in what is today Algeria in Africa. He was an important fellow with a bright political future, but converted to the Catholic Church when he was 32. He immediately started to build his ideal of living in community with friends to worship God, to study and to do good for the poor, 1600 years before Jerry Garcia and the Flower Power movement!

St. Augustinus actually wrote down the rules how such communities should work and live together. These rules still survive in abbeys all over the world. St. Augustinus wrote much more important texts, since his complete oeuvre is printed on more than 12,000 pages! His ideal of living in community spread for 300 years all over North Africa and the Middle East. After 622, Islam destroyed the communities, killed most of the monks and chased the rest of them to Europe. In 1256, the Pope, Alexander IV, regrouped all communities living along the rules of St. Augustinus and created the Augustijner Order of monks.

Anyway, in this text we are only able to give you some very short hints about the history behind our delicious AUGUSTIJN beer. Brewery Van Steenberge did a fine job in saving this beer for our generations. Thanks. AUGUSTIJN was named second best Trappist ale in the last California Beer Festival in San Diego. Enjoy. Cheers.



The Gent Saint Stephanus monastery; officially founded in 1296, was the cradle of the Order in the Low Countries (Flanders, Holland, Wallonia).
The cloister buildings in plain baroque style and the impressive library still testify of its political, cultural, scientific and religious importance, reaching far beyond the Gent city gates.

When in Gent, visit the exhibition in the abbey, based on art treasures from Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. It portrays splendor and trouble during seven centuries of Augustinian religious life. Several baroque masterpieces, beautiful garments in gold thread and silk, and exceptional early white embroideries, unknown sculptures of extremely high quality, magnificent miniatures, religious and secular silver ware and one of the most exceptional collections of old jewelry in private property evoke the rich history of the Augustinians in the Low Countries.