Orval At A Glance
Legend of Orval
There is a legend of the foundation of the Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Orval and that the monastery was born of an act of gratitude.
According to this, the widowed Mathilda of Tuscany was visiting the site when she lost her wedding ring in a spring. When she prayed for the return of the ring, a trout appeared on the surface of the water with the ring in its mouth. She exclaimed "Truly this place is a Val d'Or (Golden Valley)", from which the name Orval is derived and, in thanks, gave funds for the foundation of the monastery.
Ever devoted to its Trappist beer, the Orval Brewery promotes this Ambassadeur d'Orval label.
Each year the brewery and the Confrérie des Sossons d'Orvaulx award this accolade a select number of cafés, taverns, bars and restaurants across establishments throughout Europe, the UK and America who best meet Orval's criteria of presence, service and creativity.
Trappist Brewing Heritage
Brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery, either by the monks themselves or under their supervision, is just one tenet governing which beers can bear the Trappist name.
Just eight Trappist abbeys brew beer - Orval, Chimay, Westvleteren, Rochefort, Westmalle and Achel, all located in Belgium along with Koningshoeven in the Netherlands and, more recently, Engelszell in Austria.