Rochefort Brewery Damaged By Fire

I just woke up to the news that the brewery at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy, better known to the beer world as Brasserie de Rochefort, was damaged last night by a fire that swept through the abbey. Pete Slosberg forwarded me the e-mail he received from Belgian beer writer Christian Deglas, which outlined the damage.

Bad news from the Belgian beer world. Yesterday evening there [was] a great fire in the abbey of Rochefort which [was] a big disaster. The church was saved as [well as] the Bibliothèque and the rooms of the monks, but the brewery and stables are completely destroyed. The fire started in the warm reserve places. All the new material is destroyed. There are no victims or injured persons.

Normally, the production should start again in a few weeks, but I’m afraid that [at the] moment there will be a rupture of the stock.

The BBC also has the story up now, too, and they’re reporting the following:

The Trappist (Cistercian) monks were dining when fire broke out at the abbey at St Remy-Rochefort, famous for its Rochefort beer.

The building was evacuated and it took 70 firefighters to put out the blaze. It seems the blaze began near a generator being used temporarily after problems with the power supply.

Francois Bellot, mayor of Rochefort, said he was confident that it would be possible to resume beer production within a few days.

The BBC Piece, Fire damages Rochefort Trappist beer abbey in Belgium, also has a short video of the fire.


  1. fraggle says

    Hey Jay.
    It says above that “the brewery was completely destroyed”. Everything i read yesterday said the brewery is fine, with some minimal damage, they just lost some stock. the brewery was basically untouched. have you heard anything different?

    • Jay Brooks says

      I know, I noticed that discrepancy as well. The initial report I got was from Deglas (by way of Pete) so I tend to put more stock in that, though I obviously don’t know where Christian got his information. His e-mail also mentioned that he’d had an appointment today with a friend at Rochefort which he had to cancel under the circumstances, which suggests his information is from an inside source. I considered that the official story may be spin for the sake of business or appearances, but I can’t say for sure, of course.

  2. fraggle says

    well, only five, because
    a. news that there is a trappist brewery in the netherlands got lost in the snow somewhere.
    b. the bbc has been miffed over the netherlands since Queen Beatrix infamously told Queen Elizabeth that Bass tasted like warm bathwater.
    c. and with the fire, that means there’s one less, and OH MY BACCHUS ITS TRUE! the BBC knows! it knows! Rochefort must have burned. that was their secret way of letting it out! ahhh!

    oh, and btw…now ISO Rochefort 8 rauchbier please.

  3. Christina says

    Maybe the original article was translated to English and the discrepancies result from an unintentional exaggeration of a phrase or word.

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